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Thinking of Postponing Conception After 40? Think Again: Yale

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More women are putting off conceiving, bowing to the rising demands of their jobs and the pressures of city-living, looking to secure a financially stable future or even the right partner. As they do so, they are being warned by the scientific community not to play dice for too long if they wish to conceive at all.

Researchers at Yale Fertility Center are of the opinion that the obvious stresses of daily life, along with the media hype on assisted reproductive technology (ART), is misleading women from the hard truths.

More medical techniques and facilities now make possible a successful conception. But conceiving a healthy baby and keeping it full-term before delivery involves the same odds as it did a decade ago because of the sub-optimal function of the aging ovaries which cannot be reversed. (1)

According to Dr. Pasquale Patrizio, professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale School of Medicine and director of the Yale Fertility Center, “There is an alarming misconception about fertility among women. We also found a lack of knowledge about steps women can take early in their reproductive years to preserve the possibility of conception later in life. 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. Their typical reaction is, 'what do you mean you cannot help me? I am healthy, I exercise, and I cannot have my own baby?’” (2)

Misconceptions on female fertility needs to be addressed by educating women correctly across cultures on the obstetric risks of delayed pregnancies. These risks are especially high for those beyond 40 years of age.

It is a fact that fertility can be extended through advanced medical technology, yet it cannot aid women beyond a certain point. Both real life pressures as well as the glamorized late pregnancies of celebrities flashed by media, may lead a sizeable percentage of women to believe that female fertility can be manipulated at any stage of life pre-menopause.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.