What is reproductive age? The word "reproduction" translated from Latin means "repetition", "reproduction". From a biological point of view, this is a continuation of a kind. Thus, reproductive age is the age at which both men and women are fertile.
Optimal reproductive age for a woman
In theory, a woman can conceive and give birth at any time from the start of the menstrual cycle to the onset of menopause. Recently, women in a number of developed countries have developed a steady tendency to postpone the birth of their first child until a career is made, their own house is bought, etc. Increasingly, the first birth occurs when the mother's age approaches 35-40 years (and often more).
However, the most optimal age for the first birth is between 20 and 27 years. At this age, the woman's body is fully formed, ready for bearing a fetus and childbirth. In addition, the expectant mother has reached psychological and social maturity and can take responsibility for her child.
Early pregnancy is less desirable because there is a high risk of complications during pregnancy, up to and including miscarriage. In addition, statistics show that young women in labor often have less weight and develop more slowly compared to their peers born to more mature women.
In addition, a too young mother is often psychologically unprepared for the constant care of the child and does not have the means to provide him with everything he needs without outside help.
Late pregnancy also has its negative aspects. After 35 years of age, female reproductive function begins to gradually fade away. And the risk of having a handicapped child with genetic abnormalities, for example, with Down's syndrome, on the contrary, increases dramatically.
If the risk of having a baby with Down syndrome in a woman at the age of 20 does not exceed 1: 1000, for a woman in labor at the age of 40 it is already an order of magnitude higher - about 1: 100.
Therefore, if a woman plans to become pregnant after 35 years of age, she and her partner definitely need to get advice from a geneticist.
What is the most optimal reproductive age for a man
In order for a man to fertilize a woman, a high quality (viability, density, mobility) of his sex cells - spermatozoa - is necessary. Most healthy men produce sperm that fully meet these requirements between 20 and 35 years. After 35 years, the number of motile viable spermatozoa in the seminal fluid begins to noticeably decrease, and, accordingly, the likelihood of fertilization decreases. Although there are many known cases when men became fathers at a very respectable age.