Family First: The Top 5 Fertility-Based Options To Have A Baby At Any Age

parents and babyPhoto Credit: ShutterstockMany mothers, and parents in general, boast the birth of their child as the happiest and most fulfilling moment of their lives, but as we move to an era where many women are waiting longer to start to form their families, oftentimes in the interest of establishing complete career-based success for themselves, and with the disheartening difficulties that some couples face on the road to parenthood, especially when family-planning is delayed, this exciting and prideful moment can feel exceedingly challenging. Regardless of the strife and struggle encountered, all potential parents deserve the opportunity to find wholeness and fruition in their pursuit of progeny. Fortunately, the journey to parenthood is not at all binary, and there are various options available to browse through when planning for a fruitful, family-filled future. 

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1. Natural Pregnancy With Cesarean Section

As aforementioned, parents are more frequently waiting until they are older to conceive and rear their children, but with this, sometimes comes added difficulty and strain. Though the widespread myth that women cannot bear children after the age of thirty-five is absolutely preposterous and not true, it can indeed be true that additional risks become important to be attentive to as the age of the patient increases. A cesarean section birth can be a great option for families who wait, as natural births can yield complications due to health issues that coincide with older age. In order to ensure the chances of a healthy and safe baby and a smooth birth experience, parents-to-be should stay as active as possible, focus on having a healthy and balanced diet, and refraining from smoking. An uncomplicated and successful pregnancy can be achieved and carried out at any age granted these conditions are followed, and patients are advised by fertility and/or OB/GYN specialist early on in their pregnancy.

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2. Surrogacy

For parents who are experiencing great difficulties in traditionally conceiving their children, surrogacy can be a wonderful option. Both surrogacies in the traditional sense, where the surrogate provides her own eggs, which are fertilized through the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI) processes with sperm donated by the intended father, and gestational surrogacy, where the mother and father both donate their egg and sperm which is fertilized through in-vitro fertilization then placed in the uterus of the gestational surrogate, are effective methods of starting or growing a family when odds may not be in the parents’ favor. In essence, traditional surrogacy will have the surrogate mother and intended father related to the conceived child, but gestational surrogacy allows for intended mothers and fathers, alike, to produce their natural offspring without carrying or delivering the baby to term. Surrogates can be found by using an agency, yet it is strongly recommended that parents-to-be research these organizations thoroughly before committing.

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3. Adoption And Fostering

Sometimes pregnancy struggles can become so severe that pregnancy and natural conception have to be ruled out completely, but for these families nurturing a child, or several children, is still a viable option. With so many children in adoption and/or foster care centers, in need of love, homes, and direction, adoption and fostering can be very noble ways to expand your family at a later age. Adoption is a complex and both emotionally and financially demanding process, but for parents seeking that familial fulfillment, it can provide them with their missing piece, their own child to welcome, raise, and love. There are many subsectors of adoption such as open and closed adoptions and both independent versus agency adoptions, all of these can be valuable and effective but ultimately depend on the goals and preferences of the parents. It is advised that parents-to-be look into all of these options and factors prior to making their decision. 

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4. Hormonal Medications: Ovulation Induction 

Fertility treatments such as hormonal medications can become more necessary as parental age increases and fertility becomes more sparse, or if fertility has always been a challenge at hand for prospective parents. Ovulation Induction medications are commonly used to treat infertility diagnoses and prompt a natural pregnancy. Ovulation Induction medications can be both oral, to block estrogen and stimulate follicle growth, or injectable gonadotropins, such as Gonal-f and Ovidrel, to help the ovaries release eggs at a specific timed moment. Both of these Ovulation Induction options use hormonal medicines to stimulate follicle growth and development in order to ensure the release of at least one egg for ovulation. With this, timed insemination or intercourse can yield to natural fertilization resulting in pregnancy which can then be monitored by a fertility specialist and carried out healthily and normally.

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5. Fertility Surgery

Fertility surgeries can correct a structural defect in both men and women facing fertility issues. The surgery can correct infertility caused by endometriosis, polyps, fibroids, and/or other reproductive organ issues for both sexes. Again, there are a few options available to families considering the surgical route. Both hysteroscopy and laparoscopy are parts of the surgical process that effectively identify issues causing infertility, but laparoscopy is much more minimally invasive than the former. With laparoscopy, a small camera system is surgically inserted through the abdomen to see the reproductive organs and operate accordingly. 

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Family planning and managing fertility, at any age, is a complex and sometimes difficult process. Whatever happens to be the most ideal and compelling fertility assistance option for you, seek guidance from an experienced OB/GYN and fertility specialist, and find joy and fulfillment throughout the journey and with your growing family.