When you want to conceive is a personal choice. However, the best age to get pregnant is when you are physically, emotionally, socially, and financially ready to take up the responsibilities of bearing and then rearing a child. Although the ideal age for conception varies for every woman, experts suggest that conceiving anytime between the 20s and early 30s has the best outcomes for you and your baby. Typically, fertility declines with age. However, with medical advancement, women can carry and deliver a healthy baby later. Keep reading as we tell you more about how your age and pregnancy are linked and what it means to carry a baby at a certain age.
In Your 30s
- Once you hit the 30s, your fertility might start slowing down due to the decreasing quantity and quality of ovum. The risk of aneuploidy is also higher.
- Fertility starts to decline considerably after 35.
- The risk of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and difficult labors increases.
- You may require fertility assistance treatments in the late 30s.
- The success rate of fertility assistance treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and stimulators for ovulation might come down too.
- The risk of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities is high after age 35.
- The chances of twin conception are high since hormonal variations in older women lead to the release of multiple eggs.
- But this is the time when the relationships are stable, and couples are committed to parenthood.
In Your 40s
- The chance of getting pregnant naturally declines in the 40s.
- There is a greater risk of pregnancy complications such as miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, diabetes, preeclampsia, placental problems, preterm labor, and low birth weight.
- The chances of having a cesarean section are higher.
- Pregnancy needs to be carefully managed and might need additional tests such as amniocentesis or chorionic villi sampling (CVS) to screen for abnormalities like Down syndrome in the baby .
- With proper care, you can still have a healthy pregnancy and baby in your 40s.
Note that these scenarios are generic. They may or may not hold good to you. But two common things to note are:
- You are more fertile at a younger age than older.
- You can get pregnant even at 40, provided you have a healthy lifestyle, take care of your health, and address any health issues promptly.
Before Your 20s
- This might not be the ideal age for most women but is still the most fertile age.
- Women usually have a lower weight at this age, thus making pregnancy weight easy to manage.
- There is an increased risk of hypertensive pregnancy disorders, abortion, urinary infections, and premature rupture of the fetal membranes.
- Women may not be emotionally prepared to handle pregnancy issues.
- Parents might face financial problems while raising the child.
Things to know
Mothers under 20 may have a higher risk of developing conditions like pre-eclampsia, puerperal endometritis, and other systemic infections, when compared to those between 20 and 24 years.
In Your 20s
- Women are fertile, and it is easier for them to get pregnant now than later.
- The chances of having a healthy baby and low-risk pregnancy are the highest in the 20s, a period of peak fertility for most women.
- They have enough energy to pass through the phase of pregnancy and are less likely to get chronic conditions.
- Regaining the pre-pregnancy weight is easy.
Benefits Of Being A Young Parent
- The cultural gap between you and your child is less.
- You will have enough time to have more children.
- You are physically more active to keep up with your child.
- The children will get settled sooner, leaving you leisure time later in life.
- There would be a quick pregnancy bounce-back.
- There is a higher probability for you to see a couple of generations down the line.
- It is easier to take time off work.
Benefits Of Having A Child Later In Life
- Your life experiences make you wiser.
- You will have a better income to support the child.
- Children are found to be healthier with fewer health issues due to a better quality of life.
- You will have more time to spend with your child.
- You will be emotionally stable.
You need to consider factors such as fertility, emotional maturity, career stability, family orientation, financial health, etc., before deciding on when to have children.
Research highlights that happiness around and after childbirth is long-lived in older mothers, whereas the effect is often not experienced or may be short-lived for younger mothers.