Is there a Right Age to Get Pregnant?
While one can argue about what the ideal age is to get pregnant, simply put there is no such age. One must understand several aspects that need to be taken into account while planning a child. This being said, around 60 percent of women agree that in order to raise a child, one needs to be financially stable. Moreover, raising a child for a single parent is a cumbersome task. Biologically speaking, 73 percent of doctors, specifically gynaecologists, recommend the ideal age to get pregnant is 20 to 25 years. While these numbers may sound unrealistic, the ova present in the female body in its 20’s will result in 20-25 percent of successful pregnancies. This is the highest chance of being pregnant. Furthermore, as time passes this number would significantly reduce; the primary reason being the occurrence of the menstrual cycle every 28 days*. Thus, it is proven that once a woman reaches 35 years of age, the eggs that remain in her body are only about 25,000. While this may seem like a large number, the chance of fertilization is reduced to only about 12 percent. It is also argued that after 40 years of age, it becomes exceedingly challenging for a woman to be impregnated, with only a 5 percent chance of fertilization. However, anomalies stand true as well. In India, reports claim that parents have stated that raising a child from birth until they are self-sufficient costs around Rs 1.75 crore ($211,480.15). This is an exorbitant amount and not many can afford it.
Dr. Samantha Mooney, a gynaecologist working in Heidelberg, Australia says, “Age does impact fertility, so within reason, the sooner, the better, as your age increases, your fertility declines, and it may not be as easy to become pregnant.”
Example of Geriatric Pregnancy
A 68 year old woman living in Zaozhuang, China gave birth to a healthy baby girl in the year 2019. You could argue that waiting till this age is not ideal, but there’s still hope!
Comparison Between Ages
Unfortunately, the career clock and the biological clock don’t align. On one hand, a couple wants to wait until they are financially stable before starting a family. Finding a stable occupation may take long, thus, they may delay planning a child. While on the other hand, a couple in their 20’s decides to start a family. It is likely that they will be pregnant faster due to more fertile bodies; but without a stable monetary flow, how would they manage themselves and also a child?
Role of the Prefrontal Cortex
Clinically speaking, the prefrontal cortex of the brain reaches its maturity at age 25 for both men and women, and then stops growing. This is the part of the brain most involved in decision-making. Thus, it could be said that one might want to wait until they reach 25 years of age before reproducing so they now have an astute awareness of the parenthood journey they are embarking on.
A survey was conducted in Mumbai between children of similar ages asking them about their parental satisfaction index. The ages of the children ranged between 12-16 years (as of 2022). This was the independent variable in the experiment. Though the age group of the children wasn’t dissimilar, the ages of the parents varied greatly which became the dependent variable. After surveying each child, it was concluded that children born to older parents seemed happier in comparison to children born to younger parents.
In essence, I believe that one must welcome a child when they feel fully equipped to raise one, fulfilling all the child’s needs, be it: financial, emotional and physiological.
* not taking into account people with PCOS or other health conditions that may cause the menstrual cycle dates to vary
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