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Getting Pregnant After 35

I didn't plan it this way but I will be pushing the envelope a little with my third pregnancy. And what if I want a fourth?

I mentioned a while back that I want to have a third baby. Considering Henry is just 8 months I asked your advice on when the best time is to get pregnant again. The dilemma is that although Henry is just 8 months and my body feels like it’s still recovering from that pregnancy, I’ll be 35 next year and depending on when I get pregnant I could be having my third child at 36.

With stuff like this making headlines, 36 doesn’t necessarily seem too old to have a child but the scientific cut off, the point at which the eggs begin to lose their…uh… spring-chicken-ness is 35. You’ve heard that, right? That, statistically speaking, 35 is the point at which it begins to become difficult to have a child.

As About.com reports:

Fertility peaks in most women in the 20s, and gradually begins to decline in the late 20s. At around age 35, fertility starts to decline at a much more rapid pace. For example, in any given month, your chances of getting pregnant at age 30 are about 20%. At age 40, your chance of getting pregnant in any given month is just 5%.

Basically, we’re born with all the eggs we’ll ever have. At birth we have more than a million. By puberty we have around 300,000. From this number only about 300 will ever become mature enough for ovulation. The closer we get to menopause our bodies become less effective at producing mature, healthy eggs.

Besides the ovaries being less likely to produce mature eggs for ovulation, age also increases the chances of genetic problems. This is the reason for the increased risk of Down Syndrome babies in women over age 35. The risk for miscarriage also rises with age.

However, not everyone will have trouble getting pregnant after 35. But the odds are stacked against you. Plus, with celebrities popping out babies at older ages, women sometimes assume getting pregnant after 35 will be no big deal. Angela England wrote how more celebs conceiving in their forties sets an unrealistic expectation for the rest of us, “With magazines and news outlets publishing lists of celebrities who had babies in their 40”²s, it may seem to many that as long as you’re an energetic and healthy woman, you will be fertile as well. The truth is many doctors are beginning to express concerns over the growing number of women they see in their fertility clinics with “advanced maternal age” that is anything over 35.”

It’s strange, this fertility thing. As with our sex drives, I wish it was the other way around. I wish fertility and sex-drive started off low in our teens and throughout our twenties got stronger, peaking at 30 or so. Because I SO wasn’t ready to have kids in my twenties and I’m just now coming into a comfortable place with my body and sex. But, what’re ya gonna do? Can’t argue with science. I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope that my desire for a third child works out.

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