Age is always a considerable factor for being a parent. Significant physical and mental transition is started after family planning and it continues even after a childbirth. According to Dr. Tony Falconer, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggestion the best age to conceive a baby is 20 to 35 years for females. However, clinician never compels any couple to initiate their parenthood. Parenthood at an early age means teen pregnancy, which is not socially as well as medically accepted. There is a scope of following problems associated with teen pregnancy:
- Premature born
- Low birth-weight
- Increase rate of infant death
- Increase the scope of blindness and deafness in newborn
- Increase risk of chronic respiratory problems, mental retardation, mental illness, cerebral palsy, dyslexia, and hyperactivity.
In case of a positive pregnancy test at teenage, ultrasound requires to perform for confirmation and to omit the possibility of ectopic pregnancy. Extra care and psychological support are very important for teen pregnancy.
However, the recent generation takes much time to become a parent, and some of them prefer to opt for parenthood after 40 years of age. This trend may give them sufficient time for finishing their higher studies, establishing their carrier, selecting suitable partners or build up a relationship with partners. But there are many medical problems arise with late parenthood. Most of the female face difficulty to conceive normally after 40 years of age and requires to take help of assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as IVF. Moreover, women above 35 years of age have a high risk of miscarriage. In some cases, the scope of twins or triplets birth also increases. It has been also observed genetic disorder is also a common issue with late parenthood. All these issues are occurred due to ovarian aging, which declines the number and quality of oocytes produced from ovaries. Difficulty in conceiving or infertility issues often lead to emotional distress to the couple. Reproductive aging is an unstoppable condition which surely occurs with increasing age. Female need to carry the fetus for the entire gestational period effectively for complete development of the offspring. Therefore, both physical and mental health is an essential factor for the female partner. It has been found that some couple acknowledged that late pregnancy assists to build up the more mental attachment with their children. But if physical capability diminished with age to bear a child, then it also broke up the mental strength. If circumstances are not favorable to support a pregnancy at the right age and delayed parenthood is an only pre-determined option, then cryopreservation of gametes (oocytes and/or sperm) is an option, though this process is little expensive.
Obstetricians recommended following medical advice for late parenthood:
- Detail screening test requires to perform to reject the scope of a genetic disorder.
- Unstable condition like hypertension, obesity, the rise of blood glucose level needs to settle before conceiving and during the gestational period.
- Regular intake of iron tablets and vitamin supplements like folic acid is essential to avoid deficit conditions.
- Healthy lifestyle measures including balance diet intake, a regular mile to moderate exercise, maintaining proper body weight, adequate sleep, restricted intake of alcohol and cessation of cigarette smoking are essential prior pregnancy as well as during gestational period to get a healthy baby.
- Medical advancement provides the scope to use cryopreserve embryo and in vitro-fertilization process. However, the success rate depends upon individual factors also.
- Surrogacy is also possible to resolve the infertility issues. However, the legal acceptance of commercial surrogacy is limited in some specific country only.
In this article, we mainly concern about female-oriented factors, as there is the very limited scope of age-related diminished functioning of the reproductive system in male after 40years. Scientific study also supported that most of the male up to age 54 years of age can hold their parenthood capacity.