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A healthy 40-year old woman has ___ chance of getting pregnant each month:

  • 25%
  • 15%
  • 5%

Answer: 

5% 

A woman’s best reproductive years are in her 20s. Fertility gradually declines in the 30s, particularly after age 35. Each month that she tries, a healthy, fertile 30-year-old woman has a 20% chance of getting pregnant. That means that for every 100 fertile 30-year-old women trying to get pregnant in 1 cycle, 20 will be successful and the other 80 will have to try again. By age 40, a woman’s chance is less than 5% per cycle, so fewer than 5 out of every 100 women are expected to be successful each month.

Women do not remain fertile until menopause. The average age for menopause is 51, but most women become unable to have a successful pregnancy sometime in their mid-40s. These percentages are true for natural conception as well as conception using fertility treatment, including in vitro fertilization (IVF). Although stories in the news media may lead women and their partners to believe that they will be to able use fertility treatments such as IVF to get pregnant, a woman’s age affects the success rates of infertility treatments. The age-related loss of female fertility happens because both the quality and the quantity of eggs gradually decline.

ReproductiveFacts.org
is a patient education website of ASRM.
 

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