At what age is it better to give birth to the firstborn — doctor’s opinion

The reproductive age of a woman is the period during which she can conceive, give birth and carry a baby. Theoretically, it lasts from the first menstruation to menopause. However, with age, the risk of developing chronic gynecological diseases increases. Because of them, a variety of complications can occur both before and during pregnancy. Thus, hormone-dependent gynecological diseases (for example, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, endometrial hyperplastic processes) often cause infertility. With age, especially after 35 years, in the absence of the necessary treatment, they often begin to progress. At the same time, the longer the effect of a negative factor (in this case, a hormone), the more unfavorable the course of the disease.

Age is not the only problem
Inflammatory diseases of the female genital organs are also a problem, because they tend to relapse. Their fault also affects reproductive health: the inflammatory process leads to the formation of adhesions in the pelvis and fallopian tubes, and this can lead to infertility.

There are other factors as well. So, after 35 years, the gradual extinction of the female reproductive function begins. This process is natural, and doctors call it a «decrease in ovarian reserve.» In other words, with age, the stock of eggs laid in a woman’s body during the period of intrauterine development is depleted. When the depot is emptied, menopause begins. It usually occurs after the age of 45, but in some women, the depletion of the ovaries goes faster, and the eggs stop developing and mature earlier. In the latter case, doctors talk about primary ovarian insufficiency (previously the diagnosis sounded like «ovarian function depletion syndrome» or «premature menopause»). At the age of 20, one woman in 10,000 faces it, and at the age of 35 to 40, one in 1,000 already faces it. In this scenario, it is very difficult to conceive a genetically native baby.

Based on these and other observations, the optimal period for the birth of a child is from 20 to 35 years. However, everyone understands that the right moment to replenish the family is chosen by a married couple. If the decision is made after the age of 35, future parents must undergo a thorough examination before conception, and during pregnancy follow all the recommendations of doctors.

Reproductologists make two absolutely correct and at the same time contradictory statements. On the one hand, science and medicine have stepped so far forward that in our century a woman can get pregnant at 50 or 60 years old (the latest pregnancy due to IVF was obtained at 67 years old). On the other hand, infertility is now faced by many more couples than before.

At what age is it better to give birth to the firstborn — doctor's opinion

What is «early menopause»?
One of the main reasons is premature depletion of ovarian function, or early menopause, which is now increasingly common in young women. According to one version, the decrease in fertility (if you do not take into account the unfavorable environmental background and other factors that are difficult to influence) is explained by the fact that the reproductive function, like any other, requires constant training. Our grandmothers and mothers gave birth to several children, and their ability to procreate lasted longer. Modern women have not used their bodies for their intended purpose for many years, and over time their reproductive abilities begin to fade as unnecessary.

Given this pattern, it is desirable to give birth to the first child before the age of 35.

In addition to the proper functioning of the ovaries, the quality of genetic material is also fundamentally important. With age, the DNA of eggs, in which exactly half of all information about the future baby is recorded (the second half will get to him from his dad), is destroyed under the influence of negative external influences, including improper nutrition and bad habits. Statistics confirm this: at the age of 20, only 1 out of 1200 women have a child with Down syndrome, and at the age of 40, already 1 out of 120. The frequency of development of other chromosomal disorders also increases over the years.

Postponing the birth of the firstborn indefinitely, it is important to take into account another important point. If a woman wants to give birth to a genetically native child, her desire is limited by the upper limit of 45-46 years. At a more advanced age, such cases are equated to a miracle, and the most common way out is IVF using a donor egg.

Many women in matters of childbearing are guided by the principle of «first — money, then — chairs.» Realizing a material dream, they postpone the appearance of the baby for the next year every time. But you can make a different choice and combine both goals.

Over the years, human health weakens, but this is what nature intended. As for pregnancy, this is a responsible event − a test for the female body. That is why it is desirable to give birth to the first child before the expectant mother has at least one serious illness.

Exceptions are possible
The most suitable age for pregnancy is 25-30 years, however, exceptions to the rules are not always associated with great risk. If the expectant mother leads a healthy lifestyle, she may well endure and give birth to a healthy baby at a later date. Nevertheless, doctors do not advise postponing a serious step for an indefinite future. But this is exactly what is happening more and more often. Many modern women think about children after conquering a high career peak. This dream, as a rule, is realized already in adulthood, when youth and health are wasted on work.

Another scourge of our century is poor nutrition and its consequences. Alimentary obesity, caused by errors in the diet, occurs today in young women much earlier than in representatives of previous generations. Food habits are now shaped by advertising and the rapid pace of urban life. The abuse of fast food, sweet carbonated waters and beer has led to the fact that extra pounds appear in a modern woman by the age of 25-30. Add here a sedentary lifestyle − and the prognosis will become even sadder. Extra pounds, if you do not get rid of them, cause metabolic disorders.

During pregnancy, the body weight of such women increases even more, because not everyone is ready to give up their old habits. At the same time, both mom and baby suffer. So, a woman may develop gestational diabetes mellitus. It is called gestational because it occurs only during pregnancy, although after 9 months it may not pass, but turn into a real diabetes mellitus. The disease is formidable. Such women often have large children, so the risk of birth injuries (both in the mother and the fetus) increases. Against the background of diabetes, such a serious complication of pregnancy as gestosis can develop. And with gestosis, fetal hypoxia often occurs — a complication in which the baby does not have enough oxygen.

We live longer, give birth later
Compared with the last century, the life expectancy of our contemporaries has significantly increased, so the need to give birth to a child as early as possible in order to have time for everything in life has long disappeared. Today, women strive first to achieve recognition in the professional sphere and only then to realize the instinct of motherhood. Such a sequence of priorities, with all the visible advantages, has a serious hidden disadvantage. Most social achievements are based on three pillars: logic, synthesis and analysis, for which the left, «male» hemisphere is responsible.

As a result, there is a growing fear of failure, especially among women who are accustomed to social victories. They are afraid that pregnancy will proceed with complications, the baby will not be born completely healthy, etc. The trouble is that these fears can completely paralyze the reproductive function, it is no coincidence that after 30 years many married couples face so-called psychological infertility. So it’s really easier to give birth at a young age: at the beginning of your career, the left hemisphere is still dormant, and there are no fears associated with motherhood yet.

But if only it were that simple! Few people have managed to build a life according to a given scheme. Therefore, psychologists rely on other criteria.

A woman should first of all be ready for the appearance of a baby, while the motive is important for both of them. If you want to «have» a child just because «time is running out» or «parents are dreaming of a grandson,» the baby will not be valuable in itself as a developing personality.

Only its presence, which is necessary for the realization of one’s own ambitions, will be valuable. In this scenario, both the mother and the child will suffer. Therefore, it is better to talk not about the ideal age for pregnancy, but about the ideal preparation for pregnancy and childbirth. A perinatal psychologist will help to cope with fears. Well, to awaken the right hemisphere is to engage in creativity.

It is quite simple to check your readiness for motherhood. Watch the kids playing in the sandbox or go into the children’s world. If a wave of emotion covers you, then it’s time to act!

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