When is the best time for you to have a baby? Well, your body says before 35.
While you might have planned out exactly when you’d like to settle down, get pregnant and expand your family, your body might have alternate plans.
It’s funny how when we’re studying we’re told to do just that:
“Don’t worry about boys now – focus on your studies.”
“You’re still young! You have the rest of your life to worry about boys and starting a family.”
But, apparently, “the rest of your life” starts the minute you step down from that stage at your graduation ceremony and the well wishes and congratulatory messages will also be met with the passive aggressive, “So when are you getting married?”, followed shortly by, my personal favourite, “When are you having a baby?”
As annoying as those questions are, especially since you already planned every romantic detail of your life out in your sparkly pink diary at the tender age of 18, you aren’t getting any younger. And while you’ve got a particular reproductive timeline in mind, your body might have a completely different one for you.
Toni Weschler, MPH, writes in her book Taking Charge of Your Infertility, “The unfortunate biological reality is that as women reach their mid-30s, their infertility risk increases dramatically”, while infertility is defined by the World Health Organization as “the inability of a sexually active, non-contracepting couple to achieve pregnancy in one year.”
Weschler continues, “There are physiological changes that also affect overall fertility rates. As women age, the quantity and quality of fertile cervical fluid tends to decline… In addition, as women enter their late 30s, they tend to have more anovulatory cycles, and often those in which the egg is released have shorter luteal phases. Unfortunately, what may be the most important age factor is not the ability for older women to conceive, but rather the odds of the fertilised egg surviving plantation.”
What are my chances of getting pregnant?
The following graph (click here for graph) shows your chances of getting pregnant the older you get, according to Khatamee and Rosenthal and gathered from Baby Centre. The chart is based on average figures and based on women who are considered to be in the best of health at the time of conception, or rather, trying to conceive.