Pros and cons of late motherhood

Nowadays women have a very different role to that our grandmothers or even mothers used to have.

Since their access to the labour market, women have achieved practically equal rights to those of men. However there are still unresolved inequalities, such as the so called ‘glass ceiling’ or the salary gap between genders.

The inclusion of women in work has changed priorities so that the wish to be a mother has become secondary.

This does not mean that many women do not want to experience motherhood, but that they have decided that they prefer to find a job and achieve economic stability first.

Sometimes the reason for delaying having a family is the lack of a stable partner to be able to follow the life plan wished for.

Many other women are not so concerned about finding the right partner, but they do believe that a strong financial foundation is key to offering children the well-being they have always wanted for them. The latter is the case of Monica, who has recently come to the fertility clinic IVF Spain to become a single mother and create the family she longs for.

“I have always wanted to be a mother, it was even a game I used to play when I was a child. At first you don’t even think about it because you’re studying a career, afterwards it’s hard to establish in the labour market, and by when you have achieved economic stability, maybe the love aspect is what is not covered. I’m already 36 and I have constantly pondered this until I decided to undergo IVF treatment with donor sperm at IVF Spain and form my own family”.

There are also those that decide to postpone having children for other reasons

Along with seeking job stability, other reasons can be varied such as wanting to travel, devoting their free time to partners or just simply may not feel ready to face the responsibility of a family as yet.

Letting time pass to find the right moment to form a family is a double-edged sword.

Pregnancies after 37 years of age are associated with a higher risk of genetic alterations such as Down Syndrome, or potentially repeated miscarriage or implantation failures.

Furthermore, age increases the chance of suffering pregnancy related diseases like gestational diabetes, pregnancy related cholestasis, hepatic steatosis, pre-eclampsia or eclampsia.

Furthermore, an excessive delay of motherhood is associated with a decrease in the number of eggs that get activated in each cycle, which will probably cause the need for the help of reproductive medicine in order to conceive a healthy baby.

Let us also not forget that the older the parents are, the least energy they will have to deal with a child’s upbringing. It could be more tiresome for them.

The positive side of a late motherhood

Some experts say that delaying parenthood can also have positive aspects that benefit the psychological development of the child. For example, more mature parents will have greater confidence when making decisions and will make a better contribution to the child’s emotional stability. Experience and knowledge can also help those new parents to deal with parenthood in a more relaxed manner and to enjoy the decision they have consciously made.

There is no doubt that the number of drawbacks of late motherhood is higher than the number of advantages, but we cannot deny that late motherhood is becoming a common reality.

To adequately respond to it, reproductive medicine has adapted to these new times and has made it possible to preserve fertility, for when a woman or a couple decide start a family. This solution is achieved through egg vitrification.

It is quite a simple process. The woman undergoes a light stimulation in order to yield a considerable number of oocytes (eggs), which are then cryopreserved at -196ºC by applying the vitrification technique. This process avoids the formation of ice crystals within the eggs and helps to guarantee an excellent conservation state. This way, eggs can wait until when the time is right for a woman or couple to go ahead with fertility treatment to conceive a healthy baby.

Experts advise that fertility preservation should be performed before reaching 35 years of age

The aim is to preserve the best possible quality eggs in order for treatment to succeed and the patients to achieve the pregnancy they have longed for.

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