Fertility in women: when does the biological clock start ticking?

Fertility in women: when does the biological clock start ticking?
Finish college and then start your career: Many couples hit their 30s or older before the time is right to start a family.
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Then many experience that the pregnancy is not going as quickly as hoped. At what age does the biological clock start ticking and what couples should pay attention to.

Long periods of education and difficulties in reconciling work and family mean that more and more couples do not start family planning until their late thirties. However, couples must then take into account that the long-awaited pregnancy will not immediately succeed. The most fertile are women between the ages of 20 and 25. Pregnancy is also the lowest risk.

Calculate your fertile days online: Click here for our ovulation calculator.

After the age of 30, fertility noticeably decreases. One of the reasons why women in their mid-thirties stop ovulating every cycle is because the hormone situation is slowly changing.

For women who want to get pregnant after the age of 40, the chance of getting pregnant over the course of a year is between 10 and 30 percent. From the age of 40, there are only a few thousand eggs left. Because some of these eggs can become damaged with age, the chance of getting pregnant decreases and the chance of malformations also increases.

Pregnancies in expectant mothers from the age of 35 fall under the so-called high-risk pregnancies. As a result, the risk of complications for mother and child is greater than normal. However, the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) reassures: the classification as a “high-risk pregnancy” does not mean that complications will inevitably arise. Rather, the pregnancy is monitored particularly carefully and additional examinations or treatments are needed if necessary.

The reason: from the age of 35, the risk of an early miscarriage (abortion) increases. The embryo often dies in the first days or weeks of pregnancy. The BZgA mentions chromosome abnormalities or genetic abnormalities as a result of which the fertilized egg cannot develop further. It also increases the risk of other pregnancy risks, including:

Even if men are in principle able to be fertile until old age: from about 40 years old, their biological clock also starts ticking. Testosterone levels gradually drop and sperm quality decreases: fewer sperm cells are formed and their fertilization capacity decreases. A British study of more than 600 couples, in which all partners were under 25 years old, found that if the partner was under 40, the time to pregnancy was about seven months. If the man was over 40, this time was tripled.

The risk of pregnancy complications also increases with man’s age. According to doctors, increasing age is associated with changes in the genome of sperm, which are then passed on to the DNA of the offspring. In general, doctors advise elderly couples to seek advice on possible pregnancy risks. For some couples, considering sperm freezing may be an option.

A healthy lifestyle supports fertility in both men and women. Whoever avoids risk factors such as smoking and alcohol as much as possible and reduces physical and emotional stress as much as possible, strengthens the body. A balanced diet and healthy body weight also play an important role in connection with fertility.

As reported by the German Association for Nutrition (DGE), being overweight or obese before pregnancy in women is a risk factor for gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and birth complications, among others. Being underweight before pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, preterm birth and low birth weight. For these reasons, it is desirable for both overweight and underweight women to approach normal weight before pregnancy.

Healthy nutrition is the most important thing for fertility in both men and women. The DGE refers to observational studies showing a lower risk of gestational (gestational) diabetes with a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes and fish.

The DGE also explicitly recommends for women who want to have children before and during pregnancy:

In addition, women who want children prefer to use vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil and olive oil.

source: watson



I'm Maxine Reitz, a journalist and news writer at 24 Instant News. I specialize in health-related topics and have written hundreds of articles on the subject. My work has been featured in leading publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Healthline. As an experienced professional in the industry, I have consistently demonstrated an ability to develop compelling stories that engage readers.

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