For many people, putting the brakes on starting a family often makes sense. Factors can range from wanting to have a stronger foothold on a career path, be more established financially, in many cases, finding the right partner, and of course, many people just want to feel “ready.”
However, delaying fertility can lead to heartache.
Delaying Fertility | How Age Affects A Woman’s Fertility
For women, fertility has a finite window of opportunity without medical intervention. As a woman gets older, her chances of getting pregnant decrease exponentially with each decade. When a woman reaches puberty, the 1-2 million eggs she had at birth decrease to 400,000. By age 40, approximately 12,000 eggs are left and, the quantity and quality of egg reserve diminishes.
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse for women younger than 35. After 35, because the window of opportunity begins to decrease, fertility experts recommend seeing a fertility specialist after 6 months of unprotected sex if there is no pregnancy. Nearly 10% of women in the United States experience infertility.
“Age is the most important factor affecting a woman’s fertility and ability to have a healthy pregnancy,” said Paul MacKoul, MD. “At age 40, fertility has fallen by half, and there is only a 5 percent chance of getting pregnant naturally.”
MacKoul continues: “There is also an increased risk of GYN conditions affecting fertility throughout a woman’s 30s and into her 40s. Fibroids affect more than 80 percent of the women in the United States, and affect African American women at higher rates and more aggressively. Endometriosis affects more than 176 million women worldwide and if left untreated can lead to infertility. These conditions can affect a woman earlier as well, but are often left undiagnosed or underdiagnosed for extended periods of time, so that by the time they are addressed by a specialist, they have already caused extensive damage.”
Treat GYN Conditions First | Ignoring Fibroids and Endometriosis Can Make Them Worse
The existing business model takes advantage of the percentage of failure expected per IVF cycle, and often ignores preliminary screening of treatable GYN conditions as an underlying cause of infertility.
As families consider expanding, it is important to make sure that the uterus is a healthy place for a baby to grow. Removal of fibroids and endometriosis has shown to improve fertility, often making it possible for women to conceive naturally, and improving in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) rates. Other GYN conditions that can affect fertility include pelvic adhesions, uterine polyps, uterine septum and inflammation of the fallopian tubes (hydrosalpinx).
When OBGYNs or reproductive endocrinologists ignore these conditions, women can experience higher rates of failure while paying for expensive fertility treatments. Women who have conceived successfully after being treated for GYN conditions often feel like they wasted a significant amount of time, money and emotion.
Advanced laparoscopic procedures to remove fibroids, endometriosis or other GYN condition can be performed in an outpatient setting with recovery time of just days. This means that women who need to treat a GYN condition before trying to conceive can recover in the comfort of their homes, and return to a normal routine faster.
Read the full article | The Risks of Delaying Fertility for Women
CIGC is dedicated to providing information and materials for women to help navigate the complicated healthcare system. CIGC minimally invasive GYN surgical specialists Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD and Dr. Natalya Danilyants, MD developed their advanced GYN surgical techniques using only two small incisions with patients’ well-being in mind. Book a consultation at The Center for Innovative GYN Care or call 888-787-4379.