Do you recognise this scenario? You have a vague idea that you might want to have children at some point in the future but for years now you have been consumed with education, earning a living and perusing your career and finding somewhere to live that you can at least swing a cat in. You haven’t met Mr Right yet or you are in the process of figuring out if he really is Mr Right, So, with babies seeming a long way off, you may wonder why it’s so important to prioritise checking your fertility status. Here are the reasons why, and it’s never been easier.

Many women think that they will conceive pretty quickly, with many being pretty certain that any unprotected sexual activity will almost certainly result in a pregnancy. Whilst for some it is true, for many, conceiving is much more difficult. The fact is that after trying for up to two years, 1 in 7 couples discover that they have some fertility issues. Here are some interesting statistics:

  • Fertility peaks in most women in their 20s, and gradually begins to decline by late 20s. At around age 35, fertility starts to decline at a much more rapid pace. For example, some research has found that in any given month your chances of getting pregnant at age 30 are about 20%. At age 40 your chance of getting pregnant in any given month is just 5% (American Society of Reproductive Medicine)
  • The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveals that 49% of births in England and Wales are to women over 30 years of age.
  • The mean age of childbearing has risen over the last 40 years from 23 in 1968 to 29.3 in 2008. At the age of 25 just 5% of women take longer than a year to conceive and this rises to 30% in women aged 35. (RCOG)

Many are in their late thirties before they even start trying, even though women like Kirstie Allsopp and Kate Silverton are highlighting some of the issues of starting a family in late 30s & 40s. Many infertility issues take time to identify and treat so getting control of your fertility status before you even start planning a family can avoid the heart ache of discovering too later that you have problems.

It’s a fact that fertility does decline with age but every woman is different and every couple is different. So you really don’t know what’s happening inside your body until you get tested. For men they simply need to visit the clinic and provide a sample which is analysed and a fertility expert can explain the results and how to proceed.

And for women it’s just become a lot easier too. Until recently, women had to attend the clinic twice for blood tests and scans on specified days of their cycle, but now technology has moved forward and now all the information can be gleaned in one visit. You can see the details here.

So why risk getting the timing wrong on one of the most important decisions of your life, when you could arm yourself with highly accurate information about your fertility and start planning your life!