Nowadays it is very common for a woman to reach the age of 30 without having had children. This may be because the woman does not desire motherhood, or because she has made the decision to delay becoming pregnant.
In the second case, the decision may be more or less forced by your personal circumstances. Not having achieved job, economic or sentimental stability are frequent reasons why a woman decides to postpone having children and become a mother in her 30s..
However, time is money and this is also true when it comes to female fertility in particular.
Provided below is an index with the 8 points we are going to expand on in this article.
Advanced maternal age (AMA)
Although a priori it may seem to us that she is still young, in general, advanced maternal age is considered to be from 35-38 years of age. Not surprisingly, it is recommended to seek infertility consultation if pregnancy has not been achieved after 1 year of unprotected sexual intercourse, or after 6 months if the woman is older than 35 years.
This is because female fertility is closely related to age, in such a way that a decline in a woman's reproductive capabilities begins to be found at about 35 years of age. Therefore, we could say that there is a turning point in mid-thirties in female fertility.
Advantages of becoming a mother after 30 years of age
It seems obvious that, if motherhood has been delayed until the age of 30 in order to have a certain economic and sentimental stability, the situation will be more propitious to face the arrival of a baby. In many cases, being a mother at 30 also allows these women to have a dedication that they would not have been able to offer their offspring before.
Nevertheless, the maturity and experience that a person over 30 has acquired will be of great help for the education of the future child.
In addition, if you have waited for some time for the right moment to become pregnant, the desire and illusion with which you will live the pregnancy will be insurmountable. This planning will also prevent the woman from feeling that she has had to give things up to fulfill her dream of becoming a mother.
Disadvantages of getting pregnant at age 30
The first disadvantage that a woman who wishes to become pregnant after the age of 30 may encounter is the difficulty in getting pregnant. A woman's ovarian reserve, that is, the number of eggs contained in her ovaries, decreases until it is completely depleted at menopause.
However, not only is the quantity of eggs reduced, but also the quality of the eggs decreases. This is closely related to the rate of aneuploidies (alterations in the number of chromosomes), which will result in a higher probability of miscarriage or having babies with Down syndrome, for example.
Therefore, maternal age is an important factor in assessing the risk of fetal aneuploidy. However, today there are also non-invasive prenatal screenings that can rule out certain common chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus with a blood sample from the mother. However, there are also other risks related to pregnancy after 30:
- Fetal growth restriction.
- Gestational diabetes.
- Preterm delivery.
- Risk of cesarean section.
- Ectopic pregnancy
All of these factors must be taken into account when making the decision of when to face maternity.
Pregnancy after 30 years of age by ART
As for assisted reproductive techniques (ART), the success of these treatments is also influenced by age. Pregnancy and live birth rates after ART decrease progressively after a woman's 35th birthday. In addition, low response to ovarian stimulation treatments is more common in women over 35 years of age. This implies an increase in the cancellation rate due to low response with age.
However, assisted reproduction offers certain techniques that can alleviate, to a certain extent, the effects of advanced age on female fertility. These techniques are preimplantation genetic testing and oocyte or embryo donation.
In addition, those women who are clear that they do not wish to become mothers at the moment, but do wish to become mothers in the future, can preserve their fertility.
Preimplantation genetic testing
Preimplantation genetic testing or PGT is a technique that consists of performing a genetic study of the embryos before they are transferred to the uterus. In this way, only embryos that have obtained a favorable result in the genetic study will be transferred to the mother.
If you want to know more about preimplantational genetic testing, you can click here: What is preimplantation genetic diagnosis or PGD?
Egg or embryo donation
Egg donation allows older women who can no longer use their own eggs for ART because they do not respond well to ovarian stimulation treatments or because their ovarian reserve is practically depleted to become pregnant. In Spain, egg donors are under 35 years of age, so it is assumed that their eggs are of high quality.
You can read more about oocyte donation in this article: What is egg donation and how much does it cost?
Fertility preservation is a technique that allows the preservation of eggs in cold, without altering their quality, by a process called vitrification. This is a good alternative for those women who wish to become mothers but are not yet ready for personal, economic, and/or social reasons.
For this purpose, the woman undergoes an ovarian stimulation treatment that will make it possible to obtain a greater number of oocytes through ovarian puncture. The oocytes are then vitrified and stored in cold storage until the woman decides to become pregnant, in this case by in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques.
In assisted reproduction, like any medical treatment, it is necessary for you to trust the professionalism of the doctors and the clinic you choose.
This Tool generates you a personalized report with all information necessary about the treatment you will need. Besides, there is a list of clinics in your area which we have chosen based on our selection criteria with their budget plan included. Last but not least, you will find a series of useful tips for your first clinic visit.
If you are interested in more information about this technique, we recommend you read this article: Fertility preservation: egg and sperm freezing.
Nowadays it is common for a woman to reach the age of 30 without having had children. This situation may arise because the woman does not wish to have children or because she has decided to delay the time when she wishes to become pregnant. The decision to delay motherhood may have been more or less forced by her personal circumstances.
FAQs from users
From what age is it advisable to have a PGT?
PGT is a technique that allows the study of the embryo's karyotype and is indicated for several reasons. One of them is the woman's age. From 38 years of age onwards, we will recommend it after IVF because we know that the rate of chromosomally altered embryos (aneuploid) increases exponentially with respect to younger women and, the older the woman is, the lower the probability of having healthy embryos.
This explains why the probability of pregnancy becomes less and less with the passage of time, just as the probability of miscarriage increases with age.
Will I be able to get pregnant naturally at the age of 35?
Yes, but it is important to know that it will depend on the ovarian reserve of each woman, that is, the number of eggs contained in her ovaries.
A woman's ovarian reserve begins to diminish more markedly in her mid-thirties. However, this does not mean that a woman has completely lost her ability to become pregnant naturally.
Moreover, if there are problems in achieving gestation, assisted reproductive techniques can help to achieve this purpose.
When should I go for an infertility consultation?
In general, the recommendation is to go to an infertility consultation when gestation has not been achieved after 1 year of unprotected sexual intercourse.
However, there are certain exceptions in which such a long wait does not make sense, such as an anatomical lesion or a functional disorder, both in the man and in the woman, that prevents fertilization.
In the case of women, it is recommended to come after 6 months of unprotected sexual intercourse or even directly in situations such as: age over 35 years, amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea older than 6 months, pelvic inflammatory disease, abdominal surgery, uterine, tubal or ovarian pathology, endometriosis or sexually transmitted disease.
If you are going to be a mother after the age of 40, you can visit this link: Being a mother over 40: possibilities and risks.
We make a great effort to provide you with the highest quality information.
🙏 Please share this article if you liked it. 💜💜 You help us continue!
Alviggi C, Humaidan P, Howles CM, Tredway D, Hillier SG. Biological versus chronological ovarian age: implications for assisted reproductive technology. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2009 Sep 22;7:101.
Baird DT, Collins J, Egozcue J, Evers LH, Gianaroli L, Leridon H, Sunde A, Templeton A, Van Steirteghem A, Cohen J, Crosignani PG, Devroey P, Diedrich K, Fauser BC, Fraser L, Glasier A, Liebaers I, Mautone G, Penney G, Tarlatzis B; ESHRE Capri Workshop Group. Fertility and ageing. Hum Reprod Update. 2005 May-Jun;11(3):261-76.
Balasch J. Ageing and infertility: an overview. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010 Dec;26(12):855-60.
Balasch J, Gratacós E. Delayed childbearing: effects on fertility and the outcome of pregnancy. Fetal Diagn Ther. 2011;29(4):263-73
Blickstein I. Motherhood at or beyond the edge of reproductive age. Int J Fertil Womens Med. 2003 Jan-Feb;48(1):17-24.
Howles CM, Kim CH, Elder K. Treatment strategies in assisted reproduction for women of advanced maternal age. Int Surg. 2006 Sep-Oct;91(5 Suppl):S37-54.
Johnson JA, Tough S; SOGC GENETICS COMMITTEE. Delayed child-bearing. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2012 Jan;34(1):80-93.
Khoshnood B, Bouvier-Colle MH, Leridon H, Blondel B. Impact de l'âge maternel élevé sur la fertilité, la santé de la mère et la santé de l'enfant [Impact of advanced maternal age on fecundity and women's and children's health]. J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris). 2008 Dec;37(8):733-47. French.
Lamarche C, Lévy R, Felloni B, de Mouzon J, Denis-Belicard E, Huss M, Maubon I, Aknin I, Seffert P. Prise en charge en Assistance médicale à la procréation des femmes de 38 ans et plus: résultats d'une enquête à propos de 84 couples [Assisted reproductive techniques in women aged 38 years or more]. Gynecol Obstet Fertil. 2007 May;35(5):420-9. French.
Liu K, Case A; REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGY AND INFERTILITY COMMITTEE. Advanced reproductive age and fertility. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2011 Nov;33(11):1165-1175.
Ng EH, Ho PC. Ageing and ART: a waste of time and money? Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2007 Feb;21(1):5-20.
Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Aging and infertility in women. Fertil Steril. 2006 Nov;86(5 Suppl 1):S248-52.
Templeton A, Morris JK, Parslow W. Factors that affect outcome of in-vitro fertilisation treatment. Lancet. 1996 Nov 23;348(9039):1402-6.
Authors and contributors
More information about Cristina Algarra Goosman