I’m writing this post because of the overwhelming response to our Instagram story on concerns about fertility - this is an issue that came up very often.
It is a really difficult question to answer and a very sensitive issue to write about.
There is no doubt that we are all having children later - because of our careers, relationships, life choices - a whole host of things - the statistics show the trend clearly. Women planning a pregnancy after 40 should be aware that fertility decreases with age.
Clinicians who treat subfertility have provided increasingly strong advice on the risks of sub fertility after the age of 35.
A statement from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says:
‘Women should be supported in their decisions of whether to have children or not and when to plan childbearing. However, they also need to know how fertility and pregnancy outcomes change with age. Biologically, the optimum period for childbearing is between 20–35 years of age. Most women will get pregnant. Within a year, 75% of women aged 30 and 66% of women aged 35 will conceive naturally and have a baby. After this, it is increasingly difficult to fall pregnant, and the chance of miscarriage rises.’
Having said that, many many women become pregnant after the age of 35 - again, the statistics show this. In 2015, the fertility rate for women aged 40 and over rose above the rate for women aged under 20 for the first time since 1947. Some more figures…
So the answer is - I don’t know!
It is clear that fertility decreases with age, but also clear that having a pregnancy at the right time for each individual is of fundamental importance.
What do others think?