With the times getting harder and harder, it’s no wonder more couples are putting off having children until they’re more financially stable. But this begs the question, is there such a thing as too late? Yes, definitely. This is especially true for women as their chances of getting pregnant deteriorate fairly quickly as they age because their eggs lose their vitality over time.
So when is "too late"? A recent study from the Netherlands estimates the ideal age a woman should start trying to get pregnant depending on how many children she wants to have, and factored in the option of assisted reproductive technology such as IVF (in vitro fertilization), too.
The research, conducted by a group from Erasmus University Medical Center and published in the journal Human Reproduction, involved creating a computer model that simulated 10,000 couple who were trying to get pregnant. The model considered the chances a couple has of: 1) becoming pregnant in a given month; 2) losing a pregnancy; 3) turning out to be infertile; and 4) having difficulty getting pregnant with IVF.
Here’s what they found:
Those not willing to use IVF
For couples who want at least one child with a 90% chance of getting pregnant, try no later than when the woman is 32 years old. If the couple wants at least two children, they should try no later than when the woman is 27.
For couples who will accept a 75% of success, start no later than 37 for one child, 34 for two children and 31 for three children.
Those willing to use IVF can stary trying a little later in life. Dr. Tan Garcia, a reproductive endocrinologist, infertility and menopause specialist at St. Luke’s Medical Center, enumerates the following as crucial prerequisites for an IVF: adequate number and good quality live sperm, good cervical health, a passable, unobstructed fallopian tube, and an egg.
Sources: Aug. 7, 2015. "Want 1, 2 or 3 Kids? Study Estimates When to Start Building Your Family". livescience.com Aug. 3, 2015. "Computer model suggests age 'to start trying for a family'". bionews.org.uk