Fertility is the ability to have children, without the need for medical intervention. Women who are 35 years of age or younger should talk to their health care provider if they do not conceive within a year. Women over 35 years of age should talk to their health care provider if they do not conceive within 6 months. Men's fertility also decreases with age.
Trying to become pregnant may take time and this can have an emotional impact. All partners should discuss fertility issues with their health care provider.
- It becomes more difficult for many women and men 35 years and over to achieve a pregnancy.
- Women 35 years and over may have a more difficult pregnancy and birth. They may also have greater risks of medical problems during pregnancy. The baby may also be born with health problems.
- The quality of sperm also declines with age. Health problems may also increase.
- Even though there are fertility treatments available to assist with getting pregnant, such as in vitro fertilization, the success of treatment also declines with age. Some fertility services are covered in Ontario through OHIP.
Live a healthy lifestyle, and help to protect your fertility.
- Eat a well-balanced diet by following Canada’s Food Guide.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly and reduce the time you spend sitting down.
- Avoid tobacco smoke and keep your home and car smoke-free.
- Follow Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines. The safest choice for a woman who is planning a pregnancy or pregnant is not to drink alcohol at all.
- Avoid the use of recreational/street drugs.
- Make sure medications, over-the-counter medications, or herbal products are safe to use when planning a pregnancy and during pregnancy.
- Take care of your mental health.
- Take time to relax and sleep.
- Maintain healthy relationships for your overall health.
- Talk to your health care provider about any medical condition you may have.
- Know your family and genetic history.
- Keep your home safe from harmful chemicals and toxic substances and be aware of workplace exposures.
- See your dentist regularly.
For more information:
- Government of Canada – Fertility.
- Government of Canada – Fertility Treatment Options.
- Government of Ontario – Fertility Services.
- Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists – Fertility.
- Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists – Human Reproduction.
- Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists - Sex and U – Am I / Is My Partner Pregnant?
- The LGBTQ Parenting Network.