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A woman can get pregnant and have a baby as soon as she begins ovulating and when a mature egg is released from the ovary. This could even happen before her first menstruation.
Male fertility generally starts to decline around age 40–45 years when sperm quality begins to decrease. Men over age 51 are on average only able to facilitate pregnancy 30 percent of the time.
Female fertility starts to fall gradually around age 28 before dropping more significantly after age 35.
Irregular, heavy and/or painful periods can be signs of problems such as endometriosis or PCOS. Pain during sex is not considered normal and you should seek help and discuss these symptoms with your doctor. However, it is important to understand that you may still face fertility problems, despite not displaying any symptoms.
Inability to ejaculate may be a sign of a health problem and should be discussed with your doctor. Undescended testicles can cause a low sperm count or poor sperm quality. Mumps is a viral infection that primarily affects the parotid glands near the ear; however, in rare occurrences it can also cause inflammation of the testicles and affect fertility. Note that if this occurs before puberty, fertility is usually unaffected.
However, you may still face fertility problems even if you don’t have any known health problems.
On average, 80 % of 30-year-old couples get pregnant within six cycles which is about six months.
In the case of a couple where the woman is under 35, the couple is advised to seek medical help if the woman and her partner have had regular unprotected sex for 12 months without conceiving. However, if the woman is over 35 years old, the couple is usually advised to seek medical help after 6 months of unprotected intercourse.
By age 40, a woman’s chance of conceiving is less than 5 % per cycle (month).
Being overweight has been shown to disrupt women’s hormone balance and decrease fertility but can also be harmful for men’s semen quality. Smoking, binge drinking, narcotics and steroids can also harm your fertility. Regular proximity to heat sources such as laptops or other devices has been shown to affect sperm mobility.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the key factors in taking care of your fertility. Stay active, eat and drink a healthy diet, avoid all possible harmful substances and use a condom to avoid STDs.
A study conducted in 2016 showed that after their first complete cycle, the treatment resulted in a live birth for 29.1 % women.
It is estimated that 1 in 6 couples considered of fertile age experience difficulties conceiving. In the EU alone fertility issues affect approximately 25 million people.