Women cannot rewind the 'biological clock', says studyMore choosing to delay motherhood until age of 45
'We should begin
educating women more aggressively,' say researchers from Yale University
14:20 GMT, 6 April 2012
A growing number of women are unaware of the risks of delaying motherhood, say scientists.
A report highlighted that those aged 45 or older often assume that pregnancy can instantly be achieved later in life with the help of reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), but many find treatments fail.
Experts are now calling for greater awareness to prevent an increase in age-related infertility.
More women are delaying pregnancy in their most fertile years
A team from Yale University observed that more middle-aged women were visiting fertility clinics only to be disappointed by the results.
Lead researcher and director of the Yale Fertility Center Prof Patrizio said: 'There is an alarming misconception
about fertility among women.
'We are really seeing more and more
patients ‘upset’ after failing in having their own biological child
after age 43 so we had to report on this.
'Their typical reaction is, ‘what do you mean you cannot help me I am healthy, I exercise, and I cannot have my own baby’'
'We also found a lack of knowledge
about steps women can take early in their reproductive years to preserve
the possibility of conception later in life.'
The findings, published in a recent
issue of Fertility and Sterility note that while some are
vaguely aware that fertility decreases with age,it is only when
they experience age-related infertility firsthand that they begin to
understand the reality of their situation.
The popularity of assisted
reproductive technologies (ART) can also give the impression that
female fertility may be manipulated at any stage in life.
careers, lack of financial stability, or not having a partner force some women to delay pregnancy in their
most fertile years.
Patrizio added: 'As clinicians, we should begin
educating women more aggressively.
'Women should be
given the appropriate information about postponing fertility.'
A national survey by the new Fertility Coalition in Australia found that less than 10 per cent knew that a man's fertility declines after 45.
While astounding 80 per cent were also unaware of the actual age that a woman's fertility reduced.
Louise Johnson from the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority noted: 'The older you are, the longer it takes to conceive, the greater the risk of miscarriage, the greater the risk of birth defects.'