I’m 37 years old. Well, I will be in a month. I’m also nine months pregnant.
According to The Huffington Post, it’s a good thing I’m knocked up now because my fertility is about to take a serious nosedive.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is emphasizing our ability to have babies declines gradually “but significantly” beginning around age 32, then more rapidly after age 37.
Dr. Samantha Butts, a member of ACOG’s Gynecologic Practice Subcommittee on Reproductive Endocrinology, tells HuffPo that women shouldn’t necessarily try to get pregnant by a specific age, but understanding what happens to our eggs after 37 is nice for women to know so they can have a framework to think about things.
The new opinion encourages women older than 35 to go to a fertility specialist after six months of trying and failing to conceive — or sooner, if clinically indicated. Women older than 40 are urged to get more immediate evaluation and possible treatment.
Butts said the new opinion is backed by studies looking at natural fertility within the population, as well as results from hundreds of fertility clinics on thousands of cycles of in vitro fertilization. She believes the more women know about their fertility and the factors that can influence it, the better they can plan and respond to different scenarios.