Wednesday 11 September 2013

The fertility "clock strikes 12" at 35

Today there has been another wave of articles generated from the latest “fertility time bomb” warning from reproductive scientists. However, we are concerned that these admonitions are issued in a way that completely ignores the reality of women’s lives and the very understandable reasons why women are choosing to have children later in their thirties. 

In our experience there are many factors which lead women to delay starting their families into their thirties. Career pressures may be among them, but this is often closely related to women wanting financial security before having a baby, and indeed their own home. The importance of being in the right relationship is for many women paramount, as few want to take on the responsibility of parenthood with a partner they are unsure about.

We also need to be wary of overstating the risks of later motherhood. If anything many women now overestimate the difficulties of getting pregnant after the age of 35 - we see many women in this age group with unplanned pregnancies after taking chances with contraception because they believed their fertility had declined dramatically. We need to work harder to understand the reasons for later motherhood and not scaremonger or stigmatise those who make the rational and considered choice to delay starting their families until they are ready.

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