Delaying First Time Mothers- Trends in the US

According to Key findings from NCHS and the Center for Disease control (CDC), the average age of first-time mothers increased 3.6 years from 1970 to 2006, from 21.4 to 25.0 years. Increases in average age at first birth were more pronounced in the 1970s and 1980s.

Why does age  matter? The CDC says that age at first birth influences the total number of births that a woman might have in her life, which impacts the size, composition, and future growth of the population. And, of course, the age of the mother plays a factor in a wide range of birth outcomes (e.g., birthweight, multiple births, and birth defects).
From 1970 to 2006 the proportion of first births to women aged 35 years and over increased nearly eight times. In 2006, about 1 out of 12 first births were to women aged 35 years and over compared with 1 out of 100 in 1970.
In 2005,  the New England Journal of Medicine, published and article stating that  the number of first births per 1,000 women 35 to 39 years of age increased by 36 percent between 1991 and 2001, and the rate among women 40 to 44 years of age increased by a remarkable 70 percent. Additionally, in 2002, 263 births were reported in women between 50 and 54 years of age.

According to NCHS, several factors may account for the delay in childbearing, most importantly educational opportunities and career choices for women. From 1970 to 2000 the number of women completing college has nearly doubled and the number in the labor force has gone up by almost 40 percent. Changes in contraception use, economic cycles, social support, and marriage patterns should also be considered. .

I’m middle aged…can I have a baby?

Thinking about have a baby even though you are over 40?

They say that more women than ever over the age of 40 are having babies – more than 103,000 in 2004 – twice as many as in 1990, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How does age affect a woman’s ability to have children?

About 20% of women in the United States now have their first child after age 35.  About one-third of couples in which the woman is older than 35 years have fertility problems. Of course  modern medicine can help.

The CDC gives us this advice.

Aging decreases a woman’s chances of having a baby in the following ways—

  • Her ovaries become less able to release eggs
  • She has a smaller number of eggs left
  • Her eggs are not as healthy
  • She is more likely to have health conditions that can cause fertility problems
  • She is more likely to have a miscarriage

How long should women try to get pregnant before calling their doctors?
Most experts suggest at least one year. Women aged 35 years or older should see their doctors after six months of trying. A woman’s chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the age of 30.

Some health problems also increase the risk of infertility. So, women should talk to their doctors if they have—

  • Irregular periods or no menstrual periods
  • Very painful periods
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • More than one miscarriage

Naturally, it’s a good idea for any woman to talk to a doctor before trying to get pregnant.  They can help with preventative advice and more.

Did you know that for a woman  fertility peaks between the ages of 22 to 26?
It also often declines after 30: a typical 30 year old woman has 12% of the ovarian reserve she was born with, and has only 3% at age 40 .

Of women trying to get pregnant, without using fertility drugs or in vitro fertilization:

  • At age 30, 75% will get pregnant within one year, and 91% within four years.
  • At age 35, 66% will get pregnant within one year, and 84% within four years.
  • At age 40, 44% will get pregnant within one year, and 64% within four years.[13]

For the guys, sperm count declines with age. Men aged 50–80 years producing sperm at an average rate of 75% compared with men aged 20–50 years. An even larger difference is seen in how many of the seminiferous tubules in the testes contain mature sperm;

  • In males 20–39 years old, 90% of the seminiferous tubules contain mature sperm.
  • In males 40–69 years old, 50% of the seminiferous tubules contain mature sperm.
  • In males 80 years old and older, 10% of the seminiferous tubules contain mature sperm.[18]

Posts Comments