CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It is no secret that women in the Carolinas are having their first child later in life. New government data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows in the last ten years a 35 percent increase for women ages 40 to 44 having their first child. Since 1970, there's been a 900 percent increase among women over 35 having a first child.

Charlotte Grandmother Sharon Bradley is not surprised women are waiting to have their first child. Sharon's daughter became a mom in her mid-thirties.

They're completing their education, they're concerned about their careers, so they're making sure they get good jobs. Bradley said.

Dr Nancy Teaff is a reproductive endocrinologist for Reach, Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte. She believes most women do not realize just how quickly a women's fertility drops off after 40.

Their ovaries are still the same. That's not changed. The average age of menopause at 51 hasn't changed for centuries. Dr Teaff said.

The need to have children later in life has some women are freezing eggs in their prime, to be their own egg donors later. No longer considered experimental, for some women it s insurance against a life s uncertainties. When asked if it is her recommendation that women on a very rigorous career path consider freezing her eggs, she has little hesitation in her answer.

Yes, absolutely. I think she could wait until she's 30. She said.

Eggs can be safely frozen, but there are large costs. The average cost for freezing eggs is about what you d pay for a car: $13,000 is the national average.

Dr. Taeff believes for many families it is worth it.

Some parents should be concerned when they see their daughters getting into their mid thirties and they aren't in a relationship... The grandchildren can't wait forever.

Charlotte resident Brit Drozda had her first child at age 27. Waiting a little bit was right for her.

I would say yes, I wanted to pursue a little bit career wise, but at the same time it was a priority for me to have a family.
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