What's the right age to have a child?
Twenty-seven. Well, according to TCM, anyway... But the answer is obviously more complex than stating a single number.
People living in industrialized nations around the world have pushed up the average age of becoming a parent. In 1990, the average age of a mother in the United States was 26.4 years. By 2016, the average age of a mother had risen to 30.4 years. In Canada, the average age in 2012 was 30.3 years and in 2016 it had risen to 30.8 years*. In addition, in Canada the fertility rate dropped from 1.62 children per women to 1.54 over the same time period
What do these numbers tell us? And what impact will this have on our children?
People are delaying childbirth. They do this for several reasons. The leading theory is an economics theory. Women who delay childbirth from their early twenties to their early thirties will on average earn more money over their entire career. Taken with the misbelief that fertility treatments are more successful than they actually are, this can be a risky decision. IVF is not a fail-safe way of conceiving. For women over 40 years old, using their own eggs, IVF has a success rate of less than 10%!
Recent research also points to several unanticipated outcomes of IVF treatment including associated cardiovascular and metabolic disease later in life, and for those using ICSI (if opting to use frozen eggs for example), there is an increased risk of birth defects in children. In addition, many medications used to during an IVF cycle have known negative effects.
For those who are not interested in IVF, remember that the chances of conceiving naturally decline with age. One in six women between the ages of 35-39 years will not conceive after one year. If their partner is over 40 years, it’s more like one in four. In addition, for mothers over 35 the risk of chromosomal abnormalities increases. For fathers over 45 years, the risk of schizophrenia and childhood autism increases significantly.
So what’s the right age?
Biologically speaking, women should be under 35, and men under 40 when they have children. However, each person is unique - and the choice as unique as the person.
Our advice, consider having a child sooner rather than later, if your circumstances permit.
Our acupuncture and TCM treatments help treat an array of fertility and non-fertility related matters.