Medical Research

The Impact Of Maternal Age On Kids' Fertility

A major concern amongst older parents is the degree to which having children later in life impacts the health of their children. As you'll see in our course on Male Factor Infertility, fathering a child later in life confers a sightly elevated risk that child will have psychosocial or neurological challenges.

Investigators have now started to look at how having a child later in life impacts that child’s ability to conceive when they’re an adult.

What’s New


Investigators looked at the history of over 50,000 women over the age of 44 to determine if there was any correlation between the age at which their mothers delivered them and the likelihood these women exited their birthing years (up to age 44) childless.

What The Study Showed:


Women born to older mothers were far more likely to exit their fertile years without a child. After adjusting for numerous confounders (education, birth order, marital status, ethnicity), women born to mothers over age 35 were nearly 40% more likely to remain childless than women born to mothers age 20 – 24.

When the investigators looked at sisters included in the study, younger sisters (born to the same, but older, mother) were more likely to be childless than older sisters (born to the same, but younger, mother). Comparing sisters of the same genepool may remove variables and strenthen the observation that the age of the delivering mother is a factor.

Limitations


A major limitation in this study is that investigators only looked at whether a woman had a child, and not at her fertility per se. After all, maybe daughters of older mothers simply prefer not to have children and don't have any fertility issue.

Ultimately, the investigators recognized this and determined that 17% of daughters of older mothers reported trying to conceive unsuccessfully for over a year. This compares with only 10% of daughters born to women ages 20 – 24. Similarly, 9% of daughters of older mothers resorted to fertility pills in trying to conceive while only 6% of daughters of younger mothers did so.

Related Courses
6k

Fertility 101

Learn More
You took sex ed, but now you need to understand fertility. Data to answer your questions about natural conception and diagnosing what might be wrong.
Featuring experts from
Cornell, Yale, +7 more
67k

Egg Freezing

Learn More
Preparing you to be a confident self-advocate as you make decisions around fertility preservation.
Featuring experts from
NYU, Mount Sinai, +3 more
13k

ICSI

Learn More
ICSI costs $3–$5k but only improves birth rates in specific circumstances (hint: it’s not as simple as “helps with male factor”). We break down when it’s truly helpful.
Featuring experts from
NYU, Columbia, +6 more
339k

IVF - In Vitro Fertilization

Learn More
The most complex fertility treatment, this course will help you do it right the first time.
Featuring experts from
Harvard, Northwestern, +7 more
63k

Lifestyle Choices, From Diet To Supplements

Learn More
All the data on lifestyle choices and their impact on fertility, including decisions around diet, exercise, drinking alcohol, caffeine consumption, smoking, recreational drugs, and using supplements.
Featuring experts from
Yale, Stanford, +4 more
304k

IUI or "Artificial Insemination"

Learn More
Data on IUI success rates depending on who you are, what it costs, the risks, and how to decide between doing IUI and IVF.
Featuring experts from
Northwestern, Yale, +6 more
27k

Acupuncture

Learn More
Does acupuncture & traditional Chinese medicine really make a difference for fertility? See the data on IVF, other fertility treatments, and trying naturally with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
43k

Male Factor Infertility

Learn More
Male factor infertility impacts anywhere between a third and half of a couple's difficulty in conceiving. The primary factors often end up being related to varicocele or some form of azoospermia. While a semen analysis can help characterize if there is an issue, the test can be inconsistent, difficult to interpret.
Featuring experts from
Cornell, Mount Sinai
73k

Embryo Transfer

Learn More
We cover how many embryos to transfer, medicated vs. unmedicated cycles, fresh vs. frozen, and the do's and don'ts on transfer day itself.
Featuring experts from
NYU, Columbia, +3 more
15k

Endometriosis

Learn More
Breaking down all the data and information on what endometriosis is, how to best diagnose it, and what the best treatment is depending on who you are
Featuring experts from
Stanford
37k

PGT (PGS) Genetic Screening

Learn More
Giving you the full picture: where it helps, where it doesn’t, and how you might think about this expensive add-on based on your specific priorities.
Featuring experts from
Northwestern, Cornell, +6 more
9k

The IVF Laboratory

Learn More
Lab quality determines success. This course explains how to vet a lab to give yourself the best chance of a good outcome.
Featuring experts from
Columbia, Mount Sinai, +6 more
Related Lessons