There is a progressive and irreversible decline in women’s fertility from the age of 35 years and onwards and it is considered to be nature’s greatest inequities because the same decline is seen in men too but much later and slower. Science is definitely making progress in order to prolong the ticking clock of female fertility but the decline in female fertility is inevitable and universal.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Prashanth Joshi, Clinical Director, Reproductive Medicine, Milann Fertility Specialist, shared, “Parenthood is a journey in itself. Female fertility health plays an important role in conceiving a biological child. Due to modern day lifestyle and stress there are various medical conditions such as ovulation disorders, uterine or cervical abnormalities, fallopian tube damage or blockage, endometriosis, primary ovarian insufficiency, pelvic adhesions, poorly controlled diabetes, celiac disease, autoimmune diseases etc. that could lower the chances of conception.”
He added, “Aging also has a significant role to play and it is well established that fertility rates start to decline with increasing age. Therefore, it becomes even more important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by stopping smoking and instead exercising, eating right, losing weight etc. The modern day complexities can definitely be treated through medical intervention and new age advancements. So chances will still exist even if the peak years pass.”
Bringing her expertise to the same, Dr Preeti Prabhakar, Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Apollo Hospitals in Bengaluru’s Banerghatta Road, suggested, “To get a fair idea of the egg count, one can actually measure the AMH which will decline with age. The average count during 30-35 years of age, will be two-thirds of what we see in a young woman and at 45 years old, the count becomes one-fourth as compared to the levels in younger women. The ovarian reserve is genetically regulated and at the same time it is modified due to stress or exposure to radiation or chemicals. As a woman ages, it is not just the quality or quantity, there are certain chromosomal abnormalities which also appear in human eggs. Chromosomal defects are not just about fertility issues but also the fact that they prevent women from having viable pregnancies.”
Talking about whether it is really possible to extend the female fertility for long, Dr Preeti Prabhakar said, “Science has tried to level the playing field and there have been significant advances today in reproductive medicines but even these techniques are limited to a certain extent. By using IVF techniques or donated eggs from younger women, we can overcome fertility issues. Fertility clinics are also providing the option of storing eggs and freezing them until the time a woman is ready to transplant it but fertility declines at an exponential rate which is quite inevitable and universal.”