Modern lifestyle has contributed to an increase in the fertility rates in women with recent research suggesting that it actually goes up once they reach 40 years.

It is a long-held notion that women are most productive in their early twenties and that they would start losing fertility gradually as they cross middle age. However, new research proves that this notion needs to be flushed down the chute.

The research says the modern lifestyles only contribute to extending a woman’s child-bearing age, instead of blunting it as many earlier studies suggested. To reach this conclusion, the researchers studied marriage histories of 1,591 women.

Thereafter, they analyzed the childbearing and marital history data of these Finnish women in the 18th and 19th centuries. According to them, women in 18th and 19th centuries went in for early marriages. And women who got married to rich men often ended up marrying men much elder to them. This resulted in early widowhood for many women of during that period.

And younger widows of those days often found it difficult to re-marry. This explains why there was less number of older women who had children in the earlier centuries.

But, today the women get married late and therefore, the fertility would favour women who are older, the researchers from University of Sheffield have said.

Women who have long lasting fertility genes will be able to give birth at an older age. This means that the overall period of fertility will increase as their genes would be carried forward by their children, the researchers said.

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