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Delay motherhood at your own peril

Nairobi women are susceptible to reproductive health complications as a result of delayed motherhood.

The effects include infertility, risk of cervical and breast cancers as well as complications during child birth.

Most career women delay giving birth to their first child until the age of 35 years instead of the recommended 24-28 years which could lead to complications in their reproductive health. 

“Women want to be in school forever and so they are postponing giving birth to their first child and this could be harmful in the long run,” said Head of Reproductive Health at Kenyatta National Hospital Dr John Ong’ech. 

The effects of delayed motherhood, added Dr Ong’ech, may also include fibroids and contraction of some diseases like the cervical cancer causing Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and HIV.

He said fibroids may develop as a result of increased hormones in the body due to prolonged use of the same kind of family planning method.

Fibroids have also been associated with decreased fertility, added Dr Ong’ech. He advised women to alternate the different family planning methods.

On the other hand, HPV and HIV may be contracted through unprotected sex as more and more women opt to use emergency contraceptives instead of condoms to prevent pregnancies. 

“Emergency contraceptives have become like sweets to many women. These may cause hormonal imbalance upon prolonged use which is harmful,” said Dr Ong’ech.

This delay may too be associated with Caesarean section which is now common among this group of women.

Studies show that advanced age in child bearing is related to complications during pregnancy and/or delivery.