Lifestyle September 19, 2011 at 12:00 am

Is Your Biological Clock Ticking?

Azuka onye September 19, 2011 at 12:00 am

September 19, 2011 at 12:00 am | Lifestyle

Around the age of 25 many females begin to place much more focus on starting a family.

However, today it has become increasingly difficult for women to start a family due to the fact that we are much more educated and career-oriented than in the past, leaving very little time to find the perfect spouse, settle down and have children.

According to the Pew Research Center, today, women make up almost half of the workforce compared to only 39 percent in 1970.

Depending on our cultural background some women are encouraged to marry early, while many others are encouraged to get an education, job and etc., before even thinking about marriage. I am not a huge fan of rushing into anything, especially marriage, just to satisfy cultural norms. However ladies, there is a physiological reason why you may not have as much time as you think.

In their entire lifespan, women produce about 400 mature eggs that can be fertilized by sperm. We are born with only 20 percent of all the eggs we had in utero. This pales in comparison to men who are born with millions of sperm that are capable of fertilization throughout their lifetime and into old age. Men have all the time in the world to focus on building their careers. They can wait as long as they deem necessary before deciding to start a family. Unfortunately, such is not the case for women.

At what age should women start worrying about having children? A study, published by the University of St. Andrews and Edinburgh University in Scotland, found that by the time a woman hits 30 years of age she has only 10 percent of her ovaries. The number dips even lower for women in their 40s, to only 3 percent.

There is no way to tell exactly how many eggs you have by this age, however, waiting until you are 30 can put you at risk for not being able to conceive at all. In addition, waiting until you are in your late 30s or 40s to become pregnant can put the fetus at risk for a number of complications including, Down Syndrome.

While as African women it is in our nature to strive to be the best at what we do, we must also keep in mind that we are not getting any younger. Indeed, by the time you hit 30 years of age, your biological clock is ticking and there is nothing you can do about it.

 

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