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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Want to delay your pregnancy? Here's what you can do

Want to delay your pregnancy? Here's what you can do

July 04, 2018 11:02 IST

Women can now choose to focus on their careers by opting for alternate methods of conception says Dr Rajni Khajuria, lab director at Igenomix.

Sunny Leone with kids

Sunny Leone and Daniel Webber with their adopted kids -- twins Asher Singh Weber and Noah Singh Weber and daughter Nisha Kaur Weber. Photograph: Kind courtesy Sunny Leone

Motherhood is a special experience for a woman.

As married working women fight social pressures and focus on their careers, at the back of their minds they know that their biological clock is ticking faster.

The older and smarter they grow, their eggs also grow older and their quality suffers, which affects the birth of the child.

As per the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a woman's fertility starts to decline beginning in her 30's, with a more significant decline after the age of 35.

For a woman in her 30's, every month, the probability of getting pregnant is a mere 20 per cent.

Studies also suggest that women conceiving at a later age (post 35) may be at risk of having a child with chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome.

But that doesn't mean you have to lose hope yet.

With evolving IVF techniques, you can conceive a child as late as when you are in your 60s.

Recently, we witnessed a rare case in Punjab, India where a 70-year-old woman had given birth through IVF (in vitro fertilisation).

While this was an extremely rare case, it tells us the extent of how evolved medical science is. 

With advancements in fertility treatments, there is an option for professional women who are not yet ready for motherhood. They could continue to build their careers without being in an emotional dilemma of choosing between a baby and their career.

Women now have choices -- from freezing their eggs to opting for IVF treatment, surrogacy and adoption among others.

1. Egg Freezing for a future pregnancy

Egg freezing is considered as a safe, sound and competent method for women who wish to delay parenthood.

This could be a career choice or a recommended way forward for those diagnosed with medical conditions which have a direct impact on the embryo quality and quantity.

As per Zsolt Peter Nagy, PhD, an Atlanta embryologist, accurate data on the number of babies born from frozen eggs are hard to obtain, but it is approximately 5,000 births worldwide.

Though a small number now, the number of women opting to freeze their eggs in their late 20's or early 30's is on a rise.

Big companies like Apple, JP Morgan chase, Citigroup, Facebook and many more are bearing the cost of voluntary egg freezing for women who decide to delay child-bearing.

2. Surrogacy

Surrogacy is a popular and a successful method for women who are unable to carry their own babies.

This is a choice for those who decided to have a baby much later in their lives and couldn’t conceive due to infertility or other medical or personal reasons.

This method entails IVF with the eggs of either the intended mother or a donor’s egg as the case may be.

In this case the surrogate mother is not genetically linked to the child.

In recent times, celebrities like Karan Johar (he had twins) and Tusshar Kapoor became parents through surrogacy. 

3. IVF

This method is mostly opted by infertile couples to conceive a baby.

Both egg freezing and surrogacy also utilise an IVF treatment.

The success of IVF depends on a lot of factors such as the age of the woman, the quality of the embryo, status of the uterus etc.

But the two principal factors for maximizing the chances of implantation during an IVF treatment are a chromosomally normal embryo and a receptive endometrium.

With recent advancements, genetic techniques such as preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and Endometrium Receptivity Analysis (ERA) are being used to advance the chances of IVF success and pregnancy.

4. Adoption

There are still many who believe in the noble cause.

Adoption helps completing your family and the desire to be a parent.

However, do bear in mind that there is a long wait list of parents waiting to adopt, so you may want to sign up early and find out if you meet the necessary requirements.

The best would be sign up for an agency that will guide you with paperwork and ease the process for you.

In either of the above options, you may want to consult and deliberate with your spouse to decide what's best for you as a parent and the future of your child.