Dr. Hill’s Interview With National Geographic on Women’s Fertility

Dr. Hill's Interview With National Geographic on Women's Fertility

In a recent interview with National Geographic, Dr. Hill was asked to comment on the impact of age on fertility. Here are some excerpts of Dr. Hill’s interview with National Geographic on women’s fertility:

Why Age Matters With Fertility

Fertility begins to decline in your 30s, and declines sharply in your late 30s. At age 30, you have a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant naturally. At age 40, your chance of getting pregnant naturally is only 5 percent.

Not only do you have fewer eggs as you get older, but the quality of your eggs diminishes. In fact, as you get older your remaining eggs are likely to develop chromosomal abnormalities, which reduce the likelihood of pregnancy and increases the risk of miscarriage.

If you are 35 or older and have been trying to have a child for six months, see a fertility doctor – one who is certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility and technically known as a reproductive endocrinologist.

What Causes Fertility to Decline

A woman is born with all the eggs she will ever have. Dr. Hill commented in the National Geographic article, “It’s not just a numbers issue, however. It’s a matter of quality, too, because by age 45 or 50, most of the eggs that remain in the ovaries are chromosomally abnormal.” He added, “Most chromosomally abnormal eggs don’t allow fertilization. Of those that do, most don’t develop into embryos that could implant [in the uterus]. Of those that do implant, 70 percent are lost in the first 11 weeks through miscarriage.” Men, however, don’t experience the age related decline in their sperm.

What Has an Impact on Fertility?

There are many lifestyle factors that can have an impact on overall fertility including smoking and elevated BMI. Dr. Hill noted, “smoking is toxic to eggs and damages them prematurely, which is why smokers often go through menopause earlier than non-smokers do.

Weight can also have a negative effect on fertility. Dr. Hill explained, “with excess weight, an inflammatory reaction occurs that can affect egg quality and implantation.”

If you would like to read Dr. Hill’s interview with National Geographic on women’s fertility, click here.

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