Tips for Getting Pregnant at an Older Age
About 100 years ago, the average age of a first time mother was 22. Today, that average is around 28, and many couples are choosing to start their families in their 30s or even later. This makes sense, because lifespans have also dramatically increased, and also because many modern couples are concerned with establishing their careers before having children. Unfortunately, waiting to conceive does bring its own set of challenges. After age 35, fertility declines, making it harder to get pregnant. The good news is that it’s not impossible to conceive in your late 30s or even 40s, and there are things you can do to improve your chances.
What makes conceiving after age 35 difficult? For one thing, women ovulate less frequently. Egg quality and quantity also decline in the 30s and 40s, and pregnancy is riskier. It can take a long time for an older woman to conceive, and she’s more likely to develop conditions like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. The risk of chromosomal abnormalities increases, and the risk of pregnancy loss is higher. Older moms are also more prone to premature delivery, and may end up needing a C-section. The father’s age plays a role as well. The decline of fertility is less predictable in men than in women, but research shows that men over 40 are 30 percent less likely to conceive than men in their 20s.
What can you do? There are some lifestyle changes you can make to boost your fertility. While it’s not possible to increase the number of eggs, supplements like folic acid, melatonin, and Myo-inositol can improve egg quality and ovarian function. Cutting out smoking, limiting alcohol and caffeine, eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, reducing stress, and maintaining a healthy weight can also increase fertility. If you’re having trouble conceiving, take the following steps.
- See your doctor. A pre-conception appointment gives you and your doctor the opportunity to review your medical history and discuss your lifestyle. Your doctor can help you determine if any medications you’re taking could interfere with your fertility and address any concerns you may have about conception.
- Keep a journal of your fertility signs. Record your basal body temperature and cervical fluid so that you can determine the best time to try to conceive. When you carefully observe these signs, you’ll also have a better idea of whether or not you’re ovulating regularly.
- Take an at-home fertility screening test. You can buy these over the counter to help rule out issues with both male and female fertility.
- Consider taking a supplement. Try folic acid or Myo-inositol to help improve egg quality. Some women choose to take a prenatal vitamin throughout the process of trying to conceive, to help with their health as they try to achieve pregnancy.
- Stay positive but don’t hesitate to seek help. It will probably take you longer to conceive than if you were younger, so don’t worry too much if it doesn’t happen right away. However, if six months of trying does not result in pregnancy, talk to your health care provider about fertility testing or contact a fertility specialist. There are many options available to help you start a family.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
Benefits of Having Children Later in Life
Is your biological clock ticking? There’s a lot of press given to the scary aspects of waiting to build a family, like aging sperm, declining eggs, and the risks of pregnancy over age 35. Of course, it’s always important to talk to your doctor about your risks before you decide to try to conceive a child. However, there are actually some really great things about being an older parent.
- Science shows that having kid later in life may make you mentally sharper. One study showed that women who had their last child after age 35 had better verbal memory and cognition, and that women who didn’t start having kids until after age 24 were better problem solvers than those who had been younger when they became moms. Additionally, some research indicates that women who have children after age 33 are likely to live longer than those whose last child is born before they turn 30.
- Your child may be healthier if you’re an older parent. Recent research indicates that small children with older mothers tend to be healthier, with fewer accidental injuries as well as fewer social and emotional difficulties. One study even links longer lifespan with having an older father. While aging sperm can contribute to chromosomal abnormalities, this new research shows that it might also produce children with chromosomal traits linked to longevity that lasts two generations.
- Children of older parents are often smarter. Remember that study of small children of older moms that said they’re healthier? It also determined that they’re typically more advanced in their language skills. Research from both the U.K. and U.S. shows that kids born to older dads are more likely to have a high IQ and a stronger ability to focus on their interests. Less distracted by a desire to fit in socially, they’re more likely to be successful educationally, leading to a stronger socioeconomic status. And because older parents are likely to be better educated, their children are often more tech-savvy and well-educated.
- Waiting to have children may lead to more emotionally stable parenting. Many older parents feel that they’re more emotionally prepared for children than they were at a younger age, and research suggests that this is true. Because older parents have more life experience and maturity, they’re less likely to yell at or harshly punish their children.
- The financial stability that comes with being an older parent is helpful. A large body of research supports the idea that financial stability is linked to better health outcomes. There’s also significant evidence that children with more financially stable parents are likely to achieve a higher rate academic success.
At Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping to create healthy, happy families. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, call 941-894-6428 or contact us through our website.
Tips for Older Dads
Over the past several decades, the average age of first time parents in the United States has steadily gotten older. People are waiting longer to start families, taking the time to establish themselves in their careers and build some financial stability before they procreate. There are pros and cons to parenting at a later age, but we’ve got some tips to help older dads be great dads.
- Recognize that there are a few drawbacks, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. You may have some health concerns, and you may not have the energy of your younger years. It may take a while to adjust to parenthood if you’re set in your ways, and you may keenly feel the generation gap between you and your kids. What’s more, you may find yourself needing to care for aging parents when you’d really prefer to have grandparents that help with the kids. The good news is that you’ve got plenty of experience managing your life and dealing with stress, and you’ll step up to the challenges of parenting exactly as you have with every other challenge you’ve faced.
- Remember, there are tons of benefits, as well. Older parents are typically more financially secure, and many have more time to spend with their kids than they would have in their career-building years. When you’re older, you know more about gratitude and appreciating the little things, because you understand how quickly time passes. This can give you a more positive attitude toward, and a greater appreciation of parenting. Additionally, you probably have a stable relationship, and you definitely have more life experience than younger parents.
- Now that you’ve considered the pros and cons, stop the comparison. Don’t compare yourself to younger parents, because there are good and bad things about parenting at every age. Instead, focus on the blessings in your life, embrace your strengths, and set aside time for things that help you enjoy life and keep your mind sharp.
- Stay healthy. Embrace a healthy lifestyle, eating well, sleeping well, and staying physically active. Challenge yourself to keep up with your little ones, because it will help keep you feeling young. Play actively with your kids and prepare nutritious meals together, so that you can set an example for them in terms of healthy exercise as well as a healthy diet.
- Connect with your children emotionally. Make sure to embrace the caregiving aspect of parenting, even if you’re the primary breadwinner. Men who are emotionally involved with their children tend to be more satisfied with their lives and less stressed by their work.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families and experience the joy of parenting. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 for a free consultation.
How late is too late to have children?
There’s a lot of talk about women and their biological clocks, but you don’t often hear all that much about men in that context. Why is that? Do men have a biological clock? Men can father children at much later ages than women can get pregnant, it’s true, but should they? Are there risks inherent in being an older father? How late is too late to have children?
In fact, reproductive aging is a reality for both men and women. Just because men don’t hit menopause, that doesn’t mean there are no consequences associated with their advancing age. Both men and women experience declining fertility and hormone levels as they get older. Worse, the risk of health complications for the child also increases. When a father is older, the couple is likely to have more difficulty conceiving, a higher risk of miscarriage, and a higher potential for health problems in the baby.
Women’s reproductive capability begins to decline around age 35, while men experience a more gradual decline that begins around 40. When a woman does conceive after age 35, it’s referred to as a geriatric pregnancy, and there’s a lot of focus on what could go wrong. Over 35, women are at higher risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, chromosome issues, high blood pressure, low birth weight, and caesarean delivery. Perhaps because the woman is the one carrying the child and going to the prenatal appointments, this is all well-known and well-established. However, research indicates that the genetic quality of a man’s sperm degrades as he ages as well.
Unlike women, who have a finite number of eggs, men produce sperm throughout their lifetimes. The existing sperm replicates its DNA and splits, over and over, until late in a man’s life. Unfortunately, all that splitting means the DNA can change a little bit every time the process is repeated. The result is that the number of genetic mutations in a man’s sperm increases steadily and gradually as he ages. These mutations make it more likely to conceive a child with conditions like schizophrenia or autism.
The good news is that even for older parents, the chance of having a child with a genetic disorder is still low. Understanding the facts about male fertility should, however, encourage people to consider beginning their families earlier or taking measures like egg freezing and sperm banking to allow them to postpone conception. Of course, there are also advantages to being an older parent. When people take time to establish themselves before they have kids, they’re better educated and more financially stable when they do start their families.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 for a free consultation.
Should You Become an Older Dad?
There are pros and cons of becoming a parent at any age, but if you feel that you’re ready to nurture a child, being an older adult shouldn’t matter. If male infertility is a concern, consider talking to a specialist who offers vasectomy reversals.
Watch this video to hear about some of the benefits of being an older dad. Research indicates that older dads tend to be more nurturing, active caregivers. Thanks to the increased involvement, the children of older dads tend to be able to cope with stress better and to have high self-confidence.
If you’re ready to become a dad , but you’ve already had a vasectomy, you can speak with Dr. Joshua Green at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal. Call (941) 894-6428 to set up an appointment to discuss having a vasectomy reversal in Sarasota.
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