GETTING PREGNANT after the age of 35 - A Myth or a Miracle?
“Women are forces of nature,
Possessing fierce grit than other creatures.
Blessed with the power to give birth,
They say, the pain suffered, measures its worth.”
As a platform driven by dynamic women, we are immensely proud of just being us. With Women’s Day, right around the corner, a majority of women will agree when we say that it is an innate blessing to create another soul; to bring a beautiful life into this world.
The traditional gender roles are blurred today. With the trend of women creating a roaring stir and making their presence felt in the workforce, the mean child-bearing age has increased substantially from their 20’s to mid-late ’30s; making it a global phenomenon. The breadwinner-homemaker model may seem blasphemous to the millennia’s or the Gen Z’s. (Don’t get us wrong- we have a lot of respect for the wonder ladies who are devoted to creating a better life for their families and support them unconditionally!)
Basics to Getting PREGNANT after the age of 35
As we all learned in ninth-grade biology, a woman is born with two million eggs in her ovarian reserve which are going to last for a lifetime. By the time you have your first period; studies have shown that your supply considerably reduces to 300,000. Dr. Alan Copperman, a prominent New-York based infertility specialist, once mentioned in an interview, “If a woman ovulates 500 times between the ages of 12 and 52, not all of those eggs are considered to be healthy”, leaving us with is a select few eggs that are viable for pregnancy. His claim really sets us thinking about the prime time of making babies in our lives.
Now, now! You’ve definitely heard of anecdotes or elders giving advice to young couples to bear children in their 20’s because their ‘biological clock’ is ticking. It’s true that age is one of the key factors in conceiving, but there are a lot of other factors that affect pregnancy too. For starters, today’s fast-paced and stressful lives, along with other lifestyle habits, are not the best breeding grounds either. Reproductive issues such as PCOS and hormonal imbalances are always leaving their mark. Are you someone, whose ‘busy bee’ schedule sirens when you are about to get your period and may have ‘missed the window’? No worries, for you are not alone. We have certain tips for you to keep track of your ovulation calendar:
- Keep a regular diary of your menstrual cycle.
- Record your basal Body temperature.
- Look for a ‘ferning’ pattern in your saliva.
- Observe a clear cervical mucus secretion.
CHANCES OF PREGNANCY ONCE YOU HIT THE 35 MARK
With the advent of revolutionary technology, the process of pregnancy and childbirth has undergone a drastic transformation. From assisted reproductive methods like IVF and surrogacy, a trend to encourage natural births is to freeze a woman’s eggs once she hits 30. And, you know what, we are not complaining! Infertility issues indeed creep up with increased age, but with the right guidance from your doctors, it is possible to have a full-term and healthy pregnancy even in your late thirties. Let’s not forget that the modern timeline to settle down with a partner is also changing as more women prefer to take their own time to ‘find the right one’.
Biologically, we have been designed in such a manner that risks of chromosomal abnormalities, fibroids, or other fertility issues are far lesser at 24 than 34. This, however, is not always the norm. Today younger girls too suffer from reproductive conditions. So ladies, if you are above this age, and are trying to conceive, our advice to you is to consult with a specialist whose hand will hold you at every step. Whilst tracking your period, you will have your 14 day ovulation period, when you can plan to try. But, it is a keystone that you remain positive and optimistic throughout.
Speaking of risk factors, doctors today have claimed that the ‘safe age’ has extended up to 37 years. Did you know that even the father can contribute to the risks associated with a complicated pregnancy? Studies have shown that children born at an advanced age can have several birth or genetic defects such as autism, Down syndrome, or intellectual disabilities. But these are the rare ones Chances are higher of a complicated pregnancy, though…Others claim that later borne children also live longer, and such parents cater to them more efficiently since they are more mature, content, and financially stable. It is pretty subjective- pregnancy is a subjective topic.
HOW TO BOOST CHANCES OF A LATE PREGNANCY?
It is thereby important to maintain a healthy and happy pregnancy, and we know just how:
- Communication: Talk to your partner and share your worries and concerns. Plan effectively, and if you are around 40, proactively try to conceive.
- Keep faith in the power of your body and fertility: Your body is a temple; a place and treat it so. Maintain a healthy body weight- being overweight or underweight can lead to complications. You should nourish yourself with a nutritious diet- leafy greens and fruits, whole grains and high dairy, and healthy sources of fats. Avoid trans-fat strictly. Incorporate irons, calcium, and proteins. Taking a prenatal vitamin and a folic acid supplement is a must.
- Exercise: Get the endorphins moving, however, cut back from strenuous exercises. Moderation is the mantra, and it is associated with higher chances of conception. Yoga has manifold benefits.
- Have sex regularly: Ensure that you try your best during the ovulation period, probably every other day. Also, do not lose heart when you see only see a single line on the stick because when you are older, you may take many tries to get pregnant. Be aware of the age-related infertility issues, but do not get bogged down by them.
- Mindfulness: This process can be emotionally and physically exhausting, so give yourself a breather, ladies. It is very important to stay positive and optimistic. Learn to relax, either during conception or pregnancy. This is a wondrous phase, and you need to embrace it. Practicing meditation, such as deep breathing, guided imagery, and manifestation exercises work wonders. Change your narrative and put out positive affirmations! Imbibe a daily gratitude ritual.
- Cut down on the vices: When you are planning a baby, cut down on your alcohol and caffeine consumption, and smoking as it hinders the sperm or egg count. Drugs are a big no. If you are an insomniac, set an early sleep schedule, and sleep for 7-8 hours daily.
- Just Live your Life: Guys, you need to try and your best and leave the rest to the universe. Apart from a few lifestyle changes such as reducing the stress load, go about your daily life, and don’t halt everything in hopes of getting pregnant. Have fun, live in the moment, and soak it all in. So, go set yourself up for a nice warm bath, or take that staycation with your partner, and just enjoy.
You may have heard several related myths, but it’s time to shatter them. From not having a healthy baby after 35 to not getting pregnant naturally; from being completely barren to having difficulty conceiving due to diabetes or STDs; – they are mostly extreme misconceptions.
In a heart-warming human interest story, BBC recorded in 2014, a miracle of a 70-year-old woman, Rajo Devi giving birth to a healthy baby girl was narrated. She overcame her struggles to bear this “God-sent gift,” she beamed with joy.
EAST MEETS THE WEST
As you may have observed, more couples are opting for ‘an advanced age’ pregnancy today. Accredit the fight for gender equality, women dazzling in different career fields or wanting to wait to find a compatible partner, and consolidate their relationships, they have become vocal for their rights and needs. Millennial men and Gen Z’s too, are extremely supportive of their beloved’s aspirations, in fact even encouraging the dual-income model. Efficient healthcare and education have put us on this pedestal. Also, at this age, couples do not shy away from asking for medical help, when needed. However, studies show that ovaries of Indian women age six years faster than their Caucasian counterparts.
CELEBRITIES WHO TURNED PARENTS AFTER THE AGE OF 35
In a celebrity-revered world, we often look to them for inspiration. From Ex-Duchess Meghan Markle to future Queen Katherine Middleton and UN Lawyer Amal Clooney; to closer to home, Bollywood divas such as Lara Dutta, AishwaryaRaiBachchan, Rani Mukherjee, Madhuri Dixit, Farah Khan Kunder, and ShilpaShettyKundra, all opted for late pregnancy and they could not be happier. Of course, there are many more on this list.
To sign off, always remember, “A happy mother= A happy child”. Take care of yourself, whilst turning life’s sour lemons into lemonade. Keep the faith and move ahead!