alarm Hitting The Snooze Button On Your Biological ClockFreaking out about fertility is not as common for women in their 30s and early 40s as it once was, but the fact is, as age progresses upon us we begin to worry about multiple issues. Is my uterus going out of business? Do I want to deal with toddler tantrums and menopause, simultaneously? The main priority is our general health, and even more specifically, our ability to actually conceive a child versus our fertility in general. Statistics show that women in their 30’s begin to worry if they are still young enough to have a child, or whether it’s too late to have a safe pregnancy.

It’s normal to contemplate your health and your fertility. However, we are living in a century where women don’t have to follow any stereotype or age guideline. There isn’t anything carved in stone when it comes to having children. Except, of course, the first edition of that What To Expect When You’re Expecting book which I believe was carved into cave walls by a Neanderthal. Now, while it might be a fact the body changes as one ages, this doesn’t dictate when you can become a mother. The decision to have children is a huge one, and women should be encouraged to take their time. The “biological clock” is not quite the heavy pendulum looming over our wombs that it has been made out to be in the past, so don’t feel bad if you want to sleep on it for a decade or two. As the prophet David Lee Murphy once sang, “There might be a little dust on the bottle, but don’t let it fool ya about what’s inside.” You can preserve your fertility and protect the future of your health in a variety of ways, from eating organically, to exercising more fervently.

Another important fact to consider, with regard to fertility and age, is how times have changed. It is true, while there might have been intimidating factors concerning childbirth and age decades ago, women aren’t driven by these old beliefs when it comes to their rights concerning motherhood, fertility, and child rearing in general. This is a new age, and with this comes new ideology concerning when women should have a baby, or even if they should. The main concern for women who wait to have children is whether or not they are fertile enough once in their 30’s and beyond this specific age category. With the progression of societal ideology, also comes advancements in science and medicine. Women have more freedom over their bodies, and modern day science offers statistical evidence to make them feel comfortable in exercising those freedoms.

Fertility Does Decrease With Age But There’s No Need To Panic

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While it is true that fertility begins to decline upon reaching 32 years of age, there is no need for women to feel rushed into having a child at all, and respectful practitioners will tell you there is still plenty of time. Of course, there are age related factors that have to be taken into consideration. This is why; if an older woman is planning to conceive, thorough discussions are carried out with an ob/gyn every step of the way. Again, there are hormonal issues as well as age related disorders to move past, but it always remains the woman’s choice!

Quite clearly, while statistics and research illustrates pregnancy to be much more difficult on a woman’s body when she reaches her 30’s, it is still feasible. It’s not as if cobwebs begin to cover your cervix once you leave your 20’s. Pregnancy happens to be possible even into a woman’s 40’s, if she takes very good care of her health. However, there are genetic, and even chromosomal issues that must be evaluated. For instance, the risk of a child being born with Down syndrome in your 30’s is higher than in your 20’s, but once you enter your 40’s that risk nearly doubles. At the same time, there are relevant tests, which can put a woman’s mind at ease. These can actually determine if any abnormalities are present before your baby is even born.

The bottom line is that every woman is different. While some might find it extremely easy to conceive in their earlier years, other women cannot.The same philosophy can be applied to older women. Some, within their late thirties and early forties will have the perfect pregnancy, while others might have some hurdles to cross. However, the choice is always your own, and for the vast majority, everything goes perfectly fine. If you are worried about your fertility now or in the future, you can always discuss these issues with your ob/gyn. Sorting the facts from the folklore helps women understand their bodies better, which quells a lot of anxiety. It’s become increasingly common to see a vast array of age groups among mothers at PTA meetings across the nation. Age doesn’t play as big a factor in successful parenting as the countless individual qualities that a person may posses. If you monitor and maintain your health, who’s to say you can’t be a mom at any age you choose?

[header image via pedratr, body image via by SCHICKA]