It is undeniable that age has a significant influence in determining pregnancy. Therefore, many doctors advise married couples not to delay having children. The female reproductive cycle will experience changes and decreases with age.
It is no longer a secret that fertility rates are strongly influenced by age, especially in women. However, older women still have a chance to get pregnant if their reproductive system is still functioning correctly. However, you should also know that getting pregnant at an advanced age has a large risk for both the mother and the fetus in the womb.
According to the Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility, Doctor Aswathy Nair, age significantly influences a woman’s fertility compared to men. This is because women are born with a limited number of eggs. Therefore, the reproductive cycle in women will also decrease with age so that the chances of getting pregnant will also decrease.
From the explanation above, Doctor Aswati divides the reproductive cycle into 3 phases based on age. For more details about the division of the reproductive cycle, see the following review.
Female Reproductive Cycle In Their 20s
Women in their 20s are the perfect group to have a healthy pregnancy. At that age, women are in their most fertile period, so the chances of getting pregnant are big. Not only that, in their 20s, the quality of a woman’s egg is still excellent, so it is unlikely that the fetus will have genetic abnormalities.
The reproductive hormone cycle of women in their 20s, which is also still very good, makes the risk of miscarriage during pregnancy also relatively low. Not only that, at that pregnancy age, the risk of having a premature baby is also minimal, so this is a golden phase to have a healthy and perfect baby.
Although it has many advantages, this phase also has disadvantages. Usually, during the first pregnancy, the risk of preeclampsia and pregnancy complications is relatively high. This condition will worsen if you have PCOD or abnormalities in the uterus because it can make it difficult to get pregnant.
Female Reproductive Cycle In Their 30s
The 30s are the ideal age for women to get pregnant. This is because, at that age, women are pretty ready both mentally and financially. However, the chances of getting pregnant will decrease to 15 to 20 percent per month compared to women in their 20s.
Phases in a woman’s reproductive cycle in her 30s will experience a decline, especially when they are 35 years old. This is due to a decrease in the quantity and quality of the eggs in the uterus, making fertilization chances smaller.
Women who get pregnant in their 30s also have more risk than women in their 20s. Some of the dangers that you need to be aware of are genetic disorders in newborns, the risk of miscarriage, to an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. Not only that, giving birth at the age of 35 and over also puts you at risk of giving birth by Cesarean.
Female Reproductive Cycle In Their 40s
Women in this age group still have the opportunity to get pregnant and have children. However, you need to know that at the age of 40, the number and quality of egg cells has significantly decreased compared to the previous age. This is also related to the reduced frequency of menstrual cycles in the female reproductive system in their 40s.
Even though they still have a chance to get pregnant, they are significantly at risk of experiencing pregnancy complications at this age. Some of these include diabetes, high blood pressure, and disorders of the fetal placenta. This condition makes pregnant women in their 40s quite at risk of miscarriage.
Besides risks to the mother, pregnancy at an advanced age is also quite risky for the fetus. Many studies have found that babies born to mothers over the age of 40 are at high risk of having low body weight and experiencing certain health conditions such as down syndrome. To get pregnant at the age of 40s, you also need to know that knowing the ovulation phase is the main key in determining the best fertile period.
Menstrual Cycle Phases in Women
In addition to knowing the phase or reproductive cycle, it is also essential for women to know the phase in the menstrual cycle. This is especially important for those running a pregnancy program to increase their chances of success.
In the menstrual cycle, four phases usually occur in women as below:
1. Menstrual Phase
The menstrual phase is the first stage of a woman’s menstrual cycle each month. This phase usually begins when the egg in the ovary fails to be fertilized, which causes the levels of the estrogen and progesterone hormones to decrease. So it can also be said that the menstrual phase occurs because of the decrease in those fertility hormones.
Blood will come out of the vagina with mucus and uterine tissue in this phase. Women who experience the menstrual phase usually experience several symptoms: abdominal cramps, breasts feeling tight, mood swings, flatulence, headaches, and backaches. This phase usually lasts 3 to 7 days.
2. Follicular Phase
The follicular phase is also known as the pre-ovulatory phase. This menstrual cycle begins when the hypothalamus signals to the pituitary glands and releases the GnRH hormone. In this phase, the body will produce more lutein hormones and FSH levels to stimulate the ovaries to have 5-20 small pouches called follicles.
The follicular phase generally lasts 11-27 days. This phase is also known as the proliferative phase because the egg will experience maturation, making the estrogen levels in a woman’s body increase, thus thickening the uterine lining. This condition is essential to create a nutrient-rich environment for the embryo, which will later develop if the egg is successfully fertilized.
3. Ovulation Phase
The ovulation phase usually occurs about two weeks before the menstrual cycle begins. Ovulation is the process by which the ovary releases a mature egg into the fallopian tube to be fertilized by the sperm. In this phase, the hormone that plays a role in the menstrual cycle is the estrogen hormone. This phase is also the only best phase to have a chance to get pregnant.
4. Luteal Phase
The luteal phase is when the follicle releases the egg and changes its shape to become the corpus luteum. Then, it will release the progesterone and estrogen hormones to keep the uterine lining thick so that it is ready to attach to the embryo when it is successfully fertilized. Many people think that the luteal and follicular phases are the same.
After this phase, the menstrual cycle will go to the secretory phase. The uterus has prepared itself to accommodate the egg and receive fertilization from the sperm cell in this phase. The secretory phase is where the uterus becomes thicker and ready to be a place for the embryo to develop correctly until it becomes a fetus.
That’s the reproductive cycle in women that you need to know. It is very important for women who want to have children to understand when their reproductive organs are ready to receive fertilization. Therefore, knowing the female reproductive cycle well to plan pregnancy as well as possible and avoid various risks that may occur due to pregnancy at an advanced age.