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How Long Can I Wait to Have a Baby?

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How Long Can I Wait to Have a Baby?
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In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the amount of women who are having babies over the age of 40. Thanks to the miracles of modern science, women are able to have children later in life than ever before. In the past, women over the age of 30 begin to believe that they were too old to have children and science has shown that in many cases this is true.

However, we are now learning that it is possible for women to have children who are older than 30 and many women are even having children into their 40s and 50s. Since the health of our reproductive system ages along with us, this brings us to the question of how long you should wait before it becomes impossible for you to have children.

1. The Science of Aging Eggs

As a woman’s body ages, it becomes more difficult for her to become pregnant. Women are made differently than men and possess all the eggs that they will ever have whenthey are born. These eggs diminish in numbers throughout the years and can become damaged due to surgeries and health issues.

eggs-diminish-in-numbers-throughout-the-years-and-can-become-damaged-due-to-surgeries-and-health-issuesEventually, a woman will run out of eggs altogether and she will enter menopause where she will no longer be able to have children. However, getting to this point is not an exact science and the rate in which women approach it varies from one woman to the next. If you are thinking about having children and you are over the age of 40, you should talk it over with your doctor.

2. What Can I Do to Increase My Chances?

There are many lifestyle changes that can help prolong the effects of aging. For example, you should maintain a healthy diet and exercise program to help improve your chances of becoming pregnant as well as maintain a healthy lifestyle. This could mean removing cigarettes and alcohol from your life as well as lowering your stress levels.

you-should-maintain-a-healthy-Diet-and-exercise-program to-help-improve-your-chances-of-becoming-pregnant

There are also some procedures that can be completed that can help prolong your fertility. Some women have found that freezing their eggs while they are younger and saving them until they are ready to have children has helped them to conceive when they are ready. However, you should keep in mind that this process is very expensive and you will need to prepare for it financially first.

3. Tests

Women are constantly plagued with the fear that they will wait too long to have children. However, new tests are being created in order to help determine how healthy a woman’s eggs are at various stages of her life. This test, although still experimental, can help a younger woman determine the health of her eggs at the time the test is taken as well as several years into the future.

new-tests-are-being-created-in-order-to-help-determine-how-healthy-a-womans-eggs-are-at-various-stages-of-her-lifeKnowing this information can help a woman plan her future and make it easier to decide if she should wait to have children or take steps to prolong her fertility. In the near future, this test may be able to save women money that would normally be spent to freeze eggs.

4. Studies

There have been studies that have been conducted on this topic, but some believe that they are fairly unreliable because of the difficulty that exists when studying women as they are trying to become pregnant. Many statistics show that there is only 5% chance of one becoming pregnant after the age of 40, but the true numbers may be less than this.

there-is-an-increase-in-the-number-women-who-are-trying-to-become-pregnant-after-they-reach-40Because there is an increase in the number women who are trying to become pregnant after they reach 40, it is important for scientists to continue to study this topic so that we will have a better understanding as to how we age in regards our reproductive system.

5. Conclusion

It is important to understand that every woman’s body is made differently and it is difficult to determine the exact age that she should be when she has kids. There are many different reasons that can cause premature aging of the eggs and there may also be certain lifestyle and health changes they can affect them as well.

In the end, it is best to begin planning for your family early in life so that you have the best chances. However, due to the rising need for women to have children at an older age, new research will need to be conducted in order to determine exactly how likely it is for a woman to become pregnant as she ages.



Dr. Karen Leham is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocronology and Infertility. Dr. Leham completed her residency at Loyola University, followed by a fellowship at UCLA.

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