OB-GYNs now talking age and fertility

And it’s about time. An article in the Wall Street Journal reports that OB-GYNs say they are increasingly making it as routine as asking about contraception during annual visits. They are educating patients about fertility rates, which gradually begin to decline around age 32 and then rapidly decline after age 37. And they are discussing the risks of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities, which increase at age 35 and above.

About 20% of U.S. women—a growing share—wait until after age 35 to begin their families, according to data compiled by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Even with significant advances in assisted-reproductive technology, or ART, a woman’s age can be a factor in getting pregnant. A healthy 30-year-old has about a 20% chance each month of getting pregnant, while a healthy 40-year-old has about a 5% chance each month—in many cases, even when using ART, the data show.

Doctors say advances in fertility treatments and media coverage of women conceiving in their 40s and even 50s have led some people to believe they can beat the biological clock.

Hopefully bringing up this topic will encourage women at a youger age to consider their fertility options such as egg freezing if they are not ready to conceive at a young age.

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