If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times—age is the most important factor in fertility. But what does that really mean?
The charts below provide a quick look at the natural chance of pregnancy, the chance of pregnancy using fertility treatments, egg count, egg quality, and other important fertility statistics by age.
Remember—the best way to understand your personal fertility status is to schedule a fertility assessment with our healthcare team.
Fertility statistics by age: monthly chance of natural pregnancy
As a woman ages, her chance of natural pregnancy drops from around 25% at age 25 to less than 5% at age 40.
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Chance of successful natural pregnancy each month
The truth about natural fertility and age: while women under 30 have about 25% chance of getting pregnant naturally each cycle, that chance drops to 20% for women over 30, according to estimates by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. By 40, the chance of getting pregnant naturally each month is just 5%.
Source: American Society for Reproductive Medicine
Fertility statistics by age: chance of pregnancy using in vitro fertilization and donor eggs
Many believe that in vitro fertilization, or IVF, is an effective way to treat age-related infertility. In reality, success rates for in vitro fertilization using a woman’s own eggs, of the same age, drop drastically in the 30s and hover in the low single digits for women over 44. In contrast, the success rates for women using young eggs—like from a donor or from themselves, frozen before 35—stay stable at about 50%.
Fertility statistics by age: egg count over time
A woman is born with all the eggs she’ll ever have, which at birth, is typically around 1 million. By puberty, she usually has half that—and each month after puberty, she loses up to 1,000 eggs. Of those, only one egg is matured and ovulated each month.
Source: Wallace W, Kelsey T. Human Ovarian Reserve from Conception to the Menopause. PLoS ONE 2010; 5(1).
|Ages||Number of genetically |
Source: Fertility and Sterility, 2014
Fertility statistics by age: number of genetically abnormal embryos by age
Egg quality is diminished over time (AKA with age), as a woman is exposed to all of the inevitable forces of everyday life—illness, toxins, free radicals, fever, and more—that can damage the DNA inside her eggs. That’s why, as a woman gets older, it’s more likely that she’ll have genetically abnormal eggs, resulting in no pregnancy, miscarriage, or genetic disorders for the baby.
Fertility statistics by age: risk of genetically abnormal pregnancy by age
For the women who do achieve pregnancy, the chance of genetic abnormality—resulting in miscarriage or disorders like Down syndrome—increases exponentially as a woman ages, from .2% in her 20s to 5% in her 40s. That’s why eggs frozen when a woman is in her 20s or early 30s are much more likely to result in a healthy pregnancy, even when used later.
|Age||Risk of genetically |
|25||1 in 475|
|35||1 in 178|
|40||1 in 62|
|45||1 in 18|
|Age||AMH level (ng/ml)|
Source: Fertility and Sterility, 2011
Fertility statistics by age: anti-Müllerian hormone levels
Anti-Müllerian hormone, or AMH, is a protein hormone produced by special cells inside the ovarian follicles. The level of AMH in the blood can help doctors estimate the number of follicles inside the ovaries, and therefore, the woman’s egg count. A typical AMH level for a fertile woman is 1.0–4.0 ng/ml; under 1.0 ng/ml is considered low and indicative of a diminished ovarian reserve.