Starting a family is not an easy decision to make. You need to find the right partner with whom you want to have children, you both need to be financially ready to take up the additional responsibility, and there should be the willingness to accept all the ups and downs that come with parenting.
With several criteria to fulfill, couples have been delaying pregnancy. But until when can a woman delay her pregnancy? What is the best age to get pregnant? And is there a threshold beyond which having children might become difficult?
What Is The Right Age To Get Pregnant?
The right age for a woman to get pregnant is when she is physically, emotionally, financially and socially ready for the responsibilities of motherhood. It varies from one woman to another but most surveys have found that the best age for getting pregnant is between 20 and 35.
Between 20 and 35, women:
- Are physically better placed to hold a pregnancy
- Are less likely to experience pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, stillbirth and miscarriage
- Have healthy and fertile eggs
- Have a chance to space their multiple pregnancies
Some couples like having children in their 20s as they can complete their responsibilities early in life while some wait until their 30s or 40s to settle down in life and then have children. Everyone has their own reasons, and each there are pros and cons of having kids early or late.
Reasons To Have Children Later Or Sooner
Let’s see why some couples have children late while some have them early.
Reasons for having kids at an older age
- Your life experiences make you wiser.
- You will have a better income to support kids.
- 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.
Reasons for having kids at a young age
- The cultural gap between you and your kids is less.
- You will have enough time to have more children.
- You are physically more active to keep up with them.
- The children will get settled sooner, leaving you 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.
Pregnancy At Different Ages:
Let’s see what you can expect if you are pregnant at various ages:
Before the 20s
- This might not be the ideal age for most women but is still the most fertile age.
- Women are at a lower weight 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.
Between 20 and 24 years
- 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 around this age.
- 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.
- Finances are still a burden since most young couples might be repaying their educational loans, and settling in their careers.
Between 25 and 29 years
- The chances of getting pregnant are still high.
- They have high-quality eggs.
- The rate of pregnancy risks is low.
- The women are physically and mentally prepared to handle a pregnancy.
Between 30 and 34 years
- Once you hit the 30s, your fertility might start slowing down.
- The risk of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and difficult labors increases.
- But this is the time when the relationships are stable, and couples are committed to parenthood.
Between 35 and 39 years
- Fertility starts to decline considerably after 35.
- The success rate of fertility assistance treatments such as IVF might come down too.
- There is a greater risk of pregnancy conditions such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and hypertension.
- The risk of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities is high.
- The chances of twin conception are high since hormonal variations in older women lead to the release of multiple eggs.
Between 40 and 45 years
- The chance of getting pregnant is lower than before.
- 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