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Am I getting into motherhood too late?

Dear Bunmi,

I am in my mid-30’s and got married recently to a man who was married before. My husband is 10 years older and we agreed to have one or two children.

He already has three from his previous marriage.

I was pregnant before I got married but miscarried in my fifth month.

I’ve read a lot about how difficult it could be to start a family when you are over thirty.

I will really love to have children and am going through fertility treatment.

Just how good are my chances?

Eno, by e-mail.

Dear Eno,

According to a reputable obstetrician gynaecologist, there is a small decline in women’s fertility from 30 to 35. Then the drop accelerates. If you take 100 women aged 25, having regular intercourse (two to three times a week), you’d expect 90 to 95 to become pregnant in a year.

At 40, you’d expect this figure to fall to 50. The risk of miscarriage increases with age. At age 25 to 30, around 15 per cent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. By 40,25 per cent. By 50, the risk are far higher.

The specialist went on to say that a third of miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities. The contents of a woman’s eggs deteriorate as she ages.

For men, the sperm count remains reasonably the same as he ages if he stays sexually active. If not, his testosterone levels drop significantly. Older women are more likely to be over-weight or have higher blood pressure, which can lead to problems in pregnancy.

Ligaments in the pelvis are less elastic as they age, which could cause labour problems. Problems arise if a woman waits until 30 to fall pregnant, but doesn’t. By the time she’s had tests, she may already be 35 before considering avenues such as IVF

I have taken pains to outline all the facts behind late parenthood because I receive a lot of inquiries from time to time. Keep on with your treatment and I’m sure with time, you’ll get pregnant again.

 


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