HomeInfertilityOvarian Ageing: Why Physiological Age Matters for Women's Fertility

Ovarian Ageing: Why Physiological Age Matters for Women’s Fertility


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Ovarian ageing is one of the biggest factors that lead to fertility problems in women. A recent study suggests that age-related decline in the ovaries may contribute to infertility. 

This condition affects the quality of the eggs a woman produces. The ovary may begin selecting the best eggs first at an earlier age, but as the woman ages, the quality of the eggs decreases. 

Also, a woman’s ovary may become damaged from environmental factors such as tobacco smoking. This will increase the chances of miscarriage. Hence, ovarian ageing is an important factor in infertility in women.

Physiological age and ovarian function are closely related to female fertility. A woman’s ovarian capacity declines gradually and eventually stops producing eggs. Thus, fertility declines slowly until around the age of 35 years.

In this guide, we will discuss ovarian ageing and show you why physiological age matters for women’s fertility. 

Know more about ovarian ageing:

The age at which a woman is most likely to ovulate varies greatly between individuals. Ovarian ageing is the natural process by which a woman’s ovaries lose a high proportion of their follicles. 

Women’s fertility declines gradually with age but deteriorates more rapidly after the age of 35. It declines further when she reaches menopause, usually around age 51. 

During the perimenopause phase, the ovaries begin to age faster than the other organs in a woman’s body. The ovaries start to lose quality, and women should try to get pregnant as early as possible. 

Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes that can help women prevent ovarian ageing and prevent premature menopause. Vitamin C and E can help women stay healthy and prevent the onset of premature menopause.

Why Physiological Age Matters for Women’s Fertility?

Several factors may affect fertility in women. First, your age plays a significant role in ovulation. The younger you are, the higher your ovarian reserve. However, as you start ageing, the reserve decreases, which eventually leads to infertility. 

As a woman ages, her ovaries begin to shrink and lose oocytes. At age thirty-five, the ovaries will contain only a few hundred oocytes. As a result, your fertility will decrease. The age of your ovaries affects your reproductive potential. 

The sooner you begin treatment, the more likely you will become pregnant. Women over 35 should consult a fertility specialist to determine what is causing their infertility. Although assisted reproductive technologies can help, they do not make up for the age-related loss of fertility.

However, in recent years, fertility in women has decreased by 21%. Due to problems like infection, use of contraceptive measures, and other environmental factors, fertility in women has reduced significantly. 

The modern pace of life and the adverse environmental effects of modern living contribute to an accelerated ageing process. This may have a detrimental impact on women’s fertility. Earlier, the fertile age for women was between 15 to 49 years. However, in recent years, women are not able to conceive after 35 to 40 years of age. 

Also read : https://pregajunction.com/blog/causes-of-infertility-in-women-over-40/

How Physiological Age Matters For Women’s Fertility?

The mechanisms of female fertility decline have been studied for decades, but few women realize how important physiological age is to their chances of conceiving. While the ovarian reserve is genetically determined, a woman’s physiological age can affect the number of eggs she produces later in life. 

  • Ovulation and the Menstrual Cycle

As women get older, they tend to lose their fertility. This decline is natural and is attributed to a gradual decrease in the number of egg-containing follicles in their ovaries. At birth, women have one million follicles; however, their numbers fall to 300,000 by puberty. With age, the ovulation becomes weaker and eventually stops when the woman enters the menopause stage. Age also affects the menstrual cycle. The release of eggs in a female’s body and the menstrual cycle goes hand in hand. As ovulation stops, so does the menstrual cycle. Once a woman ceases menstruating, she will no longer be able to conceive a child. 

  • Egg Quality and Quantity

While women may have more eggs at an earlier age, their egg quality and quantity decline as they approach menopause. The best indicator of egg quality is a woman’s age. However, some factors may affect egg quality, including genetic abnormalities or endometriosis. The biggest cause of poor egg quality is age. As we age, the amount of eggs in our ovarian reserve decreases. By the time we reach our forties, only 3% of the eggs in our ovarian reserve remain. As the quality of egg production decreases, our chances of getting pregnant naturally become even lower. 

  • Pregnancy and Birth Risks

The uterus contracts differently with age. As a result, pregnancy outcomes are affected by the physiological age of the mother. Older women are more likely to have premature births and low birth weight babies. However, while there are many other contributing factors, the physiological age of the mother and father may play a key role in the health and well-being of the unborn baby. 

What is Premature Ovarian Ageing?

POA, or premature ovarian ageing, is a condition in which a younger woman has a poor ovarian reserve. POA is known to affect about 10 percent of women around the world. It can occur abruptly with menstrual period interruption or over time as a result of an irregular menstrual cycle. 

Although most women who experience POA will experience symptoms associated with menopause, a small number of young women may never develop periods. Some women will never even complete puberty. Earlier signs of POA include difficulty conceiving and low estrogen levels. 

Most women do not show symptoms of POA. Hormonal imbalances in the ovaries typically cause this disease. Two types of blood tests can be used to detect early signs of POA. 

The cause of POA is not yet clear. However, several genetic abnormalities have been linked to this disease. Certain autoimmune disorders can also lead to this problem. 

How does Premature Ovarian Ageing Affect Female Fertility?

Many young women suffer from POA. The symptoms of this disease include reduced ovarian reserve, irregular menstrual cycles, and difficulty getting pregnant. 

One of the most common causes of female infertility is early ovarian ageing. The lower the quality of the eggs produced, the lower the chances of getting pregnant. Women with reduced ovarian reserve often suffer the highest miscarriage rates. However, with proper medical treatment, they can conceive genetic children. 

Here are some common effects of early ovarian ageing on female infertility.

  • Poor quality eggs
  • Poor quality embryos
  • Diminished ovarian reserve
  • Poor response to ovarian stimulation in IVF
  • Low pregnancy rates
  • Reduced number of euploid embryos
  • High miscarriage rates
  • Embryos with a high rate of chromosomal abnormalities

What Should Women Do While Getting Pregnant?

You can do several things to ensure a healthy pregnancy, including avoiding unnecessary medicines and supplements, limiting your intake of caffeine and artificial sweeteners, and maintaining a healthy weight. 

  • Get A Preconception Checkup
  • Get To Know Your Cycle
  • Know Your Fertility Quotient
  • Stay In Bed Right After Intercourse
  • Live A Healthy Life

Treatment Options and Alternatives for Conception in Women

If you’ve been trying to conceive but are having trouble, it’s time to talk to a doctor. If you are a woman, your first step is to consult a reproductive endocrinologist specializing in infertility disorders. Here are some treatment options that can help you to conceive despite fertility issues. 

  • Assisted Reproductive Technologies
  • Egg Donation
  • Fertility Preservation


Fertility declines naturally with ageing in women. Her eggs diminish in quantity and quality as she ages. By her mid-thirties, a woman’s chance of conceiving is only 10%. The number of eggs is smaller, and ovulation becomes irregular. However, fertility also depends on a woman’s physiological age. Some women face problems like premature ovarian ageing. In this condition, despite being young, there are fewer ovarian reserves in a woman’s body. So, if you are trying to conceive, it is best to get a preconception checkup and know about your fertility quotient and ovarian reserves. 


When Does Fertility Start to Decline in Women?

In women, fertility starts to decline after the age of 30 years. The decline in fertility begins gradually at the age of thirty-two and accelerates after age 37. For women over thirty, it is recommended to undergo fertility evaluation and treatment after a failed attempt at conception. 

Is 37 Years Too Old to Have a Baby?

Your chances of having a child decrease significantly as you age. At age thirty, a healthy couple has a 95% chance of becoming pregnant. But after that, your chance drops to five to ten percent a year. At age forty, your chances fall to 5%, and at age 45, you’ll barely have a chance to have a baby. So yes, 37 years can be too old to have a baby. However, with advancements in fertility sciences, you can go for modern treatments to get pregnant at a later age. 

When is the Right Age to Get Pregnant?

While women in their early 20s are considered to be in the prime of their fertility, many of these women aren’t ready for motherhood yet. And many aren’t even ready for parenting by the time they’re in their early 30s. The optimal age to get pregnant is between your late twenties and early 30s. That is when your reproductive system is at its peak, and your body is most likely to produce a healthy baby. 

Pooja N Swamy (M.Sc Biomedical Sciences)
Pooja Holds Master's Degree in Biomedical Sciences from Vellore Institute of Technology. She believes in strong research and clear understanding over the subject. Always determined and focussed with a thirst to learn new things. Hardworking, flexible and grounded to align with the goals.


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