Understanding Fertility After 40: Realities and Possibilities

By Dr Pokpong Pansrikaew


As an increasing number of individuals opt to commence families later in life, the discourse surrounding fertility beyond the age of 40 grows ever more relevant. Globally, there is a discernible trend of women electing to embark on motherhood for the first time after 40, propelled by advancements in reproductive technologies, evolving career trajectories, and shifting societal norms pertaining to family planning. This shift prompts inquiries into the likelihood of natural conception at this age and the effectiveness of assisted reproductive technologies.


Age and Fertility: A Biological Perspective


From a biological standpoint, fertility naturally wanes with age, experiencing notable declines after 35 and more pronouncedly after 38-40. The quality and quantity of a woman’s eggs diminish over time, consequently impacting the prospects of conception. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, while a woman in her early 30s boasts a 20% chance of conceiving each month, this probability dwindles to approximately 5% per month by the age of 40.


Notwithstanding these statistics, recent advancements in fertility treatments offer rays of hope. Techniques such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and ovulation induction have progressed significantly, bolstering the likelihood of pregnancy for women in their 40s.


Treatment Options: Expanding Horizons in Assisted Reproduction


IVF has catalysed a revolution in the realm of reproductive medicine, furnishing substantial opportunities for couples grappling with infertility. For women over 40, IVF success rates fluctuate depending on individual health factors and the utilisation of one's own eggs as opposed to donor eggs. Nevertheless, many couples and single women in their early 40s opt to employ their own eggs despite the reduced probability of conception. By the age of 43, the prospects of achieving pregnancy through IVF plummet below 5%, rendering the use of donor eggs a more feasible option by that juncture.


Another pivotal consideration is the role of cutting-edge technologies in IVF, such as preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). PGT can facilitate the selection of embryos with the optimum genetic potential, thereby augmenting the success rates of IVF cycles.


Health and Lifestyle: Maximising Fertility Potential


The influence of lifestyle factors on fertility cannot be overstated. Sustaining a healthy weight, eschewing deleterious habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and managing stress are all imperative for enhancing fertility. Research has shown that an active lifestyle, combined with a well-balanced diet replete with antioxidants, can ameliorate reproductive function.


Navigating Your Fertility Journey


At Genea, a proud member of the HealthDeliver network, we are unwaveringly committed to bolstering your aspirations of parenthood through our comprehensive fertility services. Our state-of-the-art in-house laboratory adheres rigorously to international standards, ensuring that you receive the superlative care available.


If you are contemplating pregnancy in your late 30s to early 40s, it is imperative to grasp the challenges and opportunities attendant upon late maternal age. Our team is poised to furnish personalised guidance and advanced reproductive technologies to optimise your prospects of success.


For those contemplating the prospect of parenthood as they approach 40 or thereafter, bear in mind: while the journey may be intricate, with the right support and treatment, realising parenthood remains a viable proposition. Do not hesitate to solicit a consultation at HealthDeliver.Asia, where we are steadfastly committed to assisting you in navigating your fertility journey with assurance and lucidity.