As any fertility doctor will tell you, your reproductive abilities are not the same at 36 as they might have been at 18. Both men and women experience changes to their bodies with age, including their reproductive systems. The great news is that fertility doctors and modern medicine offer solutions to overcome hurdles to pregnancy that may arise as you get older.
Well before they reach menopause, which usually occurs from age 45 to 65, women’s fertility begins to decline. Females are born with only a certain number of eggs. Their most fruitful years are in their 20s, and fertility already begins to decline when a woman reaches her late 20s.
In addition to having more difficulty getting pregnant, women also have an increased risk of miscarriage with age. This is thought to be because the possibility of chromosomal abnormalities in the eggs increases as women get older.
Aging changes in the male productive system are more gradual. They do not have a major, rapid transition of a few months like menopause—instead, function slowly declines with age. Testicular tissue mass decreases and the sex hormone testosterone declines with it. This can lead to erectile dysfunction.
While the testes continue to produce sperm, the rate of sperm cell production slows down. Additionally, the tubes that carry sperm become less elastic, while the seminal vesicles lose surface cells. The prostate gland—responsible for producing fluid that helps carry sperm—also loses surface cells.
Thanks to reproductive technology, couples experiencing difficulties getting pregnant can often still have a child. For a fertility doctor in Honolulu, trust Pacific In Vitro Fertilization Institute. As Hawaii’s first in vitro clinic, they have been helping patients realize their dreams of becoming parents since 1985. You can find out more about their experiences and services online. To request an appointment with a fertility doctor, call (808) 946-2226.