How is your Fertility IQ?

While reading a lot about emerging adulthood and twenty somethings, I’m also learning a lot of facts on fertility. Research on fertility has been described in Meg Jay’s book ( The Defining Decade) and in the  book I’m reading now, by Robin Marantz Henig and Samantha Henig ( Why do young adults seem stuck?). I’d like to share some of the facts on fertility with you.

*Female fertility declines (lower ability to get pregnant/ to carry a baby to term) because of a decrease in egg quality and a less effective hormonal regulation (endocrine system). Age 20= peak in female fertility, age 30 fertility 50%, age 35 fertility 25%, age 40 fertility 12,5%!

* Facts on months it takes to get pregnant. Age 20-30 , it takes about 4-5 months of having sex at the right time, to get pregnant. Age 35-40 it takes about 5-20 months and age 40 and up it takes more than 20 months of trying to get pregnant.

* Age 35 and up 1/4 of pregnancy’s and up in a miscarriage. Age 40 and up 1/2 of pregnancy’s and up in miscarriages.

* Fertility treatment might work but cost a lot and there is no guarantee. The Fertility treatment cost about $25.000 when age 20+, $35.000 when age 35+, $100.000 when age 40+and about $300.000 when age 42+!

* IVF success rates of another survey : Under age 35 only 68-86 % ended up with a live birth and age 40 and up only 23-42% ended up with a live birth.

* There is not only a downside to late pregnancy ( Medical complications for women) but also an upsides. Having kids when older give more positive parent-child relationships, greater emotional involvement, lower signs of stress and happier mothers. Women can also achieve higher earnings by delaying pregnancy. Wages increase up to 9 percent of life-time earnings.

* Women delaying their pregnancy, can still expect optimal health outcome of the mother. Looking at the health of the mother it’s best to have your first-born at the age 34 and according to another survey it is best to have your last born at the age 35.

* Fathers over age 40 increase their babies risk of a variety of problems, in particular childhood cancer, auto-immune disease, schizophrenia and autism.

* “Grandparents” are much older by the time they are needed most.

These are some of the things I was reading. I hope I got all the facts right.  Please read these books to know more about the numbers written above.

For me it was very eye-opening to read about the research on this and I feel every young adult could make better choices reading about these things while delaying, before it’s too late to maybe have a child some day. I would have liked someone telling me this at the age of 22 maybe, just to be more aware of your options and to have more clarity. I was 32 when I had my first born and 34 when I had my last born. Seems alright but it was harder to get pregnant than I expected.

Getting children (or not) is only one of the big transitions for young adults. I will write more about these transitions next time.



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