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How Old Is Too Old to Get Pregnant?

Over the past few years the news has been full of stories of women in their 50s and 60s who have given birth. Apparently, there are few if any absolute biological limits on pregnancy. But keep in mind these women are not getting pregnant naturally.

They’re using eggs donated by women in their 20s or early 30s and are taking hormones to prepare the uterus and to maintain the first stages of the pregnancy. The donor eggs are fertilized in a lab with sperm from their partners or from donors, and the fertilized eggs are then implanted in the woman’s womb.

What about women who want to get pregnant the old-fashioned way? Is there an age when we can say it really is impossible to conceive?

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Medical conditions and treatments that impact on fertility

NSAIDs

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are some of the most common medications used by women for headaches, menstrual cramps, arthritis, etc. Some examples of these medications include Aleve®, Advil®, and Naprosyn®. Use of these medications has been associated with a reduction in fertility due to a condition called luteinized unruptured follicle (LUF) syndrome (failure of the follicles to release an egg).

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What is Infertility

Infertility or sterility is the inability to conceive after a year of unprotected sex. Being infertile isn’t necessarily just a woman’s problem; it can be a man’s too.

It is also alarming to note that fertility boosting may become an issue for both partners. Couples desiring to start a family and failing to do so, have one recourse – seek medical intervention. The earlier you and your partner submit yourself to medical evaluation, the better it will be for you. This is mostly true for most medical conditions and may be so for cases of female infertility. Finding the right medical solutions might just be what is really needed. If you feel that you are having a difficult time trying to conceive – do not hesitate to go for consultations. In men, the very first thing would be to undergo a sperm test. Read the rest of this entry »

Fertility Difficulties

Eighty percent of couples conceive within one year. Generally, 25 percent conceive within the first month, 60 percent within 6 months, 75 percent by 9 months and 90 percent by 18 months, although this varies depending on the woman’s age.

A couple is considered infertile after unsuccessfully attempting pregnancy (having carefully timed intercourse without birth control) for one year. For women over 35, this time is reduced to six months. This is because remedies for infertility should be thought about sooner for these women, as their chances of conceiving are reduced once they get into their early forties. Primary infertility means that a couple without any prior pregnancy is unable to conceive, while secondary infertility refers to a couple who already has children but is unable to conceive again. Subfertility is the term used to describe the sum of a couple’s fertilities: if one partner has strong fertility the couple may conceive, if both partners have weaker fertilities, the couple may not be able to conceive. Ten to 15 percent of couples experience infertility of some type.

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Fertilization

A woman’s fertility depends on her menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle changes are caused by hormones, substances produced by the body to control certain functions. During each cycle, hormones cause the lining of the uterus to build up and an egg to mature in a follicle – tiny clusters of cells in the ovaries. When an egg is mature, it is released from the ovary. This process is called ovulation.

Average menstrual cycles last about 28 days, however, cycles of 23-35 days are normal and may vary month to month. You may wish to keep a diary of your cycle, counting from the first day of one period to the first day of the next. This will help track your normal ovulation cycle – and it can also help to better determine a due date for the baby if you do become pregnant.
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