Beating the Biological Clock
Tue, April 20, 2021

Beating the Biological Clock

It is not really sexy to talk about those declining eggs but science warns that advancing age decreases the ability to have children / Photo by: Anusorn Nakdee via Shutterstock

 

Breaking news! Your eggs are vanishing!

Omigosh, that is so upsetting! It is not really sexy to talk about those declining eggs but science warns that advancing age decreases the ability to have children. It drops at 28, goes way downhill after 35, and is reduced to just about zero by 40. By 42, you are done! So what do these all mean? Is it forgetting about those formidable pursuits and adventures? Is it disregarding traveling around the world? Is it putting aside a career? Is it time to start the perfect family? Is it finally the right time to have babies?

 

The Baby Panic

At some point, women receive the message that having children is not a choice but a duty. The pressure is so overwhelming that women with biological clocks ticking down start panicking to comply. It is time to get down to business before ovaries dramatically collapse. Women’s eggs are unfortunately tenured.

According to perinatal clinical psychologist Bronwyn Leigh, baby panic is a disquieting apprehension experienced by women nearing their biological clock, that innate mechanism that controls their physiological task to have babies. Virtually all women want to have babies but most are not ready and feel panicked that it is too late. Time is quickly passing and there is not much time left to do something. The time bomb may just implode all of a sudden. The internal and external pressures sometimes are too strong that they reach harmful levels detrimental to health.

The Right Age to Have Babies

There is no ideal age to have a baby. Every woman's body and state of affairs are different. However, one fact stands out: women are not fertile forever. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a woman is born with about one to two million eggs in her lifetime. The number of eggs drops with age.

Basically, a woman’s body is super fertile when in her teens. Her body is so ready to conceive but not her health, emotions, and finances. Biologically, the best age for a woman to have a baby is in her twenties. This is the time when she has the highest number of good quality eggs available and pregnancy risks are lowest. Her body is also well-developed to carry a child.

Fertility steadily declines starting at around age 32 and speeds up after age 35. The threat of genetic abnormalities and miscarriage also starts to rise after age 35. According to ACOG, the risk of Down syndrome is high at this age. Studies also found that a woman in her late thirties is 50% less likely to get pregnant during their fertile days.

Naturally, at age 40 and above, a woman’s ability to conceive steeply declines. Studies reveal that the odds of conceiving after three months of trying are only about 7%. Moreover, older eggs may have more chromosome problems that increase the likelihood of defective babies. Although a woman in her 40s can have a healthy pregnancy and baby, the risks multiply significantly during this time. These risks include premature birth, low birth weight, birth defects, and stillbirth. Diabetes and high blood pressure are more common and can lead to pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

There is no ideal age to have a baby. Every woman's body and state of affairs are different. However, one fact stands out: women are not fertile forever / Photo by: Subbotina Anna via Shutterstock

 

Biological Clock 101

The biological clock informs the state of the physical body of a woman. It is tapping into the natural flows of the body throughout life. It can help to make the body grow more gracefully with deeper strength. It is important to work with it rather than against it. The key is learning how to let go of collective expectations. Here are some ways to work through and beat the biological clock crisis.

1. The feeling of loss and anxiety that time is running out to have a spouse or a baby is really scary. But a woman in this situation must acknowledge and accept the truth of time and where the body is at. Take responsibility for emotions and be clear on goals. Navigate the course of the life chosen. Is it single blessedness or marital bliss?

2. When biological clock is not in tune with relationship status, release expectations about children and address realities of existing life situations.

3. When wanting a baby but the body seems not to respond, take action to do the following:

- At age 40+, stay open to options like foster care and adoption. Although having a baby is still possible, conception is already risky. Consider your values and weigh your heartfelt desires.

- At age 36-39, work within the rhythm of the biological clock. If desiring a baby, move forward to work at it. Plan options: if without a partner, adoption or sperm donation may be taken into account.

- At age 28-35, there is still sufficient time to have a baby. Be patient to benefit from good relationships.

Biological clocks can be controlled in many ways. Do not compare yourself with others, release fears and expectations, and let life happen on possibilities beyond imagination. Moving forward one step at a time and staying grounded can keep negativity in check.

Takeaway

The passing years are a great challenge to have babies but still very possible. The perfect time is when it feels right to have one. It is logical to wait when you feel more secure emotionally and financially before starting a family. The option is a deeply personal choice; it really lies on the woman’s hand.