Many new couples fear the word kids. Even bachelors don’t want to talk about it. If you are one of those then I hope you are aware of a concept called Lifestyle induced delay in parenthood that might cause trouble conceiving.
Most couples think that there is still time, and they will conceive and have a well-settled life just like any other couple. What they miss, is the constant ticking of both their biological clocks.
Imagine a love story where you meet just the right man/woman of your dreams and you both click at the first meet. From then on it’s all a roller coaster. From getting to know each other and then your respective families.
In all this process one thing that is of utmost importance is your own personal dreams and aspirations, and I am stating this irrespective of your gender.
The usual notion is once we find the love of our life, we are in a rush to get married and settle. It is so because we have been taught so. It’s this society that wants us to conform to their rules set in stone. And if you and your partner wish to tread a path that’s not familiar to society then, you will be shamed.
Luckily couples nowadays, whether in an arranged marriage, love marriage or live-in relationship, have started to care less about society. Because why not, they aren’t going to pay our bills nor are they going to silence our guilty conscience at 60 when we regret not taking the desired path.
So in a bid to reach either our career goals or collecting funds for our retirement plan, couples are delaying parenthood. Some are even doing it, as they wish to spend quality time with each other and create a strong bond before the responsibility of kids sets in.
This is called lifestyle-induced delay in parenthood and many couples end up with infertility.
According to recent statistics, the average age of a new mother has shifted to 31years where she conceives for the first time and that of her male counterpart 34 to 35 years.
If one wishes to delay, embarking on the journey called parenthood then it’s perfectly fine. But after knowing the current statistics, one should do so, smartly. There are many tests that can give the couple a clear idea about one very important thing, and that is for how long can you delay.
You might counter-question saying Kareena Kapoor has conceived at the age of 40 then why am I claiming that it’s dangerous to delay parenthood?
It is estimated that 1 in 8 couples or 12% of married women have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. The numbers are grim but true.
Let’s go through the causes of lifestyle-induced delayed parenthood.
1. Age of the woman
A woman conceiving after the age of 35 is considered a high-risk pregnancy.
2. Age of the man
Advanced paternal age i.e. >35 years leads to adverse reproductive outcomes for women.
The ‘western-style’ diet rich in processed foods, red meat, energy drinks reduces the quantity of semen.
Alcohol, smoking addictions, substance abuse are seen not only in males but in females also. They have a direct toxic effect on the sperm motility in males.
A Danish study, published nearly a decade ago, found that women’s alcohol intake was associated with a reduced chance of conception, especially among women who drank five or more drinks per week.
5. Overweight and obesity
These are associated with reduced quality of sperms.
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6. Other modifiable lifestyle factors
These causes primarily lead to male infertility and include coffee consumption, intense heat stress to the scrotum region as occurs in prolonged sitting conditions (office hours), intense cycling all are detrimental to sperm health.
Your biological clock is ticking and if you don’t wish to compromise on your career then you can plan ahead. This is more worrisome for a woman than a man. The reason being, women have a fixed number of ova (eggs) that are genetically determined from the time, when you were in the mother’s womb.
Yes, that early…
With each passing period cycle, one mature ovum is lost and the number is not replenished with a fresh supply as in males.
How can we tell with certainty, about the length of your reproductive window? Is there a way to determine the number of ova still left in a woman?
Not exactly but thanks to the latest scientific advancements, a few tests can help your gynaecologist or fertility specialist to determine your correct biological window on the whole.
1. Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH)
Also known as Mullerian inhibiting hormone (MIH) indicates the ovarian reserve of the woman (how many eggs she has) and a good estimate of the number of reproductive years she’s left with.
AMH levels peak around puberty and remain relatively constant until after the menopause. when no follicles remain, and levels of anti-Müllerian hormone become low.
How to go about measuring your AMH levels
It can be tested using a simple blood test that can be done at any time of your menstrual cycle.
Uses of AMH Level testing:
- Planning and conceiving, thus helping you stay ahead of your biological clock
- Determining the response to fertility treatments.
- Deciding an appropriate treatment that will be best suited for the couple
2. Ovarian reserve
It is just a fancy name for your “egg-count”
Another promising and most reliable diagnostic approach for dealing with either infertility or planned conception is checking a woman’s ovarian reserve.
This is a combination of tests like AMH (blood test), VIsualizing the active follicle (ultrasound test) other older tests include measuring the hormones like estradiol, and inhibin.
So once you have done these two tests then your fertility specialist can determine with certainty, the length of your reproductive window. You can plan a pregnancy accordingly.
How do you know if you or your partner is infertile?
If you fail to conceive after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse then you need to visit your gynaecologist or fertility specialist to get both yourself and your partner checked for causes of infertility. Even if you are diagnosed with infertility then it is not the end of the world. This silent suffering of couples has many happy endings too. You only need to seek help at the right time.
If you are struggling to conceive and are wondering whether you or your partner are suffering from infertility issues?
What causes could it be? Are they modifiable? Then we have an upcoming podcast episode on doctormommyspeaks parenting podcast with Renowned gynaecologist, obstetrician and infertility specialist from Mumbai – Dr. Riddhi Doshi.
We have discussed in detail about all causes and treatment modalities for infertility, what you can expect when you visit an infertility clinic and how to go about the treatment plans.
So stay tuned.
I hope you found this post useful and if you have any queries, comments, suggestions, feel free to connect with me.
Medical Disclaimer: The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and don’t delay seeking help because of something you read here on doctormommyspeaks site.
This blog is a part of #LBWP #Let’s Blog With Pri S3 hosted by Prisha.
This week I am collaborating with co-participants Cindy and Arti. You can read Arti’s post about interpretations of child’s poop colours and Cindy’s post about green yoghurt chutney- for non-veg starters.
Hosted By : Prisha Lalwani Mummasaurus.com
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