Age has always played an important role in a woman’s ability to get pregnant. Regardless of how old you feel, or how young you feel, your reproductive system knows how old you really are. The majority of experts agree that there is no ‘perfect’ age to get pregnant. The pros and cons of conceiving at different ages are examined more closely here.
Getting Pregnant during a Woman’s 20s
The optimum age for fertility for women begins at the age of 18 but according to Parenting.com, a woman is at her most fertile during her early 20s and there is the lowest risk of miscarriage (9.5% between ages 20 and 24 and 10% between ages 25 and 29). Women in their early twenties may be more focused on their education, or may resent having to postpone a career due to children. Women in their late twenties are more likely to be emotionally stable and have strong careers in place. If they are married, both partners could be more equipped to deal with parenting in all respects.
Conceiving during a Woman’s 30s
Fertility starts to drop at age 30 and seriously declines after age 38. The chances of having a miscarriage between ages 30 and 34 rises to 11.7 percent and after turning 35 a woman has an 18 percent risk of miscarrying. Risks of having a Down Syndrome baby or child with any type of abnormality also increases during this period.
A female is more likely to have multiple births, such as twins and triplets, in her late 30s and early 40s. Women who have been focused on their careers may begin to feel emotionally ready to have a baby while having doubts about how they will feel about re-entering the workplace (and whether they will even want to). Doctors may request prenatal screenings during a woman’s late 30s. Many women find this stressful as they may find out that their baby is at risk of being born with an abnormality.
Getting Pregnant during a Woman’s 40s
Unfortunately more or less one third of pregnancies between the ages of 40 and 44 end in miscarriage while more than half of pregnancies in the late 40s end before 20 weeks. The risk of a baby being born with a chromosomal defect increases each year during a woman’s 40s and carrying the baby to term is a lot tougher in a woman’s 40s than in her 20s. Emotionally, women in their early 40s have plenty of experience that can help them raise a child.
By 50, menopause begins to set in and it is extremely unlikely for a woman to get pregnant at this age.
A Man’s Age
Men and women differ greatly when it comes to determining the best age to get pregnant. This is because male fertility is generally high until they reach the end of their thirties. By the time they are 50, roughly a third of all men will experience a decline in the amount or number of sperm that are produced. However, two thirds of men will not have any fertility issues until they are much older.
While it may seem as though the perfect age to pursue pregnancy may be a woman’s late 20s, remember that women are all different and one should always go with her gut feeling about when having a baby would be best.