What Is The Right Age To Get Pregnant?

By Elizabeth Crawford | Pregnancy advice

Jun 29

The human body is amazing. It enables us to do many wonderful things but none more awe-inspiring than giving life to another person. For many couples, getting pregnant the first time is a momentous occasion. It marks the beginning of the transition from “couple” to “family”.

But having a baby is not an easy decision. There are many factors that have to be considered before couples decide on getting pregnant. One of the most significant factors is the couple’s age.

What is the Best Age to Have a Baby?

Doctors may tell you there is no best age to have a baby. They may cite advances in science that allow women in their 40’s to successfully conceive and bring a healthy baby into the world. But in addition to yours and the baby’s health, you also have to consider your physical capability and emotional stability.

Let’s see how these considerations come into play for women under different age groups:

1. Aged 20 to 29 Years Old

  • Physical Capability – This is the best age to get pregnant biologically because these are your most fertile years. Most of your periods, if not all of them, are ovulatory.Women aged between 20 and 24 have a 20% of getting pregnant with each month of unprotected intercourse. Women in their late 20’s can have an easy pregnancy if they consistently exercise and follow a healthy diet.
  • Emotional Stability – Your emotional stability would depend on your current status in life. For those who had to forego career prospects for pregnancy, there could be some resentment.Body image is also a more serious issue for younger women. But those in their late 20’s might have higher positions in office and could have better maternity benefits.

    If you are a business owner, pregnancy may give you the motivation to become more successful in your career.

  • Health Risks – Women aged 20 to 24 have a miscarriage rate of 9.5%, the lowest in all categories. There is also less risk of the baby developing birth defects like Down Syndrome (1 in 1,667 births) and chromosomal abnormalities (1 in 526 births).Women aged 25 to 29, have a slightly higher risk of miscarriages at 10%. The risk of babies developing Down Syndrome and chromosomal abnormalities is also higher at 1 in 1,250 and 1 in 476 respectively.

2. Aged 30 to 39 Years Old

  • Physical Capability – The fertility rate starts to decline when you hit 30 years old. It greatly decreases at the age of 38. Staying healthy through exercise and a strict diet plus a stress free lifestyle can help stave off fertility decline but it is not a guarantee.
  • If you are not able to get pregnant during these years, other methods such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) have a success rate of 25% to 28% for women under the age of 35. The success rate drops significantly as you approach 40.
  • Emotional Stability – Women who belong in this age group have invested in their careers. Their experiences in work, life and marriage have made them more emotionally stable to handle the challenges of motherhood.However as the woman approaches 40 the risks of the baby developing birth defects increases. This may cause anxieties and a period of depression that may require frequent counseling or prenatal screening with your doctor.
  • Health Risks – For women aged 30 to 34, the miscarriage rate is 11.7%. The risk of the baby being born with Down Syndrome is 1 in 952 while the probability of incurring chromosomal abnormalities increases to 1 in 386.For those approaching 40, the miscarriage rate rises to 18%. There is also the greater probability of having twins or triplets for women aged 35 to 39 because of changes in the hormonal stimulation of the ovaries.

3. Aged 40 to 49 Years Old

  • Physical Capability – The probability of women aged 40 and up decreases by 5% every month after she hits her fourth decade of life.Women between the ages of 45 and 49 have a 0.03 chance of having babies. The use of reproductive technologies and fertility drugs offer hope but again, the success rate gradually diminishes over time.

    It is very important for older women to pay close attention to their lifestyle if they want to have babies at this late stage in their lives.

  • Emotional Stability – Older women are more mature and emotionally capable of managing stressors in their life and this includes pregnancy. Still, concerns for having a successful and healthy pregnancy remain.There are also anxieties about age discrepancies between the mother and child. They fear the age gap may create more conflicts plus physical limitations may prevent them from enjoying the child’s growing up years.
  • Health Risks – It is estimated that one-third of pregnancies for women aged 40 to 44 results in a miscarriage. For women approaching 50, the rate increases to more than 50%.The risk of the baby developing Down Syndrome increases from 1 in 106 to 1 in 30 for women aged 40 to 44 and 45 to 49 respectively. The same goes for chromosomal abnormalities which increase from 1 in 66 to 1 in 21 as the women transitions from 40 to 44 to 45 to 49 years old.

4. Aged 50 up

  • Physical Capability – Menopausal age typically covers the period of 45 to 55 years old. If you are in this age bracket and you want to get pregnant, you will require the use of fertility drugs, hormonal supplements and you may want to consider donor eggs.
  • Emotional Stability – Anxieties on getting pregnant are very high because the risks to the baby’s health are greater. Women aged 50 up will also realize the pressure on staying fit and healthy to keep up with the demands of motherhood.
  • Health Risks – As a woman ages, the health risks for both mother and baby grow exponentially higher. In addition, there are the complications such as hypertension, kidney problems and placental production which must be strictly monitored by your doctor.

So what is the right age to get pregnant?

From a health and medical standpoint, it is safer for the mother to get pregnant between the ages of 20 to 29. The risk of having pregnancy complications and birth defects increases as the woman crosses 30 years of age. And it increases significantly more at age 40.

Should there be an age limit on pregnancy?

As you have read, the safety of both mother and baby becomes seriously compromised as the woman goes up in years particularly past age 38. Yes, there are other methods that could address potential health issues but these are no guarantees.

The bottom-line is as long as you stay healthy the odds of getting pregnant even at a late age improve in your favor. Having a baby is not just about being in the prime physical condition of your life. You should also consider your emotional mindset and find out if you are ready to share your life with another person.

Do you think you are pregnant? Read about the best pregnancy tests you can get on our homepage.

About the Author

My name is Elizabeth, and I’m the creator and owner of this website. First of all, I want to thank you for visiting my website.

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