Need to talk? Call 1800 882 436.
It's a free call with a maternal child health nurse. *call charges may apply from your mobile

Is it an emergency? Dial 000
If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately.

beginning of content

Trying for pregnancy after 35

3-minute read

Many women try for a baby after 35. Almost one in four (24%) pregnant Australian women are aged 35 and over. But there are risks and challenges you need to know about.

If you've been trying to get pregnant for six months or more, you should see a doctor to discuss your fertility.

It can be harder to get pregnant than when you were younger. You're at your most fertile in your early 20s. In general, fertility starts to decline faster after the age of 30, and declines more significantly after the age of 35.

The older you are, and your partner is, the more likely it is to take a long time to conceive.

Why does your fertility decline?

At birth your ovaries have all the eggs you will ever have — between 1 million and 2 million. By puberty, half of them will be gone. As you get older, the number of eggs continues to reduce. Also, your eggs age as you do, and older eggs don’t fertilise as easily.

But still, you only need one.

Improving your chances of becoming pregnant

You’ll have a better chance of getting pregnant if you understand your menstrual cycle. The average cycle is 28 days, but it can vary from anywhere between 20 to 40 days for some women.

If your cycle is regular, then you can know that you probably ovulate 2 weeks before the start of your next cycle. So you can work from that and work out the best time to have sex.

Also, both you and your partner should be as healthy as you can be. Apart from anything else, this really will help your chances of getting pregnant. You can both:

When should you ask for help?

If you’re over 35 and you’ve been trying to get pregnant for six months or more, you should see a doctor.

For women under 35, the usual advice is to try for a year first, unless you know you have issues like endometriosis or other conditions that can affect your fertility.


There are many options available for women who are having trouble getting pregnant. The treatment depends on the cause, so first you'd want to look into why there's a problem.

First, you and your partner would have a number of fertility tests, which might include sperm tests, checks for sexually transmitted infections, and possibly an ultrasound.

Depending on the results, your doctor might suggest treatments such as:

  • hormone therapy
  • IVF and variations such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
  • artificial insemination

These treatments can all work. None is guaranteed.

For example, most women have a 33% chance of taking home a baby after one IVF cycle, and 54% after 8 cycles. But for women aged 40 to 44, this decreases to 11% after one cycle and about 38% after 8 cycles.

If you get pregnant?

If you are over 35 and have become pregnant, it’s important that you get good antenatal care, as there are a few things that you need to watch out for, such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and the chance of twins.

You might also want to talk to your doctor or midwife about genetic counselling and tests like amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.

More information

For more information and advice, call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: February 2020

Back To Top

Need more information?

How Age Matters For Your Fertility | Your Fertility

It's a biological fact that as women and men age, their potential to have children decreases, although the exact time when this starts to happen can vary among individuals

Read more on Your Fertility website

Fertility preservation in women | VARTA

There are a number of methods for preserving the fertility of women of reproductive age. Some of these methods are new and experimental and have varying levels of success, while others require time and may delay the start of cancer treatment.Cancer patients should talk through the pros and cons of the different methods with their doctor before making a decision. Options

Read more on VARTA - Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority website

Test your fertility knowledge | Your Fertility

Correct answer: False Although living a healthy life will certainly help if you’re trying to conceive, the age of the mother-to-be is the single most important factor

Read more on Your Fertility website

Fertility | Jean Hailes

Fertility is your ability to produce a child. Infertility is when you have had 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse and you have not become…

Read more on Jean Hailes for Women's Health website

Getting pregnant -

Getting pregnant is easy for some women, but for others it can be a difficult. Women are most fertile between 20 and 24 years of age, after which fertility declines.

Read more on myDr website

Nutrition and supplements | Your Fertility

Women and men can improve the chances of a pregnancy and give their baby the best start in life by having a healthy diet, well before a baby is conceived

Read more on Your Fertility website

Fertility awareness (natural family planning)

Fertility awareness means not having sex during the fertile times in a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Read more on WA Health website

Maximising Natural Fertility | Family Planning NSW

Today people often leave plans for pregnancy until later in their adult lives. This is different to previous generations. Women are naturally more fertile in their 20s than their 30s but women are more often having children when they are aged 30-34 years old. Media reports of female celebritieswho get pregnant in their 40s or later can lead people to think that getting

Read more on Family Planning NSW website

Endometriosis | Your Fertility

Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus also grows in other areas of the body

Read more on Your Fertility website

Fertility & pregnancy - fact sheet | Jean Hailes

What affects fertility? What is the best time for conception? How do you prepare for pregnancy? Having trouble conceiving? Learn more.

Read more on Jean Hailes for Women's Health website

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this publication or any part of it may not be reproduced, altered, adapted, stored and/or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Healthdirect Australia.