Increasing number of single women in their 40s who want to have children

According to a study by Clinica Tambre, in the last two years there has been a 40% increase in the number of single women close to 40 years of age who have resorted to assisted reproduction. The study was presented at the 1st Tambre Meeting with Women Couples and Single Women. In it, fertility specialists recalled that delaying childbearing increases the risk of complications, and recommended that women who wish to have children in the future freeze their eggs to favor reproductive capacity.

Another study published in the journal Sex & Reproductive Healthcare confirms that social, economic and occupational factors dominate women’s reproductive decisions, and that fertility declines with age while complications increase.

Risks in delaying childbearing

Assisted Reproduction experts state that there are consequences of delaying childbearing.

  • According to Dr. Rocío Núñez, assistant director of the Tambre Clinic, after the age of 35 the woman’s ovarian reserve decreases, so the chances of pregnancy are limited, while after the age of 40 they are minimal. Even with assisted reproduction techniques, with age there is a higher rate of chromosomal alterations, which means lower fertility and a lower implantation rate. All this leads to a higher risk of miscarriages and children with chromosomal disorders, especially Down’s Syndrome.
  • Change in the assisted reproduction technique they can undergo. According to Dr. Bascuñana, many women arrive with the idea that the treatment for them is artificial insemination. However, their oocytes are not of good quality, so they will also need donor eggs for in vitro fertilization. This is a shock for them, and generates anxiety and tension.
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Dr. Núñez explains that egg cryopreservation consists of freezing eggs of fertile age, that is to say, before the age of 35 and, in any case, no later than 38. In this way, when the woman decides to have a child (always before the age of 50) she will be able to undergo in vitro fertilization treatment with good quality eggs. With this technique, more pregnancies are achieved (even if they are over 40 years of age) and fewer miscarriages.

New family models

In recent years there has been an increase in new family models, such as single mothers or couples of women with children. In addition, society has changed its perception of them.

For example, the number of women couples seeking fertility treatments has tripled (with an average age between 30 and 38).

According to Eva María Bernal, a single mother of three children born with assisted reproduction and founder of the Asociación Madres Solteras por Elección (Single Mothers by Choice Association), it is necessary to have a lot of mental strength, good health and money saved to be able to do it in a planned way. She also stresses that it is important to receive advice and support throughout the process, as many women are at a loss.

According to Gregoria Madrigal, president of GALEHI, nowadays there is more and better access to assisted reproduction techniques. Above all, it has meant a change for lesbian women, who no longer have to decide between living according to our sexual orientation or the desire to be mothers.

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In addition, with the ROPA method (Reception of Oocytes from the Partner), a couple of women, as long as they are married, can share the treatment; one provides the oocytes and the other gestate them. “It is very exciting that your partner can gestate something of yours,” says Gregoria.