Conceiving a child, for some women, is hard enough without a ticking clock reminding them that their fertility has an expiration date. Now an expert is saying that women who plans to have a family should get pregnant shortly after graduating from university.
According to Dr. Gillian Lockwood, medical director of the Midland Fertility Clinic, the optimum age for a woman to conceive is at 25, when fertility is at its peak and the risk of miscarriage and genetic conditions like Down’s syndrome are at their lowest.
“It may not be true that women should be having babies at the time of the GCSEs but they shouldn’t leave it much later than graduation,” Dr. Lockwood said in a Daily Mail report.
“Age 25 is exactly the time when today’s young women have left university, are trying to get off on a good career, trying to pay back their student loans, trying to find someone who wants to have babies with them and trying to get on the housing ladder,” the doctor added.
For many women who choose to have children later in life, IVF is a viable option, but at an event at the Cheltenham Science Festival where Dr. Lockwood discussed fertility, he said that IVF poses certain problems.
By the age of 40, there is a 12.1% chance of IVF with a woman’s own egg working and that decreases to 1.6% by the age of 45, according to research.
“The problem we have here is that women on the outside are shiny, young and youthful and on the inside their ovaries know exactly what it says on their birth certificate. As I always tell my patients—you cannot Botox your ovaries,” she said.
Furthermore, she added that women who choose to get pregnant when they are older, affects the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren are affected.
According to her this is because the grandparents would be too weak and too old to have a “wonderful and significant bond.”
“One of the most beautiful social relationships we have is between grandparents and grandchildren, but that only works if you’ve got grandparents who are fit and active,” she said.
Not only that, she also said that women deciding to conceive later has an economic impact to society.
“We encourage our young people to go to university, but someone needs to be having babies who will grow up and pay taxes to fund all these people, and elderly people who are not economically active.”
READ: The grace of waiting: pregnant after 10 years of infertility
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