How old is too old to have a baby? This question is not an easy one to answer. There are far too many variables to consider within the female population. Such factors include fertility and infertility, maternal aging, personal and professional considerations, and overall health. Is it possible for women to have everything they want? Read more on work-life balance.
Men make new sperm continually, whereas our eggs age right along with us. We are born with all of the eggs we will have in our lifetime and they remain with us throughout our lifetime. Sometimes, as with ourselves, our eggs will age gracefully and other times not so much. If you are wanting or needing to have a baby later in your life, perhaps freezing your eggs is an option.
Today, nearly 1 in 5 women are waiting to have children until age 35 or older. Moreover, the number of women waiting to have children until their 40’s has doubled over the last 20 years. Check out the available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With so many medical interventions available today, many are pushing the idea of how old is too old to have a baby to new limits.
There is one thing that we cannot ignore, and that is the fact that even though we may feel and look young, our maternal age is a biological reality. Our fertility is limited. As we age, our fertility will decline, we may have increased health risks associated with pregnancy, and there may be a greater likelihood of birth defects in our baby.
How Old Is Too Old To Have A Baby
The increase in women having children later in life is causing many to ask, how old is too old to have a baby? Are there benefits to children of older mothers? What potential health risks are there with late life pregnancy?
Potential Risks of Pregnancy After Age 35
- An older mother is more likely to have health problems associated with high cholesterol, obesity, or high blood pressure that could be risky to the mother’s health. You may also be lagging in the energy demanded by pregnancy and a newborn. For foods that give you energy, click here.
- There is a 25% increased risk of miscarriage in women age 35 to 39. Moreover, in women 40 to 45 years old, that risk increases to 50%.
- An increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities including Down syndrome. The Down syndrome rate for women ages 45 years or older is 1 in 12. The rate is 1 in 30 for women age 40 to 44 years old. When compared with the rate of 1 in 1,400 women in their 20’s, you can see the likelihood increases with age
- Expensive In-Vitro-Fertilization (IVF) treatments and fertility drugs carry possible risks, and pregnancy is not guaranteed. When using the mother’s eggs at 39 years old, the percentage of births is approximately 22%. That rate drops to less than 10% beyond age 43. The majority of IVF success in late motherhood is due to using egg donors.
Bottom line- How Old Is Too Old To Have A Baby?
There is no universal age or deadline for when you become too old to have a baby. Only you can know this answer for yourself. The key is to learn about the risks and benefits associated with late motherhood so that you can make a well-informed decision.