Biological Age and Fertility in Women

Human beings are limited by their own biological limits. Be it muscular performance, sexual health or fertility, everything weakens and diminishes with age. On top of this, the biological age of some may even be more than their physical age due to stress, diseases, pollution, inadequate diet etc. These complexities not just reduce our natural abilities but also jeopardize execution and performance of various biological functions and processes.

One of the most crucial biological functions of any living being is the ability to conceive and reproduce. This is necessary to ensure survival and continual existence. This is true even for human beings who rely on complex system of conception and reproduction. This is even more alarming when it comes to women’s age and fertility. Even though the effects are seen in men as well, they are much more enhanced in women who have a considerable limited reproductive window.

Women are carrier of human eggs, the potential for new life. The eggs are already there at the time of birth of a girl even though they don’t mature till puberty kicks in. However, with age, there is a decline in both the numbers and quality of these eggs. Hence, the chances of getting pregnant and successfully delivering a baby reduce considerably with advancing years. The difference can be deciphered from the following comparison: while a woman in her 20s has a one in third chance of getting pregnant every menstrual cycle, this number drops down to one in twenty for a woman in her 40s.

With IVF, sperm is combined with a woman’s eggs in artificial setting inside a laboratory. The eggs are allowed to mature in an accelerated environment by giving women injections for ovarian stimulation. When the sperm fertilizes or penetrates the eggs, it gives rise to embryos which are then transferred into the uterus. One can also opt for freezing of unfertilized eggs, termed as ‘oocyte cryopreservation’. Alternatively, older women can opt for young donors where the probability of conception increases as they utilize eggs donated by a younger and healthier woman. Therefore, even though it is challenging, many women have healthy pregnancies and babies even in their late 30s and early 40s owing to the advancements in the field of IVF.