The Impact of Age on Fertility

Age plays a crucial role in a couple’s fertility journey. While many factors influence the ability to conceive, age has a significant impact on both men and women. Understanding how age affects fertility is essential for individuals and couples planning to start a family .

Female Fertility and Age:

A woman’s fertility is closely tied to her age due to the limited number and quality of eggs she possesses. Women are born with a finite number of eggs, and as they age, the quantity and quality decline. In their 20s, women have the highest fertility potential, with a good chance of conceiving each month. However, fertility starts to decline significantly after the age of 35 and more dramatically after 40. The risk of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities in offspring also increases with age.

Related: Factors Affecting Fertility in Today’s World

Male Fertility and Age:

While men do not experience the same biological clock as women, age can still impact male fertility. Advanced paternal age is associated with a decline in sperm quality, including reduced sperm motility and increased DNA damage. This can lead to difficulties in conceiving and an increased risk of aneploidies  Although men can produce sperm throughout their lives, it is important to recognize that the quality of sperm may diminish with age.

Declining Egg Quality:

As women age, not only does the quantity of eggs decrease, but the quality also diminishes. Older eggs are more likely to have chromosomal abnormalities, increasing the risk of infertility, miscarriage, and genetic disorders in offspring. The decline in egg quality is attributed to various factors, including DNA damage over time and an increased incidence of certain genetic mutations.

Diminished Ovarian Reserve:

Ovarian reserve refers to the number of eggs remaining in a woman’s ovaries. With age, the ovarian reserve naturally diminishes, making it more difficult to conceive. Diminished ovarian reserve can result in irregular menstrual cycles, reduced fertility potential, and a higher likelihood of requiring assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) to achieve pregnancy.

Increased Time to Conception:

As a woman’s age advances, the time it takes to conceive naturally tends to increase. While younger couples may conceive within a few months of trying, older couples may require a longer period, sometimes even a year or more, to achieve pregnancy. This prolonged time to conception can be emotionally challenging and may necessitate seeking medical assistance sooner.

Reproductive Health Conditions:

Age can also increase the risk of developing reproductive health conditions that can impact fertility. For example, conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis are more common in women of reproductive age and can affect ovulation, hormonal balance, and the ability to conceive.

Family Planning Considerations:

Understanding the impact of age on fertility is crucial for making informed family planning decisions. Women who desire to have children in the future may consider fertility preservation options, such as egg freezing, to preserve their younger and healthier eggs. It is important to have open and honest discussions with fertility specialists and partners to develop a realistic timeline for starting a family based on individual circumstances.


Age is a significant factor that impacts fertility in both men and women. While women experience a decline in fertility potential as they age due to diminishing egg quantity and quality, men also face challenges related to sperm quality as they grow older. Awareness of these age-related factors can help individuals and couples plan their family-building journey effectively. 

 Seek  help from Fertility Specialist 

Dr Ila Gupta
Director & Sr. Consultant Ferticity IVF & Fertility Clinics