The best age to have a baby for a woman has various answers that vary individually. The pregnancy goals for every woman differ. This article gives you an insight about the best time to conceive, according to research and experts.
When it comes to the right age to get pregnant, biologically, women can get pregnant as soon as they start menstruating and continue till they have menopause. A woman’s pregnancy window ranges from teenage to menopause at around 45-50 years.
With contraceptives, various birth control measures, reproductive technologies, and cryopreservation methods, today’s couples can control when they want to have a child. But, one needs to remember, fertility for both women and men deteriorates as they age. And having a child in the later ages of their life can lead to fertility issues and pregnancy complications.
If readiness (mental preparedness) to be a parent is one aspect, the fertility age is one of the prime factors to have a child. Let’s understand what the research says about the prime age to conceive for a woman.
The researchers’ study
There are a lot of factors that decide fertility. It can be your genes, medical condition, financial, psychological, family, or social commitments. But, the prime factor influencing fertility is age. The age of a woman plays a dominant role. But, how?
A man can remain fertile until the age of the ’60s and ’70s. But a woman’s reproductive years average between 12 to 51. According to researchers, a woman is born with a set amount of actively functioning oocytes (cells producing ovum/egg), about 2 million of them or less in a few. During every menstruation, the oocytes develop to release an egg. As the woman ages, more eggs would have been utilized. And the number and quality of eggs produced fall with age.
Then is teenage the right age to get pregnant? During teenage, the reproductive anatomy of a female may allow her to conceive, but the rest of her body will need to prepare for the same. Childbearing and childbirth involve physical and mental strength along with immense stamina.
Typically, 20 years marks the ideal time to get pregnant as fertility and the rest of her body can best contribute to the pregnancy goals. During the early or late twenties, a woman produces the highest number of best quality eggs, and the pregnancy complications or risks are very low. At the average age of 25, the odds of conceiving after three months of trying is lower than 20%.
As a woman moves to her thirties, fertility gradually begins to decline from the age of 32, and this decline speeds up after 35. Pregnancy after 35 comes under the bracket of “Advanced Maternal Age” or AMA. The pregnancy risks such as early pregnancy loss, preterm delivery, defects, genetic anomalies in the child, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia increase in AMA. And by the age of 37, approximately 25,000 eggs only may be left in the ovarian reserve. The odds of conceiving with trying for three months at 35 stands near 12%.
By the time a woman reaches 40, the chances of pregnancy within three months of trying after 40 decline steeply to 7%. There is a natural decline in fertility, the ability to get pregnant too diminishes. Along with various pregnancy complications and cesarean delivery, defects, genetic abnormalities, stillbirth, and low birth weight issues in the child are more likely.
Assisted reproduction and cryopreservation of gametes (at a young age) are possible options to be considered. However, the age factor also rules these techniques of reproductive medicine.
Even though the age to get pregnant differs from person to person, the correct age for pregnancy, According to research, is when women are between the 20-30 age group. Here, the pregnancy risks are the lowest, and the ovarian reserves produce the best quality and quantity of eggs for fertilization. As the woman reaches AMA, the fertility deteriorating process speeds up, and fertility declines even more as age advance.
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