Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Considering Conception After 35 : Is Waiting Advisable?

The obvious forecasted advantage is persons who wait to conceive can try to be more financially secure by the time they conceive by saving their money and creating a successful plan to have the career and/or husband and family support to care for the child. However, plans do not always work as we like and sometimes our best efforts fail us and that time of financially stable could never come. The clear disadvantage of not waiting until one is financially ready is poverty or economic dependency on parent(s) should the parents not be ready to afford the child when they conceive. Another understandable perceived advantage is having more time to socialize and be young adults those who wait may be considered to be more intellectually and emotionally ready to care for a baby and stay committed to the relationship. However, this also can go awry. For example: If you conceive at 35 then when your child is just 15 you will be 50. Therefore, you have big responsibility of child/teen care later when rather than being more prepared you might actually need to start slowing down mentally, physically and emotionally because of many unforeseen reasons (like Traumatic Brain Injury, Cancer or  worse Huntington’s Disease).

Notably the biggest risk or disadvantage to not starting your family before the woman reaches the age of 35 are the physiological ones that 35 that affect child bearing. The most notable physiological disadvantage to waiting until after the age of 35 is Low Ovarian Reserve or a diminishing egg capacity from aging ovaries or other changes that have destroyed ovarian tissue such as “torsion, surgical removal of part or all of the ovary, ovarian cysts caused by endometriosis, benign or malignant ovarian tumors, radiation or chemotherapy, immunological conditions, pelvic adhesions, or a high body mass index” (Cardone, 2014). The financial impact of Low Ovarian Reserve can significantly impair a person ability conceive simply because it is very costly to do IVF (Learn Vest, 2013). Additionally, IVF success is largely dependent on response to ovarian stimulation, quantity and quality of eggs collected during collection which is also statistically connected to the woman’s age at collection (Cardone, 2014). The emotional strain of not being able to conceive or trying to conceive is significant for both parties and can stress relationships in and outside the partnership.  

As far as I can see, when I look at intellectual, financial, emotional, and social factors the advantages are typically presumed to happen and highly variable upon many factors seemingly out of one’s individual control. While events that affect one’s intellectual, financial, emotional, and social readiness can often fall out of one’s scope control and can be largely dependent on chance the physiological disadvantage or risk is statistically and scientifically proven to happen with aging. Seemingly, although intellectual, financial, emotional, and social choices and factors can contribute to ones physiological health at age 35 they do not predict, change or stop neither the aging process nor any of the other unforeseen events that could cause or prevent Low Ovarian Reserve from happening. Though having a lot of money can help you overcome some of the financial challenges associated Low Ovarian Reserve such as IVF, they do not change the emotional and social ramifications of infertility and the overall decreased chance of fertility, conception or childbirth. Therefore, I feel the overall risk of waiting until 35 is much higher a risk than the risk of not waiting.

Being physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy increases the chances of natural conception (American Pregnancy, 2014). Therefore, the most obvious ways to increase fertilization is for both parties to maintain good health and avoid teratagens and stress. Teratagens are toxins (such as smoking and alcohol) that can make conception difficult (Argosy Lectures, 2014). If a couple wanted to try with assistance (providing they had the money) they could go with IVF. The IVF process includes egg stimulation, egg retrieval, laboratory fertilization and the return of a fertilized embryo to the uterus (E Medicine Health, 2014).


American Pregnancy. (2014). Getting Pregnant After 35. American Pregnancy. Retrieved from http://americanpregnancy.org/gettingpregnant/ttc35.html

Cardone. (2014). Low Ovarian Reserve. Cardone & Associates Reproductive Medicine & Infertility. Retrieved from http://www.cardonerepromed.com/low-ovarian-reserve

E Medicine Health. (2014). In Vitro Fertilization. E Medicine Health. Retrieved from http://www.emedicinehealth.com/in_vitro_fertilization/page3_em.htm#in_vitro_fertilization_technique

Learn Vest. (2013). Can You Afford to Wait to Have a Baby. Learn Vest Retrieved from http://www.learnvest.com/2013/07/can-you-afford-to-wait-to-have-a-baby/2/