One of the key factors in fertility is the age of the couple. Fertility peaks in the mid 20s - and by the late 30s, it goes downhill quickly.

There are many factors involved. First, a woman is born with all the eggs she will have for her entire life. While the eggs released in her teens and twenties are relatively fresh, by the time she is in her 30s the eggs are not longer as new and healthy.

Next, general health tends to decline as people age. Their bodies are simply older and not as good at doing things. One of those things is allowing an egg to properly get fertilized and implant.

While there are public displays of older women having babies, it is not the norm, and sometimes gives false hope to women who deliberately put off having a child until 'later'. For many women, they wait until it is too late, and must adopt a child or find another solution.

Also, because the eggs are less healthy, older women have a higher probability of having a child with a disorder such as Down's Syndrome or mental retardation.

Be sure to talk with your gynecologist if you are over 35 and considering starting a family - and work out a game plan of what you will do if you start to have difficulties.

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