Here Are 5 Things Every Woman Over 35 Should Consider About Her Fertility

By Dr Faiza Shafi-Beacon CARE Fertility

Woman looking at phone
  1. Fertility does not “fall off a cliff” at 35 years of age. This is a myth.

Contrary to popular opinion, fertility does not “fall off a cliff” at 35, however, it does decline at a faster pace. 

The main culprit is the decline in egg quality and a subsequent increase in chromosomal issues with the eggs as a woman ages. 

At 35, about half of the fertilised eggs that a woman produces will be able to produce a baby; however, by the time she approaches her 40’s, only about 2 out of every 10  will be viable.

Statistically speaking, the other 8 will either not implant or will miscarry.

2. Seek Fertility Advice if you have been trying to conceive for 6 months or more: 

If you have been trying for a baby for more than 6 months and are over 35 years of age, I recommend seeking fertility advice

Your Consultant can perform some tests to provide a better picture of what may be the issue. For example, an ultrasound scan of the ovaries and an AMH blood test can provide an overview of a woman’s ovarian reserve. A semen analysis can help to determine if there is an issue on the male side.

3. Freezing your eggs is not advised if you are over 36 years old: 

It is not ideal to freeze your eggs if you are over 36 years of age. As discussed above, the quality of your eggs starts to decline more rapidly from the age of 35. Your eggs are also less likely to survive the freezing and thawing process. 

A much better option, where appropriate, is to create and freeze embryos (either with partner sperm or donor sperm). Frozen embryos have a much better survival rate. At our clinic, for example, we have an exceptional survival rate of 98% for frozen embryos.

4. Fertility is also a male issue. 

An often overlooked and underdiagnosed issue is male factor infertility. A problem with the sperm is the sole issue in up to 25% of cases, and a contributing factor in up to 50% of cases. 

A simple semen analysis test can determine if there is a male fertility issue involved. The good news is that new sperm is created every 3 months. Simple changes to the diet and lifestyle, along with supplements can help to improve sperm quality.

male infertility

5. Proceeding with IVF? Utilise Embryo Genetic Screening before your transfer:

If you are over 35 years of age and are proceeding with IVF, I strongly suggest having your embryos screened for chromosomal issues before implantation. This test is called PGT-A.

The PGT-A test can identify the embryos that are chromosomally normal and with the best chance of pregnancy. 

For example, I had a 39-year-old patient recently who created 4 embryos with her partner. However, when we screened the embryos, only 1 was chromosomally normal. 

Thanks to the PGT-A test, we were able to transfer that embryo and she just found out she is pregnant. Had she proceeded with any of the other 3 embryos, they would have miscarried or not implanted at all. 

The PGT-A test is exceptionally specialised. I advise you to do your research before choosing a clinic to make sure they have the experience and expertise.

As a benchmark, our clinic has performed thousands of biopsies since 2014 and we have an outstanding successful embryo biopsy rate of 98%.

Dr Faiza Shafi-Beacon CARE Fertility