“Women should wait no later than 28 to start trying to have children”, said Professor Adam Balen, the former chairman of the British Fertility Society, and lead clinician at Leeds Fertility, in a recent interview with the Daily Mail
Most of us reading this will be shouting back “that’s all very well you telling us now, but we are well into our thirties and forties!”
However, although this advice might be too late for us, what is amazing to see, is that conversations about fertility are finally happening.
Future generations will be educated about how to look after their fertility and understand how they can maximise their chances of natural conception. They will learn that as they get older, their fertility decreases. They will understand that the chances of having a biological child in your late forties and early fifties are incredibly low.
Professor Balen says that celebrities who had children in their 40s were misleading women into thinking having children could wait. He said:
“The high profile celebrities who have children in their mid-to-late 40s may be doing so with donated eggs rather than their own eggs, but, of course, they don’t often say that.
“Women in their 20s should start seriously to think about when they might wish to start a family. A woman aged 25 probably has a 25 percent chance of conceiving per month. By 35 that figure is about 15 percent. At 40 it is about one or two percent.
“If you want to have three children then you need to start trying at the age of 23. If you want two children then you could possibly leave it until 28. If you’re happy to have one then you can leave it until you are 32.”
Women in their mid-40s who use donated eggs have about a 25 percent chance of a live birth, according to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority(HFEA).
He also said egg freezing was an option but no guarantee of success.
Adam’s words are hard to read, for women struggling to conceive in their thirties and forties. but hopefully, our children won’t experience the physical and emotional pain that we have had to endure to achieve motherhood.
What advice would you give your younger self? What have you learned in hindsight about your fertility? We would love to hear from you. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org