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For those who are ready to start a family, one of the biggest questions facing couples is often “How long will it take to conceive?” While there is no absolute way to predict when you and your partner will conceive, there are a few things you should be aware of when it comes to age and fertility.

Can Age Affect Fertility?

The short answer is yes, age does affect fertility, particularly in women. A woman’s fertility begins to decline around the age of 30. Around the age of 35, the decline deepens sharply, and more women suffer infertility and/or miscarriages. You may be wondering why women are affeceted more by the biological clock? The reason is that women are born with all of their eggs already made. As time goes on, the eggs are affected like all other cells of our bodies and the quality and quantity diminish. Around the age of 40, the majority of women have very few healthy eggs remaining making conception much more difficult.

As men continuously make sperm throughout their lives, they are not affected by age same way women are. Men can remain fertile until their 50s and even well into their 60s before experiencing a decline in their fertility.

How Long Does It Take to Conceive?

On average, 85 percent of couples will conceive within one year of trying. Some couples will become pregnant after one month of trying but for most couples it will take several months. If you have not conceived in the first year, there is still a chance for pregnancy to occur naturally but the odds become less likely by the end of the second year. Thus, it is recommended to seek help and have a thorough evaluation after 12 months of trying. Women who are over 35 years of age should seek help after 6 months without pregnancy.

Why Do Women Have Trouble Conceiving After 30?

Most often, a woman’s infertility is due to either ovulation trouble or problems with the fallopian tubes.

Ovulation can be affected by a number of different factors.

-As women age, there are fewer higher quality eggs.

–Early menopause can cause fertility problems.

-Irregular periods, which happen with age, can make it difficult for a woman to know when she is ovulating.

Fallopian tube problems can stem from infections, such as chlamydia, an inflammatory disease, or endometriosis.

What Can Help with Pregnancy?

To give yourself the best chance at pregnancy, especially if you have been trying without any results, speak with a doctor. Based on your test results and other information you provide, they can offer you a plan of action on how to achieve and have a healthy pregnancy.

While getting pregnant is a joyous occasion, unsuccessful attempts can lead to stress and in many cases depression. Speaking with a doctor can help you remain positive about the options available to you for conception.