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Fertility in Women

Fertility in women with age

The most fertile period for a woman is in her 20s, so plan if and when you want to have a child. If you are not planning for pregnancy, consider contraception during sexual intercourse at this age group. Various types of contraception exist, including hormonal formulation such as oral contraceptive pills etc and barrier methods such as condom for your partner. If in doubt, speak to your doctor about which contraception method is best for you.

Fertility in women then starts declining in the mid-thirties (figure 1), so if you plan to have a baby, try to do so before the age of 35 years old.

Take Charge

Young Adults (18-24 years old)

  • Consider contraception if not planning for pregnancy

The Middle Years (25-49 years old)

  • Fertility starts declining in mid- thirties. If keen for children, seek help early if not pregnant after a year of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.

Fertility in Women

A healthy couple, with the female and male both younger than 40 years old, may have about an 80% chance of becoming pregnant within a year if they have regular sex. For the remaining 20%, half of them will achieve a pregnancy in the following year.

Advice if trying for a baby

Optimise your health and wellbeing before pregnancy to improve pregnancy outcomes and give your child the best start in life. Keep weight within the ideal body mass index (BMI) range and maintain a healthy diet.

  • Start folic acid
  • Intercourse every 1 to 2 days during the fertile window
  • Smoking and recreational drugs are discouraged in men & women attempting pregnancy.
  • Alcohol and caffeine should be limited to minimal to moderate use while trying to conceive.

When to seek help?

Seeking help early is important. You should see a doctor if you are:

  • Not pregnant after 1 year of regular unprotected sexual intercourse
  • If you have a medical condition that might affect your fertility potential
  • Aged 35 years and above. For women aged 45 years and above - Natural fertility after 45 years old is almost zero. In addition, at an older age, the risks of pregnancy such as miscarriage and genetic abnormality are also higher (> 90%).

Take Charge 

Where to seek help in cases of fertility issues?

  • Consult a general gynaecologist for general advice
  • Call KKH Central Appointments (+65 6294 4050) for fertility specialist consult or approach polyclinic for a referral if keen for team care
  • Visit KKIVF Centre website for more information regarding infertility

For more information about KKIVF Centre, visit


1) Heffner LJ. Advanced maternal age--how old is too old? N Engl J Med. 2004;351:1927-9