Saturday, October 28, 2006

Best age for childbearing remains 20-35- Delaying risks heartbreak, says experts

British Medical Journal September 16, 2005

"Delaying having children defies nature and risks heartbreak, say experts in this week's BMJ. If women want families and room for manoeuvre they are unwise to wait till their 30s.

They believe the best age for childbearing remains 20-35 and call on doctors and healthcare planners to support women to achieve "biologically optimal childbearing."

Pregnancies in women older than 35 are increasing markedly in Western countries, write Susan Bewley and colleagues. Age related fertility problems increase after 35 and dramatically after 40, and once a woman is pregnant, outcomes for both the mother and child are poorer.

Delaying also affects partners, as semen counts deteriorate gradually every year, and children of older men have an increased risk of schizophrenia and several genetic disorders."

The reasons for these difficulties lie not with women but with a distorted and uninformed view from society, employers, and health planners. Doctors and healthcare planners need to grasp this threat to public health and support women to achieve biologically optimal childbirth, they conclude.

Editorial: Which career first? BMJ Volume 331, pp 588-9

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