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LN: Doctors unhappy about increasing age of Czech mothers

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Prague, March 26 (CTK) – The average age of Czech women at childbirth was 30 years in 2015 for the first time and the trend of mothers growing older seems unstoppable, which makes doctors rather unhappy, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes Saturday, referring to the latest data of the Czech Statistical Office (CSU).
In 2013 and 2014, the average age of mothers who gave birth was 29.9 years.
The age of women at childbirth has been permanently growing since 1989. The most obvious explanation of the trend would be that more and more women study at university and consequently have children later, the paper writes.
“But it is surprising that the age of primiparas is rising also for women with secondary education,” said Petr Fucik, from the Institute of Population Studies at Masaryk University.
Fucik said starting a family is not a priority anymore and young people consider their career or life with no ties to be more important.
Young people often maintain their base with their parents and they testing their maturity, the paper writes.
Though young doctors learn at medical schools that the ideal age to give birth to their first child is up to 30 years for women and that the health risks sharply increase with higher age, gynaecologists say most people think that giving birth later in life is no problem and assisted reproduction is a possible solution, LN writes.
“We are seriously troubled. The increasing age of primiparas is not good,” Czech Gynaecology and Obstetrics Association head Jan Feyereisl said about women being pregnant for the first time.
He said the higher age of the mother may cause more difficulties during the pregnancy, such pregnancies end with a Caesarean section more often, and the babies face higher risks of developmental and genetic defects.
Feyereisl said assisted reproduction is one of the solutions for older mothers but it may not always be successful.
He nevertheless said there is in fact no ideal age for women to get pregnant. “Even a fifty-year-old woman may be in such a good condition that her biological age would be thirty,” Feyereisl told the paper.
According to the Czech Institute of Health Information and statistics (UZIS), more than 3700 women aged over 35 years gave birth in Prague last year.
In the capital city, the average age of women at childbirth is the highest in the country. On the contrary, it is the lowest in the Usti Region and in Moravia-Silesia, which are both rather poor regions with higher unemployment rates.
The fertility rate was 1.57 children per Czech woman in 2015, compared with 1.53 children per woman in 2014. Despite the increase, it is still below the EU average. Between the world wars, the fertility rate in Czechoslovakia was three children per woman.
The present average age of Czech women at childbirth (30.0 years) is nearly the same as in 1920 (30.2 years), but one century ago Czech women mostly gave birth to their second or third child at this age, while now it is often their first one, LN writes.

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