Three-month-old Isaac is Natalie Rodden’s second child. But getting pregnant was challenging, despite being in her 20’s and trying to start a family shortly after she and husband Ryan were married.
“After that first year, we thought, ‘oh we’ll start trying for a family’ and then about two years later realized, we were probably going to need some help,” said Natalie.
A rocky ten years.
She said, “A lot of hopefullness and a lot of disappointment every time. Ours was unexplained which was pretty common.”
Most women are able to conceive successfully in their 20’s, which is generally the peak of a woman’s fertility.
“The age of the egg is the biggest predictor of success,” said fertility specialist Doctor Ilana Ressler with Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut, who goes on to say, “Reproduction is generally pretty inefficient. Each month that a couple is trying to conceive, only about 15 – 20 percent are successful, so it can take several months of trying. The likelihood or chances of getting pregnant will decline with age and the risk with miscarriage will increase with age as well.”
The number and quality of the eggs, she points out, decreases over age, “We start statistically to see those effects of the egg quantity and quality at age 35,” Ressler said.
Blood tests, an ultrasound, and a healthy uterus are all factors that can help determine the quantity.
She explained, “This would be a nice environment for an embryo to implant a pregnancy to grow. In a woman’s 40’s, the majority of eggs are not normal. So it’s about finding that good egg.”
IVF at 34-years-old led to the birth of Natalie’s first baby – Violet.
Two years later – Isaac.
For the Roddens, expanding their family came down to this.
Natalie said, “We took advantage of almost everything that we could.”
Dr. Ressler said women are born with a set number of eggs. At puberty, it’s about half a million. From there, it drops rapidly, until menopause when they are totally gone.
RMA is hosting “What’s Your Real Fertility Age” — a free event on Thursday, May 2.
For more information on this event – click here.