Sunday, January 16, 2022

For how long can I safely postpone having a baby ?


This is a common question which plagues many 30 year old professional women.

They have a number of questions about their fertility. They want to know when they need to start worrying about their biological clock; whether they should accelerate their search for Mr Right; if they should prioritise becoming a mother over pursuing a career; or if they should explore the option of freezing their eggs.

These are complex questions . While we know that every woman has a biological clock , and that as you get older , your ovarian reserve gradually gets depleted because you start running out of eggs until you become menopausal , and that this decline is irreversible, the trouble is that it's hard to know for an individual patient what her personal ovarian reserve is – and women only care about their personal situation – they don’t care about statistics.

The truth is that there is a difference between your chronological age and your ovarian age, and while you could be the fittest 38 year old woman in the world who can run a marathon without breaking into a sweat, this doesn't mean that your egg quality is good enough to allow you to make a baby .

Many women get confused , because they feel that if they are physically fit , this means their ovaries will also be fit , and they will be able to have babies as long as they continue having regular cycles .

Sadly, that’s not true, and this can come as a rude shock, when you realize that your eggs are good enough to produce enough hormones to lull you into a sense of false security, but not good enough to make babies.

The good news is that it's now possible for an individual woman to accurately measure her personal biological reserve . You need to do a simple blood test called the AMH level ( Anti-Mullerian Hormone) , which you can order for yourself at the local pathology lab.

While this is a good test that is inexpensive and easy to do, interpreting it correctly can be quite tricky.

For women who are more than 30 and who want to postpone childbearing ( which seems to be the norm across the world for highly educated, ambitious women who want to have their cake and eat it too ) , the good news is that you don't have to sacrifice your career because you have taken time out to have a baby .

You need to make well-informed  decisions for yourself, and the best way of doing this is by measuring your AMH level every year on your birthday, once you turn 30.

This will provide you with a very useful trend as to what is happening with your ovarian reserve, because we don’t treat numbers – we treat people.  The trend will give far more reliable information about your fertility, and how it is declining as you grow older. If the drop is rapid, you may want to consider arresting your biological clock by freezing your eggs , so that you can later on have a baby using those frozen eggs.

These are complex decisions , and you need to make them for yourself ! If you make well-informed decisions , you will be able to follow the path of least regret , because you will have peace of mind that you used technology intelligently, and selected the path that was right for you.

This way, you can ensure that biology doesn't become destiny, as regards your choices about building your family !

Need help in getting pregnant ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you !

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