Dr Manisha Bhagat
About a decade ago, most professional women lived in a dilemma to prioritize their careers or their personal lives. Many women opted for marriage and children, but they always live with the feeling of big sacrifice for their families.
But some women wanted to achieve their goals before marriage or planning child. However, fertility was one of the top reasons why many women would put motherhood first and career second, because, women’s body are just not the same in their 30s and 40s versus in their 20s. But now the times have changed, widespread availability of reproductive technologies, women today have more control when they want to begin their family than in the past.
Right age forbecoming a mother naturally
There is no right age to get pregnant. Because to conceive and giving birth to healthy child depends on many factors. But if you decide to become a mother in your 20’s your chances of getting pregnant is most, as fertility is on peak. This time you have highest number of quality eggs and the risk of complications during pregnancy lowest. As you cross 30, fertility starts decreasing. After age 35, that decline speed up. Less number and bad quality of eggs not only makes it difficult to conceive but also increases the risk of miscarriage. The risk of miscarriage in women below 30 years is only 8 percent, but in women above 40 it increases to 35-55 percent.
However, many women become mothers after 40 and even 50 and give birth to healthy children, but the risk increases significantly as you age. These risks include:
* Pregnancy related complications
* C-Section Delivery
* Low birth weight
* Genetic abnormalities
* Premature birth
* Birth defects
* Still birth
When to opt for Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART)
You should think about Assisted Reproductive Technique:
* If you are under 35 years of age and even after trying for a year, you are not becoming a mother naturally.
* If you are over 35 years of age and even after trying for six months, you are not able to become a mother naturally.
Both of these conditions indicate that there is a problem with your fertility, consult fertility expert as soon as possible. The passing years can make it more challenging to get pregnant.An attempt will be made to investigate the problem.And if it is not possible to conceive naturally even after treatment, you should opt for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). Fortunately, with all the modern advancements, there are options for getting the biological child. IVF is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology. The procedure can be done using your own eggs and your partner’s sperm or your freezed egg or freezed embryo.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a form of assisted reproductive technique to help a woman get pregnant.
This technique is used when a woman does not conceive and become mother naturally. IVF involves fertilizing the female’s egg with male’s sperm in a laboratory dish outside the body. The embryo is prepared and implanted into the woman’s uterus. Ultra sound scans are performed over the next several weeks after the fetus attaches to the uterine wall to check whether progress is being made as expected.
Earlier IVF success rate used to be 20-40 percent, but research has revealed that the most modern technique of selecting the best embryo increases its success rate to 78 percent.
If, Eggs or Embryo have already been frozen, these used as a fresh egg or embryo to get child at the desired time through IVF.
Social Egg Freezing
The advancements in technologies have made it possible for women to become a mother when they wish to be.Egg freezing is one of the most important procedures of IVF and ART. In this process the good quality eggs are stored so that, they can be used to get healthy biological child in future.
This technique is very useful for women who, due to their ambitions or health issues, decide not to become mothers at certain age. After the eggs are removed, they are kept in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees. This fluid has to be changed at regular intervals. Maintenance fee has to be paid every year for this. Frozen eggs can live forever.
The quality of eggs deteriorates with aging. Therefore, the lower your age, the better will be the quality of your eggs. Hence, it is popularly believed that freezing your eggs works best if you are in your prime years, between20-30.
Even if you have done your egg freezed, they should be used between31-40, because after crossing 40 you will have healthy eggs, but due to aging there may be an increased risk of pregnancy related complications.
If you are married or have a partner with whom you want to settle down after a few years, then opt for embryo freezing. As not only females but male also face fertility problems as they age. After 40 years of age, men have a lower semen volume and sperm count. The sperm mobility decreases as well.Sperm of an older man are also more likely to have genetic abnormalities than those of a younger man.
Embryo freezing is an important part of IVF and ART. The embryo is nothing but the fertilized egg. So you need sperm for that along with your egg. These embryos are used for IVF procedure in future.
Dr Manisha Bhagat