A period of childbearing in a woman’s life is considered the time when she can conceive, bear and give birth to a child. When planning a pregnancy and preparing for it, it is very important to take into account such a moment in life as the reproductive age of a woman.
How old is this? Many people have such a question in a conversation about this period. Let's try to figure it out.
Beginning of reproductive age
In girls at the age of 10-12, the first signs of puberty are already apparent. This is expressed in the increase of the mammary glands, the appearance of the first hair covering on the pubis and in the armpits. Despite these physical changes occurring with the body, the reproductive age of the woman has not yet arrived. It begins with the arrival of the first menstruation (menarche), at about 13–15 years old, perhaps a little earlier or later.
However, the onset of puberty may depend on various factors - region of residence, genetic predisposition, race, and even nationality. For example, in the southern regions women “mature” earlier, but their reproductive age ends much more quickly. It is also often the case that if the mother's menstruation started late, then it’s too early for her daughter to wait for the arrival of her period.
But the arrival of menarche does not mean that a woman has reached full reproductive age. The fact is that the body of a teenage girl is not yet fully formed, and it is extremely difficult to carry out the baby without causing harm to her or his health at this age. There may be complications in the form of premature birth, bleeding, weak labor, there are frequent cases of miscarriage.
And the matter is not only in the physical characteristics of the girl, but also in psychological preparation. Therefore, it is considered that the reproductive age of a woman begins no earlier than 17–18 years old, when she is ready not only to bear the child, but also to become a full-fledged mother.
How long does it take?
Features of the female reproductive system - this is what usually determines the length of the reproductive age. Each woman has a limited number of cells, they are laid before birth and mature throughout life. On average, a newborn already has about 500 eggs, usually one matures during menstruation, rarely two or three. However, their number can also be affected by external factors such as various chronic diseases, radiation, ecology, and so on. Due to these and other reasons, it is possible that eggs that have not yet matured may be destroyed. Due to these circumstances, by about 40 years of age, their number decreases sharply, and with it the chance of becoming pregnant. It is during this period that the woman’s childbearing age approaches its end.
The ideal average reproductive age of a woman to conceive, bear and give birth to a child is 22–35 years. It is during this period that the woman is ready both physically and emotionally.
What about women after 40?
However, today, thanks to all sorts of modern methods, a woman can easily become pregnant at 40–45 years old, while giving birth to a 100% healthy baby. But still at this age there are a lot of dangers for a full-fledged child-bearing - the hormonal background of a woman changes greatly, menstruation becomes irregular, the first signs of menopause appear. After that, the menopause begins (approximately 50 years), it lasts for about a year, ends with the disappearance of the menstrual cycle. Based on the above, we can say that the reproductive age of a woman lasts about 25-30 years.
End of Reproductive Age
Doctors believe that the period when a woman can fully carry the child ends with the onset of menopause. However, the body has been preparing for the extinction of reproductive functions since the age of 40. The process of ending develops as the hormonal background of a woman changes.
The ability to conceive naturally decreases markedly - the menstrual cycle is lost, the process of ovulation is disturbed, and the oocyte laid down at birth ends.
It is worth noting that the ability to conceive and endure a child does not disappear in one day. Even in the period of extinction, a woman may well become pregnant. But it should not be overlooked that the older a woman is at the time of pregnancy, the higher the risk of various complications associated with gestation, childbirth, and the health of the mother and child.
For these reasons, doctors recommend solving problems with the birth of offspring before this period. Still, 40-45 years is the late reproductive age of a woman.
What is menopause?
At about the age of 40, the so-called menopause begins, which means that the eggs stop ripening and the risk of getting pregnant is reduced to nothing. The probability of conception is practically excluded. This process can last for quite a long time, from the beginning of the menstrual cycle to its complete disappearance.
But during this period, you can expect surprises. Often it happens when a woman thinks that the absence of menstruation is a menopause, and in fact it is nothing but pregnancy. Therefore, you should not relax and treat contraception as an already unnecessary attribute. You can stop protection only after passing all the necessary tests and visiting a doctor.
The reproductive age of men and women are not very different, although they have their differences. Boys start to ripen at about 13 years old, the fluff on the lip appears, the first hair under the arms and on the pubis increases the penis, the morning erection increases, and at night there is often spontaneous ejaculation. Already by the age of 15, boys begin to experience sexual desire for the opposite sex. At this age, the reproductive age of a man begins.
At the age of 18-25 he is in full swing, the quality and quantity of sperm is perfect. By the age of 30, testosterone levels are reduced, factors such as health, the external environment, stress, alcohol abuse can already affect childbearing. But still the reproductive age of the representative of the stronger sex is still in full swing.
By the age of 40, there is a decline, an erection decreases, often a condition that prevents conception. But this does not mean that the reproductive age has come to an end. Practically for all men this period lasts up to 65–70 years, that is, about 40 years, unless, of course, there are any serious diseases.
How to extend the reproductive age of a woman?
This question worries many minds is not the first century. After all, the extension of the reproductive age means the extension of youth. Of course, modern medicine has taken significant steps in this direction, but its possibilities are not limitless. You need to think about your health from your youth - to give up bad habits, eat fully and properly, be able to allocate your time to work and rest, sleep at least 8 hours a day. Even positive thinking can increase reproductive age, as opposed to negative.
You should also avoid messy links, they increase the likelihood of sexually transmitted diseases. It is these pathologies that greatly influence the duration of the reproductive age of both women and men. They can lead to infertility, adenoma, cancer, prostatitis. The right lifestyle, playing sports - this is what will contribute to the extension of the reproductive period.
Some time ago doctors increased of childbearing age using hormonal drugs, but this led to the risk of breast cancer. This practice is now severely restricted and allowed only under certain indications, for example, during early menopause.
As it should be supposed, there are quite a lot of features of the reproductive age of a woman. In any case, for a complete and healthy conception of a baby, it is necessary to undergo an examination by specialists from both the mother of the child and his father.
I wish you health and beauty at any age!