Fertility and Age: The Confusing Conundrum
- Posted on: May 18 2014
Age and fertility are two topics that are connected, and they tend to be the subject of much discussion. With changes in lifestyle, environment, and much more, age 25 is the new 35 and women in their 20s are rushing to find out what they need to do to make sure they can conceive when they are ready to have babies. Many people consider 30 the age to start thinking of babies, as this is when they have a stable career and finances.
Parenthood is one of the most challenging phases in people’s lives. As each decade is over, the chances of getting pregnant keep reducing. Pregnancy at every age has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Getting pregnant at a young age may leave you feeling trapped and unable to meet the emotional and financial needs of the baby. However waiting until your late thirties when you are more stable financially and more stable in your career, you may find that you have a considerably decreased your chances of achieving your fertility goal.
Career Plans and the Biological Clock
The other consideration, however, is that not conceiving at a young age leaves you free to do what you want and explore your dreams and ambitions while everyone else is busy with getting pregnant and worried about their biological clocks racing. Having a child in your 30s makes you financially secure and more prepared mentally, as well as physically.
For many years, women have had the struggle of how they can balance their career with their plans to begin a family. Some women, who are in a comfortable and crucial place in their career, often sacrifice or put off their plans of a family until later. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists report that clinicians should make it a point to discuss reproductive planning indirectly with their clients at every visit, especially once they are nearing child bearing age.
Emotional and Physical Well-Being
Making a baby requires emotional and physical well-being, so there will also be healthy eggs. However, the number and health of eggs declines with age. Did you know that when you hit puberty, the egg count is halved, and it is continually going down every single year? It is important to realize that although as youage you still produce eggs until menopause not every egg that is left is not healthy enough to make a baby as well.
Data suggests that in women under 35 around half the number of eggs present may have some chromosomal abnormality in them, whereas in women over 35, 70% of the eggs may be chromosomally abnormal. The fact that it is not possible to reverse or change chromosomally abnormal eggs also makes it all the more important to seriously consider how age can affect your chances of conception and also carrying a baby to full term.
Peak Fertility Age
The peak of fertility in nearly all women is when they are hitting their 20s. Between 23 and 31, the ideal age to bear a child, most people are also focusing on making something out of their lives. Today, rising costs of living and education also necessitates both parents having a career to offer the best to their children. The ability to conceive, biologically speaking, ends at 10 years prior to menopause, but there are no surefire guarantees of this.
While the average age at which female pregnancy is more unlikely than likely to occur has been put at around age 41, for some it may be as early as 30 years and for others as late as 45 years. Few markers, like the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), are measured by doctors in an attempt to predict fertility patterns, but even the levels of FSH do not paint a good picture and do not guarantee fertility is at a high level. While there are studies indicating fertility patterns are consistent in families, this is not always the case, if your mother conceived at the age of 43 years, it may not mean you too can.
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