Becoming a mother after the age of 30 – Advantages and disadvantages

By (gynecologist), (gynaecologist), (embryologist) and (psychologist).
Last Update: 12/04/2023

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.

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:

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.

In addition, it is also possible to donate surplus embryos from other couples who have undergone IVF treatment and have already fulfilled their reproductive desire.

You can read more about oocyte donation in this article: What is egg donation and how much does it cost?

Fertility preservation

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

Is it advisable to do PGD if the woman's age is less than 35 years old?

By Jana Bechthold M.D. (gynaecologist).

Jana Bechthold, gynaecologist at the Tambre clinic in Madrid, answers us in this video:

There is no medical indication to do a PGD in women that are younger than 35 years old because, statistically, most of the eggs of these women and their embryos should be chromosomic normal. However, there are certain reasons to perform a PGD in these women, which could be: implantation failure, repeated miscarriages or a male factor and also certain genetic diseases

From what age is it advisable to have a PGT?

By Elena Santiago Romero M.D. (gynecologist).

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?

By Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

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?

By Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

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.

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FAQs from users: 'Is it advisable to do PGD if the woman's age is less than 35 years old?', 'From what age is it advisable to have a PGT?', 'Will I be able to get pregnant naturally at the age of 35?' and 'When should I go for an infertility consultation?'.

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Authors and contributors

 Elena Santiago Romero
Elena Santiago Romero
Bachelor's Degree in Medicine and Surgery from the Autonomous University of Madrid. Master's Degree in Human Reproduction from the King Juan Carlos University and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Several years of experience as a gynecologist specializing in Reproductive Medicine. More information about Elena Santiago Romero
License: 282864218
 Jana Bechthold
Jana Bechthold
Dr. Jana Bechthold has a medical degree from the Medical University of Innsbruck. In addition, she has a course in psychosomatic medicine in primary care, a basic course in palliative medicine and an advanced course in assisted reproduction given by the IVI group. More information about Jana Bechthold
Medical school number: 282874616
 Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Graduate in Health Biology from the University of Alcalá and specialized in Clinical Genetics from the same university. Master in Assisted Reproduction by the University of Valencia in collaboration with IVI clinics. More information about Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
License: 3435-CV
Adapted into english by:
 Cristina  Algarra Goosman
Cristina Algarra Goosman
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Graduated in Psychology by the University of Valencia (UV) and specialized in Clinical Psychology by the European University Center and specific training in Infertility: Legal, Medical and Psychosocial Aspects by University of Valencia (UV) and ADEIT.
More information about Cristina Algarra Goosman
Member number: CV16874

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