"Women who will become mothers at the age of 45 will surely give birth to a healthy baby," say Israeli researchers. But British doctors contradict them, warning future mothers that "waiting too long for a baby is a Russian roulette".
The latest statistics show that, in the last 20 years, the average age at which women give birth to their first child has increased from 26 to 29 years. Thus, nowadays there are more and more women who remain pregnant for the first time after 35 years.
For example, Cherie Blair, the wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, first became a mother at 45, as did American actresses Susan Sarandon and Jane Seymour. This is due to the changing lifestyle of women around the world, who prefer to build a successful career before starting a family.
But British doctors warn them that, no matter how society evolves, human nature remains the same. And the perfect age for giving birth to the first child is between 20 and 35 years, after which the fertility of the woman decreases.
Those who remain pregnant after this age are at a very high risk of miscarriage and of the chromosomal abnormalities of the fetus.
"Today's women want to have everything and ignore the problems of birth at a young age," says Dr. Susan Bewley, who deals with women with age-related fertility problems at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital. The doctor states that the difficulties occur at 35 and dramatically increase to 45 years.
British scientists thus contradict a number of studies by Israeli researchers, who claimed that after 45 years women can safely carry a full-term pregnancy and have a healthy baby. "We do not want to blame women who choose to build a career. We just want to determine the family planning doctors to convince their patients that giving birth at a young age is very risky," said Dr. Susan Bewley.
Specialists also sound an alarm for men, because as the age of sperm quality decreases, as well as the likelihood that they will procreate.
Women born after 35 years are at high risk of having a child with Down syndrome. This disease is also called trisomy 21, because it is a chromosomal abnormality in the 21st pair of chromosomes. The condition is manifested by a mental disability and an aspect of the face similar to that of the Mongolian people. Down syndrome occurs in a child of 650, and the risk of chromosomal abnormality increases considerably with the age of the mother.
Source: National Journal