When to start a family is a very personal decision. The answer is different for everyone. One has to be ready emotionally and financially and physically.
More women over 30 are now giving births than in past generations. About 30% of the first births nowadays occur to women between the ages of 30 and 34.
Population studies have shown that, for women, fertility usually starts to decline sharply by the age of 35, and becomes nearly zero by the age of 50. A woman? s fertility begins to decline after her early to mid thirties. This varies from woman to woman. Unfortunately till now, there is no highly reliable diagnostic test to predict a woman? s fertility decline rate. The gradual change in fertility is mainly due to a decrease in the numbers and? quality? of eggs in the ovaries. With increasing age, there is a higher rate of genetic abnormalities and more risks of miscarriages. There are also non- ovarian factors, like with increase in age, the chances of endometriosis, tubal disease, fibroids, polyps, etc. Increase thereby reducing fertility.
Other than fertility issue, women who become pregnant after the age of 35, have an increased risk of complications like miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, preeclampsia, hypertension, gestational diabetes, placental complications, intrauterine growth restriction, and caesarean section. Their babies are at increased risk of having low birth weight, chromosomal abnormalities and non-genetic malformations.
For women who are under the age of 35, consultation with a gynecologist or fertility expert is usually required after one year of trying to become pregnant. Women aged 35 to 37 should be referred to a specialist after 6 months of trying to become pregnant, and women who are 38 or older and are trying to conceive should be referred to a specialist without waiting. The good news is that many women over the age of 35 become pregnant and have healthy pregnancies and babies finally, the post-35 decline is a guideline. The effect of a father? s age on fertility and pregnancy are not as well defined as for maternal age. There are some research that suggest a decrease in fertility for men over 40, and an increase in genetic disorders for children of older fathers.
If you'd like to have children someday but aren't quite ready, you may think of egg preservation.