All the talk about 40 being the new 20 can get a bit confusing, especially for women wanting to have children after their twenties have set sail. But what does this new attitude even mean? Can women in the 21st century now spontaneously add twenty years to their fertility clocks?
Well, no. But defying the archaic myth that one-third of women 35 to 39 will not get pregnant on their own is empowering women in their mid-to-late thirties.
You’re 35. No, All Hope Is Not Lost.
So, what does this massive step forward mean? Simple: It means 34-year old singles no longer feel the need to procreate with the first available man for fear that it will be their last chance before infertility kicks into full gear. Women today are far more educated and powerful than ever before and that means many are choosing to create careers prior to creating families. Plus, divorcees just getting back in the dating scene at 35 no longer need to panic that all chances of having kids of their own have poured down the proverbial drain.
BUT, There Can Be Cause For Concern.
To say there are no drawbacks to getting pregnant after 35 would be highly misleading. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, aging not only decreases a woman’s chance of having a baby, but also increases her chances of miscarriage and of having a child with a genetic abnormality.
“But I FEEL Young!”
That’s great, but this increase in infertility as a woman ages has little to do with how she feels. It is because her ovaries become less able to release eggs as she gets older; therefore, the eggs that are present are more likely to have complications.
Also, as a woman ages, other factors that were not as impactful in her teens or twenties begin to take a much heavier toll on her fertility likelihood. That added stress from working overtime or extreme weight gain/loss can make getting pregnant or delivering a healthy baby even more difficult. Hence, on those days when the whole world seems to be taking a nap on your shoulders…remember to take it easy. And yes, stressing about infertility can make you MORE infertile, so find healthy ways to relieve stress and always nurture your body in a way that will make the pregnancy process easier for you.
Now, For Some Good News…
While infertility increases after age 35, there is some good news for first time mothers in their mid-to-late thirties who want multiple children. A 2009 study done by the Gynecology and Obstetrics Journal found first time mothers aged 35 and above have higher odds of having a second pregnancy shortly after their first pregnancy.
While this snippet of information should ease your mind, you don’t want to wait too long to get pregnant because menopause will kick in around your 50s and then it WILL be too late and will also significantly increase your child’s chances of complications.
Just To Be Safe!
If you’re 35 and pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you want to keep a close eye on your fertility. The best way to do this is to see a doctor who can help guide you in the right direction for a safe and pleasant pregnancy. You can contact Contemporary Women’s Care for all of your prenatal and fertility questions or concerns.