What age is too late to have a baby?
At what age is it too late to have a baby? This is a question that has been and is being asked by many people. At the end of the 20th century, the tendency to delay giving birth to the first child until an age when women's fertility is lower has increased rates of age-related infertility. Its trends and consequences have also stimulated interest in possible male and female factors that may contribute to the decline in fertility with age. Read more articles below to get the right answer for you.
In females, the number of oocytes decreases with age until menopause. Oocyte quality is also reduced, in part due to aneuploidy because of factors such as altered spindle integrity. Although men's aging affects fertility, abnormalities in sperm chromosomes and in some components of semen analysis are less important than frequency of intercourse.
Age is just as accurate as any other predictor of fertility using assisted reproductive technology. The decline in fertility becomes clinically relevant as women pass the age of 30, when even assisted reproductive treatment cannot compensate for the fertility-related decline in fertility. delay in trying to conceive. Pregnancy in women over 40 years old has more severe complications, more preterm births, more birth defects, and requires more intervention at birth. Here's some helpful information on determining the right age to have a baby.
1. At what age is it too late to have a baby?
Hollywood celebrities boast about their health being able to have babies despite entering their thirties and even forties. However, in reality, each person's biological clock still works normally as we age. “Women in their 40s can look like a 20-year-old girl,” says William E. Gibbons, Director of the Family Fertility Program at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women and Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. But it is a fact that they still have eggs at 40 years old.
In older women, the problem with eggs is both quantity and quality. Women are born with all the eggs they will have in life. At birth, each child can have more than a million eggs, but by puberty the number of eggs plummets, only about 300,000 remain. Of those, only a few hundred eggs will mature and ovulate during your reproductive years. The rest - about a thousand fruits a month - is simply lost in a process called "missing". The genetically best eggs will ripen and be released first.
Angela Chaudhari, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, adds: As eggs age, they are more likely to experience mutations due to the aging process. In older women, these factors that affect both pregnancy and miscarriage are also increased. Older mothers are also more likely to have babies with a chromosomal change, typically with Down syndrome.
In terms of every woman's health, the reproductive years officially begin with the first menstrual period and end with menopause. Dr. Gibbons says that, biologically, the best time for a woman to try to conceive is between the ages of 18 and 30. The biological clock really starts to tick at 32, when doctors can't. found a decline in egg quality and, therefore, reduced fertility, Gibbons said. Every year after age 32, a woman's chance of having a baby decreases. Here's the timeline for fertility as women enter their late 30s and 40s, according to Gibbons:
At 35: One-fifth of an egg in an ovary is genetically normal. At age 40, 1/9 is normal. By age 45, the number drops to one in 15%.
In other words, the female fertility rate tends to decrease with the average number of eggs a woman has at any age. A girl begins puberty with between 300,000 and 500,000 eggs. This number can drop to around 25,000 at the age of 37 and continue to drop to 1,000 or less at the age of 51.
On delaying planning for motherhood and infertility treatment, Dr. Chaudhari said: “I think many women have to wait longer to get pregnant due to many factors, such as late marriage and busy life with children. their career. Fertility treatments can help older women get pregnant, but success rates aren't always high." Older women may not realize how their biological clock is working against them. Gibbons stated, “Some women over 40 often have unrealistic expectations. They trust infertility treatments to solve their problems.” A recent study by Yale University researchers has made just that.
They found that more and more women aged 43 and over are going to fertility clinics because of the misconception that they can get pregnant instantly regardless of their age. According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, assisted reproductive techniques, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), result in live births for less than 7% of 43-year-old women who used it. Use your own eggs. However, getting pregnant using donor eggs can significantly increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
Gibbons says: “A 45-year-old woman would have the same pregnancy rate as a 25-year-old woman if she were using a 25-year-old egg. However, giving birth at an older age can put you at higher risk for gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia. She added: 'The first pregnancy in older women has a higher rate of cesarean section than younger women. If you're of childbearing age but aren't ready for motherhood, you have options. The first method is to freeze eggs for later use, a process known as oocyte cryopreservation. It's an expensive option, costing up to $25,000, plus there's a chance your eggs won't survive freezing, thawing, and fertilization. While still a relatively new procedure, egg freezing is no longer considered experimental by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and is expected to become mainstream soon. However, timing is very important. “The earlier a woman chooses this option, the higher the success rate,” explains Gibbons.
Another possibility is embryo freezing, which is also expensive but has a higher success rate of pregnancy than egg freezing. “This, of course, requires a sperm donor or partner, which leads to some young women who may not accept it,” she added. A woman's journey into motherhood Robin Gorman Newman of Great Neck, New York, 51, has had a few problems. Motherhood Later.com founder Newman and her husband were struggling with fertility issues when they decided to get married, at the age of 36. Both of them have problems with infertility, Newman says, but she believes her older age may have played a role.
The couple decided to try IVF but it didn't work. “I felt really tired and uncomfortable during the whole process,” she said. Years later, Newman and her husband finally became the proud adoptive parents of 9-year-old Seth. Newman says that, as we get older, everything she's been through gives her many life experiences, important for her to use as a mother. “I try not to get tired of the little things and I trust my maternal instincts. I think age is an asset, not an issue,” she said. Newman adds that she doesn't regret trying to have a baby sooner. "I've always believed in fate - it will give you the child you've always wanted."
2. So, at what age is it reasonable to have children?
According to ACOG, even if a girl is having a lot of eggs and is in her 20s or early 30s, your chance of getting pregnant in any given month is only 25%. By the time they reach the age of 40, only 1 in 10 women get pregnant in each cycle. For women undergoing artificial reproductive technology (ART), the odds of a successful live birth decline with age, according to 2015 data studied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Also, menopause is defined as the cessation of menstrual cycles (for a year or so). Most women reach this milestone between their late 40s and early 50s, with the average age being around 51 years old. Therefore, women can completely get pregnant in the traditional way in their 50s. Before a woman's menstrual cycle completely ends, there is a period known as perimenopause when menstrual cycles become longer and less regular. In general, women enter perimenopause around their mid-40s, but some can reach this point as early as their mid-30s. They can still produce eggs during this time, so it's not uncommon for women to reach this point as early as their mid-30s. Pregnancy is entirely possible although more difficult to achieve.
Of course, you may have heard a few stories about older women carrying full-term pregnancies. For example, a 74-year-old woman in India gave birth to twins in 2019. It's important to understand stories like these that these women often undergo hormone therapy and insemination during pregnancy. test tube (IVF). They are the rare exception, not the norm. The majority of women over 45 cannot conceive without the help of IVF and other ART procedures. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) shares that any woman of any age can get pregnant either traditionally or with medical help, as long as she has " normal uterus”, even if she no longer has ovaries or ovarian function.
There are quite a few pregnant women over 35 years old. However, there are certain risks - for both mother and baby - that tend to increase with the mother's age. It may take longer for them to get pregnant as they approach menopause. Why is that? Because a woman's body starts with a certain number of eggs. Over time, that number becomes less and less. Eggs can also get worse as you get older, which means they can be harder to fertilize or implant.
With a decrease in egg quality, the risk of miscarriage is higher. Miscarriage may also be more likely due to medical conditions a woman has, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Stillbirth is another possibility, so it's important to have prenatal visits and counseling to catch problems early in pregnancy such as chromosomal mutations. , birth defects,... Older women may also have more chromosomal problems. For example, the risk of having a baby with Down syndrome is about 1 in 1,480 for a woman at age 20. At age 40, the risk increases to 1 in 85.
In addition, older women giving birth may also be at high risk of diseases such as:
Gestational diabetes . Diabetes that develops during pregnancy can cause a baby to grow larger than usual while in the womb. When a baby is larger than normal, there is a chance that the mother will be injured during birth. Not only that, gestational diabetes can contribute to high blood pressure (for the mother) and premature birth or other complications (for the baby). High blood pressure: Gestational hypertension or preeclampsia during pregnancy is also more likely in women over 40. Low birth weight. Various maternal complications can lead to your baby being born prematurely and with low birth weight, which is linked to other complications. Caesarean section: With pregnancy complications, the risk of a cesarean delivery versus a vaginal delivery increases. In fact, the rate of cesarean deliveries is increasing, from 26% at age 20 to 40% at age 35, to 48% at age 40.
Thus, each woman should choose the appropriate age to give birth, the most appropriate age is from 20 to 30 years old. With increasing age, women also face risks before, during and after pregnancy, such as difficulty getting pregnant, needing medical intervention to get pregnant or being susceptible to diseases. during pregnancy, birth defects.
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Reference articles: healthline.com, everydayhealth.com, acog.org