Thursday, November 23, 2017

Is it safe for me to postpone having children for the next 4 years ?

I just received this email from a young 31 year old woman.

" I have an exciting job in a bank, and want to pursue by career. I am married, but want to postpone having a child for the next 3-4 years, as I am on a the fast track to cracking the glass ceiling. However, my mother is insisting that I put my career on hold, and have a baby  now. She is worried that I will find it hard to conceive if I put this off any further - and that I won't be able to enjoy my baby if I get older. What are my options ?"

This has become an increasingly common dilemma for young professional women today. Like their male colleagues , they too want to have a baby and pursue their career , but are unsure about how deferring child-bearing will affect their fertility - especially if they want to have more than 2 babies.  How can they have their cake and eat it too ?

It can be very hard to set priorities, and women are often torn between growing their families , or growing their career.

There are no easy answers, and each woman needs to find her own solution.

It's a good idea to check your ovarian reserve, so you have some idea about how much time you have left before your ovaries let you down.

The easiest test is a simple blood test which checks your AMH level , and you can read more about this at http://www.drmalpani.com/knowledge-center/infertility-testing/amh. While a single level will not provide a fool-proof answer, measuring your ovarian age by checking your AMH level is much more useful than just going by your calendar age ! Equally importantly, you can test this on an annual basis, so you can track your ovarian reserve over time.

Also, testing your antral follicle count by doing a vaginal ultrasound scan ( read more about this at http://www.drmalpani.com/knowledge-center/articles/afc) provides valuable information about how much time you have left to safely postpone childbearing.

Yes, you can do IVF if you get older, but IVF does not turn back the biological clock, and if you have poor quality eggs, then the pregnancy rate with IVF is poor, and you maybe forced to use donor eggs to have a baby. You may then bitterly regret your decision of postponing having a baby !

One option which is worth exploring is social egg freezing, so you can store your young eggs in an egg bank, and use these when you are ready to start your family - one way of having your cake, and eating it too !

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