Starting a Family After your 35th Birthday?

The big challenges to your body…

Even though unmarried women in that age group may be significantly less stressed and not as busy as married women that belong to the same category, they do have to deal with a variety of challenges that encounter them. These revelations are surprisingly mystifying considering the proposed societal-advancement that the modern 21st century woman has achieved.  A study revealed that even though the number of single women in the over 30s age group has augmented, the stigma connected to being unmarried at that age has not decreased in the least.

In the study which was titled “I’m a Loser, I’m Not Married, Let’s Just All Look at Me”, Larry Ganong of the University of Missouri and Elizabeth Sharp from Texas Tech University conducted 32 interviews with middle-class, single women who had never been married before who felt that they got unfavorable attention and even notoriousness directed at them because of their age and lack of marriage.

Larry Ganong stated: “We found that never-married women’s social environments are characterized by pressure to conform to the conventional life pathway”, which shows that women over the age of 30 who are not married do actually face pressure to get married and follow the paths of their married peers. This kind of pressure is not received by men of the same age, which proves that even in this day and age where women are supposed to be considered equal to men in all aspects, a set of double standards concerning marriage still exists.

He went on to clarify the type of pressure that these women encountered: “This pressure was manifested in women feeling highly visible and invisible. Heightened visibility came from feelings of exposure and invisibility came from assumptions made by others.”

Single women above the age of thirty social worlds include:

  • Awareness of their reality being shifted as the years go by; for example, the number of men eligible for marriage decreases with every increase in age and pregnancy risks are also augmented as the years pile on.
  • Reminders that they are on dissimilar life paths than most women of their age group who are married or have children when others inquire about their single status and during events where they may discuss this status, including family and social gatherings and most especially, weddings.
  • Feelings of insecurity and displacement in their families of origin when parents and siblings or other family members comment about their singlehood and lack of having a significant other and make jokes or rude comments about it, which adds to their feelings of worry or exasperation considering the matter.

Single women in their early 30s tend to be more isolated than older single women and this makes them more likely to be lonely. Young women of this age are still trying to become independent on their own and establish their identity and find out who they are supposed to be in the world. They often live in big cities, without close community ties. Friendships are fluid and unstable because of greater geographical mobility at this age. Many single women find fleeting relationships emotionally problematic.

Not surprisingly, it was found that many single women in their 40s and 50s have satisfying lives but that single women in their 30s still believed that they would be miserable if they remain single past age 40, unable to find someone good enough to marry. Single women over 40 usually lead more fulfilling lives because of the fact that they have gotten used to being alone and are no longer saddened by the fact that they don’t have a significant other.  Autonomous and independent women are not necessarily alone, for they feel that their success compensates for their lack of a spouse. Many older women in this category live rich social lives, with more friends and stronger communities than married couples.

Although one health benefit from getting married and having children at an early age (before the age of thirty) is a lower risk of getting diagnosed with breast cancer. Women who have their first child at age 35 or younger tend to get a protective benefit from pregnancy. Though breast cancer risk is increased for about 10 years after a first birth, it then drops below the risk of women who don’t have children after these 10 years have passed. The younger you are when you have your first child, the sooner you get the protective effect of pregnancy. Having many pregnancies and becoming pregnant at a young age reduce breast cancer risk. Pregnancy reduces a woman’s total number of lifetime menstrual cycles, which may be the reason for this effect.

Women who have their first child at later ages are at increased risk of breast cancer compared to women who have their first child at younger ages. For example, women who give birth for the first time after age 35 are 40 percent more likely to get breast cancer than women who have their first child before age 20. For these women, the increase in risk from a first pregnancy never gets fully offset by its long-term protective benefits. Women who are over age 35 when they have their first child also have a slight increase in lifetime risk of breast cancer compared to those who don’t have children.

Getting pregnant above the age of 35 increases the risk of chromosomal diseases like Down syndrome also known as mongol, it increases the risk of having a baby with congenital abnormalities; kidney, heart, brain, organ deformity. However,most of these abnormalities can be diagnosed by ultrasound. Amniocentesis, which is a test based on withdrawing fluid from around the baby and checking for chromosomes, is offered to women above 35 and especially if approaching 40. Women can then decide whether or not they want to continue the pregnancy. In addition older women are more prone to diseases during pregnancy like hypertension, diabetes, early labour, bleeding during pregnancy and after delivery.

In conclusion, we can find that although women in this day and age can still face a significant amount of pressure for being unmarried, if they want to remain single, they can push through this pressure and will ultimately find happiness and success. After all, we are in the 21st century and women should be allowed to be single and successful like a man if the case need be and they don’t find the suitable man for them.

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