How Old Is Too Old to Get Pregnant?

Erin is in her late 30’s. Though she and her boyfriend have been together for 3 years, they don’t have any plans of starting their own family yet. As much as possible, she makes up excuses just to miss family dinners, reunions and social gatherings. She’s tired of persistent and intruding questions from family and strangers alike, asking her of when she’s going to have a baby. Since she’s approaching her 40’s, time is ticking for her when it comes to the motherhood wagon.

Modern society now prefers to have their first baby on their 30’s as compared to older generations where babies are expected in their 20’s. Women of today’s generation want to achieve more and accomplish a lot of things before becoming a mother. This trend arises this important and relevant question here. Read on to know more information about conceiving a baby at a later age.

How Old Is Too Old to Have a Baby?

Many people believe that conceiving after the age of 35 is riskier for the mother and the baby. You must have heard a warning or two from concerned relatives to abstain being pregnant when you’ve reached 35 years of age.

Is there a truth about this myth?

There have been a lot of studies which claim that women’s fertility declines when they reach 35 years old. Thankfully, it’s only a misconception that conceiving in the late thirties is highly dangerous and nearly impossible. Though the likelihood of a women getting pregnant decreases after her twenties, her fertility does not drop suddenly after your mid-thirties.

According to a study conducted by the researchers from The Netherlands, 20 years old women have 98% chance of being pregnant, 25 years old women have 95%, 30 years old women have 93%, 35 years old women have 88%, 38 years old women have 80%, 41 years old women have 50%, 45 years old women have 10% while 50 years old women have zero percent of conception.

Whilst it is obvious that women over the age of 40 will have less likelihood of getting pregnant compared to a 20 years old, women’s fertility really drops only after 40 years old. Now this can answer your question of how old is too old to have a baby.

This is certainly good news to all of the women in their late 30’s who want to start their family at this age.

However, why is it a challenge to conceive after 35 years old?

Not only women’s fertility decreases as they mature, women who are more than 35 years old have slightly higher risk of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and preterm birth. Babies born to a mom of over 35 years old have higher risk of acquiring chromosomal defect such as Down syndrome.

These facts may not be a cause of your worry though as long as you are in a good shape and put yourself in optimum health condition through healthy diet, regular exercise and adhering to everything that your doctor says, you and your little pea will go along just fine.

What’s the Best Age to Have a Baby?

The answer to this question depends on what you mean by “best”.

Biologically, late teens or early twenties is the best age to get pregnant. During this stage, the reproductive system is at youthful peak and oocytes are fresh. Though women in their early twenties are least likely to develop pregnancy complications, being pregnant at a young age does not work well in today’s society.

If you define “best” as the best chance for the infant’s health, then the best age for pregnancy is 26. This is the age of mothers where babies have lowest rates of birth defects.

If “best” means the best outcome for the long-term health of the mother, 31 years old is the optimum age of pregnancy where mothers have long-term physical well-being.

How to Increase the Chance If You’re Old

It is generally believed that 40 years age is the answer to “how old is too old to have a baby”. Studies show that women over 40 years old will not only experience difficulty in conception but they also have higher risk of pre-term births, miscarriages and pregnancy complications. Though these numbers can be quiet disheartening, there is still hope to get pregnant even after your 30’s or 40’s. Simply follow these tips:

1. Maintain your normal body weight

A higher BMI is associated with significant changes in normal ovulation and being obese is one of the leading causes of infertility.

  • Avoid extreme and vigorous diet trends since irregularities in your nutritional value can affect the secretion of endocrine hormones.
  • Avoid taking hormonal supplements for weight loss as most of these supplements can directly affect the metabolism or secretion of thyroid hormone.
  • Be physically active and perform fertility yoga which promotes the blood flow to your female reproductive organs.

2. Know well about your menstrual cycle 

You should be familiar with your menstrual cycle and your fertile period (around ovulation or 14th day of your 28 day menstrual cycle). Tips below are helpful in estimating your ovulation period:

  • Monitor and record your basal body temperature and have frequent sexual intercourse during your ovulation period.
  • Monitor the changes in your cervical secretion.
  • Abstain from doing strenuous physical activities such as running, lifting heavy weights or riding stairs.
  • Experiment with various sexual positions.

3. Herbal medicines

Most herbal medicines promote a healthy supply of blood to your reproductive organs, stabilize the secretion of hormones that are essential for conception, maintain your normal biochemical balance and optimize the pH of female genital tract. These medicines have least side effects compared to pharmacological agents. If the question of “how old is too old to have a baby” has been bugging your mind, herbal remedies such as saw palmetto, false unicorn, red clover, maca and vitex may be your aid in conception and relieve your concern.

4. Diet and foods

Increase your consumption of vegetables such as beans, cauliflower and broccoli. Abstain from drinking too much alcohol and caffeinated beverages.

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