What Are the Childbearing Years?

For many women, the miracle of life is something they would like to experience in their lifetime. Women in Western countries -- including the United States -- are often likely to put off childbearing to fast-paced career opportunities and marrying later in life. As a result, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the average age of a first-time mother continues to rise and is nearing 30 in many states. Still, a woman's childbearing years remain the same.

  1. Optimal Childbearing Years

    • "Medical New Today" indicates that the best age for bearing a child is between 20 and 35. This is when women are biologically in their prime to bear a child. Women are most fertile during these years. Women of this age group are also more responsible for caring for a child as opposed to giving birth as a teenager.

    Delayed Childbearing

    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the age of a woman having her first child continues to rise. In many states, women are having the first born around the age of 30. This is affecting the number of children a woman will have in her lifetime as well as the overall United States population. After the age of 35, the outcome for both mom and baby becomes poorer. Children born to older mothers are more likely to develop genetic disorders. Older mothers are also more likely to experience difficult pregnancies.

    Menstruation

    • Menstruation is considered to be the biggest physical indicator that a young girl is becoming a woman. The Nemours Foundation says that girls usually begin puberty between the ages of 8 and 13. This usually begins with the development of breasts. About two years after this occurs, a girl will normally experience her first menstrual period. Menstruation occurs when an egg does not attach itself to the wall of the uterus -- pregnancy -- and sheds the extra lining of the uterus out of your body. Once a girl has started menstruation, she is able to become pregnant.

    Menopause

    • Menopause marks the definite end of a woman's childbearing years. Menopause marks the end of menstruation as well as a woman's fertility. Menopause normally lasts a year. Mayo Clinic indicates that menopause occurs at around 51 years of age. Menopause is accompanied by irregular and the eventual end of menstrual cycles, hot flashes, mood swings, lack of fertility and increased abdominal fat. Menopause can also occur early as the result of a hysterectomy or cancer therapies like chemotherapy and radiation. Once a women has gone through menopause, she is unable to bear a child.

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