A woman’s peak reproductive years are between the late teens and late 20s. By age 30 years, fertility (the ability to get pregnant) starts to decline. This decline becomes more rapid once you reach your mid 30s. By age 45 years, fertility has declined so much that getting pregnant naturally is unlikely for most women.
If you’re a woman, your chance of conceiving each time you have unprotected sex starts to drop in about your mid-thirties. But media reports of a “fertility cliff” are overblown.
Fertility changes with age. Both males and females become fertile in their teens following puberty. For girls, the beginning of their reproductive years is marked by the onset of ovulation and menstruation. It is commonly understood that after menopause women are no longer able to become pregnant. Generally, reproductive potential decreases as women get older, and fertility can be expected to end 5 to 10 years before menopause.
In today’s society, age-related infertility is becoming more common because, for a variety of reasons, many women wait until their 30s to begin their families. Even though women today are healthier and taking better care of themselves than ever before, improved health in later life does not offset the natural age-related decline in fertility. It is important to understand that fertility declines as a woman ages due to the normal age-related decrease in the number of eggs that remain in her ovaries. This decline may take place much sooner than most women expect.