Women are increasingly delaying the decision to have children. But how long is too long?
Many women are choosing to have children later in life. And as some find, waiting longer often makes it harder to become pregnant naturally, which is why methods like in vitro fertilization (IVF) are used more and more. According to doctors at Yale University, some women may not realize that once the clock has ticked, it's virtually impossible to rewind it:
The typical reaction is, 'What do you mean you cannot help me? I am healthy, I exercise, and I cannot have my own baby?'
- Honor Your Body's Clock for the Best Health
- The Benefits of Breastfeeding
- The Chemical BPA Can Reduce Fertility
Women over 43 were inquiring about assisted reproductive technologies (ART) more often, but were surprised when it didn't work for them. "We are really seeing more and more patients 'upset' after failing in having their own biological child after age 43 so we had to report on this," said study author Pasquale Patrizio in a university news release. "Their typical reaction is, 'what do you mean you cannot help me? I am healthy, I exercise, and I cannot have my own baby?'"
Although women in their 40s are seeking AFT more frequently, its success rate is staying the same, which is why more women may be disappointed when it doesn't work. For example, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies reports that use of IVF in women over 41 increased 41 percent from 2003 to 2009. But the frequency with which IVF leads to pregnancy is still just about 9 percent. In contrast, for women between 35 and 37, it is 27 percent.