To think we should be fertile from 25-50 ish?

(115 Posts)
Allthenamesiwantaretaken Sat 12-Jan-13 17:46:50

Just a bit frustrated that at the time I actually am starting to feel grown-up enough (ish) to try to conceive (aged 34) that apparently my fertility is about to fall off a cliff. We have been trying for a little while to no avail and I am wirrying about my eggs, I know everything else is ok. I'm not sure I even feel grown up enough yet but am feeling the clock tick-tick-ticking away!

Allthenamesiwantaretaken Sat 12-Jan-13 17:47:16

Worrying even!

TheBrideofMucky Sat 12-Jan-13 17:54:19

Not all of us take so long to mature grin.

Only joking, I had my son at just 24 (unplanned) and wouldn't have done it any other way. Uni and party nights out of the way, good jobs (but small mortgage, we hadn't weighted ourselves down with too much financially so maternity leave wasn't a struggle etc) and it has all worked out perfectly (for us). I certainly don't wish I'd waited and would never wish him not here for the sake of an extra year.

We all know how the human body works and if we want children, need to live with that in mind.

TheBrideofMucky Sat 12-Jan-13 17:58:53

Sorry you are having problems btw sad.

Have got over being vaguely outraged and hope things work out for you soon. There is still plenty of time at 34.

Allthenamesiwantaretaken Sat 12-Jan-13 18:02:46

Yeah, unfortunately I didn't meet DH until I was 32! Thanks {smile}

NamingOfParts Sat 12-Jan-13 18:06:09

I suppose that the problem is that for some people it does fall off a cliff and you dont know if that you will be one of those people.

You cant assume that you have time to play with. Do all the right things now, eat sensibly, cut out the alcohol. If you take recreational drugs then you need to stop. All of this applies to both of you.

Oh, and dont forget to have lots of sex!

NirvanaSmellsLikeTeenMother Sat 12-Jan-13 18:12:49

I disagree with not being fertile before 25, because then I wouldn't have DD! grin I'm seven years younger than that!

Hope all goes well for you, good luck! smile

HarkAtYou Sat 12-Jan-13 18:14:46

The whole fertility thing is pants frankly. You're told from a young age not to even think about looking at a penis without protective goggles or you'll fall pregnant. Then when you do want to children it becomes apparent that constant shagging followed by waving your legs in the air for an hour will only marginally increase you're chances of getting lucky. Then you have 2 weeks driving yourself mad!
Then if you are pregnant there's a whole new world of fun and games to contend with. Then just when you're so uncomfortable you could smash something you have labour to look forward to.
Honestly, if you could just grow a baby in a plant pot at a time that suited you the whole process would be much more enjoyable.
I'm told that its all worth it though!

Well as much as I feel for you, I'm 23 and have 3 children so no, I don't think 25 would be good. But I hope you have success soon though thanks

Allthenamesiwantaretaken Sat 12-Jan-13 18:21:21

Yep @Hark, I am already sick of waving my legs in the air and thinking that it's definitely this time!

Locketjuice Sat 12-Jan-13 18:25:58

And why 25! Who said you can't have kids before that?

Locketjuice Sat 12-Jan-13 18:26:35

And why 25! Who said you can't have kids before that?

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 18:33:57

oh OP. sorry it's taking longr than you had hoped.

i know this wont help you AT ALL but i think the fertility thing is because until very recently (in terms of human existence) people didn't live much beyond their 40's. so those women having children later (like late 30's early 40's) didn't have their genetic make-up survive as they died and they children died having no-one to protect them. i suppose it is possible that as we are now living longer we may evolve to have longer fertile periods and there is so much technology and medicine out there that can help you if you need it.

as i said. no use to you at all. i do wish you good luck though.

also, i had my ds at 19 and wouldn't change that at all.

Allthenamesiwantaretaken Sat 12-Jan-13 18:46:30

Thanks, I really do think evolution should have caught up by now. I neither had the partner or maturity to contemplate conception any younger. Of course you can have children younger, however, personally as things stand many people don't graduate until 21/22. Nowadays, most couples I know meed two incomes so you need some time to get a career established. So you can end up with a really short window of oppportunity.

MidnightMasquerader Sat 12-Jan-13 18:52:59

Well, I'm just 39 with two pre-schoolers, and I'm done. I'm way too old and knackered out for this malarky now. The thought of doing it at 50...! shock

I'm lucky I suppose, since it was all fairly text book for me. Met lovely, grown-up, mature DH days after turning 30, engaged at 32, married at 33 and knocked up at 34 and then again at 35.

You know what I think would be miles better, if we're fiddling around with fertility and human biology? <sly smilie> That instead of men being able to father babies into their 80s... They have the same fertile window as us women. I think that would even out the playing field quite nicely, personally.... wink

I didn't feel old enough until 35 so you grow up faster than me grin. Don't worry too much before you try. It took me 3-4 months of ttc and now I have a healthy DD.

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 18:55:53

it can be a very short window depending on how lucky you are in love and what education/career path you choose. i agree, it's time evolution caught up with us, even another 10 years would help alot of people out but there's nothing we can do to make that happen so we just have to work with what we've got.

MammaTJ Sat 12-Jan-13 18:56:05

I had my first at 27, my second at 37 and my last at 39. There is hope for you.

I like the idea men having the same fertile window as us midnight. Too many aren't ready to commit in their 20s because they see themselves as good father material still in their 40s I'm sure.

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 18:56:34

I find this thread bizarre. It's being discussed as if there is a real alternative to err, developmental biology as it stands hmm

BackforGood Sat 12-Jan-13 18:56:40

What Midnight said - you really don't have the strength / energy to be hands on with small children in your 50s.

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 18:57:47

midnight- even fairer would be to make men able to carry the babies! grin

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 18:58:44

i didn't get that impression at all damnbamboo

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 19:00:24

It's got sod all to do with evolution which are movements that are part of a set of other ordered movements.

Meeting partners later and having more of a presence in the workplace is a social change for women, not a biological one.

If there was an evolutionary advantage to having a fertile period later, then presumably those changes are taking place slowly (as is the case with evolution - small changes over millions of years, not just since women got the vote etc.)

McNewPants2013 Sat 12-Jan-13 19:00:42

By 25 I had 2 children, good luck ttc hope it don't take too long.

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 19:02:52

damnbamboo i think you have misunderstood my posts.

MidnightMasquerader Sat 12-Jan-13 19:03:14

Ha! Yes, Booy! grin

tittytittyhanghang Sat 12-Jan-13 19:03:22

I just think its shit that nature deems us most fertile in our late teens but (certainly) uk society frowns upon teenage pregnancy and its more acceptable once your settled in your 30's (when your fertility starts to decline). Talk about not being able to win :D

DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 19:04:03

Possibly boo

MidnightMasquerader Sat 12-Jan-13 19:06:56

Wait, Damn, - you mean, we can't actually put a request in to God/Allah/the flying spaghetti monster to reprogramme us, biologically?


DamnBamboo Sat 12-Jan-13 19:09:10

Ha midnight no no - I just find the whole concept of evolution 'catching up' a rather bizarre one.

I didn't want to have children older than 30 tbh, because I was falling to bits in my teens. I had my first at 20 and my last at 26. I am happy with that!

I hope it works for you soon OP. The whole 'don't try for a baby' thing has worked for many smile

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 19:21:52

that really wasn't a serious comment damn. i assume that most people know that isn't how it works and so i assumed (rightly or wrongly) that anyone reading that comment would know i was joking about evolution catching up. maybe i should have added a grin or something to indicate that.

Catchingmockingbirds Sat 12-Jan-13 19:22:41

Yabu, I had DS at 19 and am pg with dd at 25 but had been trying since not that long after I was 23. I'm very happy with the age I've had dc at and wouldn't have liked to wait until I was 25.

MrsDeVere Sat 12-Jan-13 19:28:45

Well now I feel old.

<gimmer with a buggy>

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 12-Jan-13 19:31:19

I disagree about it being made clear how our fertility declines quickly in our 30s. I was undecided for ages and at 34 decided I wanted children and three years later am still trying (ok, it's unlikely to be an age thing). When people used to ask "Do you want children?" I'd say "Maybe," and people would say "Plenty of time. People have children into their 40s" etc.

Grrrr. Bastards!

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sat 12-Jan-13 19:35:04

I hope it happens quickly for you but I couldn't disagree more with the idea of not having babies till at least 25! The younger I was when I had some of my brood the easier I coped both physically and mentally, it's also meant I can stretch out my childbearing years so I have more options (though I know it's not that easy for many people)

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 12-Jan-13 19:36:48

I was a total kid at 24 even. I was just starting my career.

For many people, it's not remotely practical.

Allthenamesiwantaretaken Sat 12-Jan-13 19:37:26

Ok, obviously I realise that obviously even if there was a majority vote we can't change biology. it just seems that was life expentancy has increased so much it seems like we aren't fertile for very long, particularly in-light of the aformentioned social change.
Totally agree that if men had the same window it would change their outlook somewhat. DH became a father to DSD when he was 25 but I think he actually only feels mature enough now at 40! (he's a great dad nonetheless)

Well I think YABU as my dd and ds wouldn't exist. Some of us grow up quicker. I may not have graduated (or even taken a levels) but I provide for my dcs (along with my DH) and wouldn't change becoming a mum at 17 for anything.

Sorry you're having problems ttc OP. I'm 26 just had my ds2 and he took 14 months ttc.

herethereandeverywhere Sat 12-Jan-13 19:40:32

OP, YANBU, I understand and you have my sympathy! The suggestion to match men's fertility with women's is a cracking one!

I would have loved to have my children younger than 30 but 1)DH wanted to wait so 2) we didn't get a place together until I was 30, then we got married at 32 (I was happy to not bother with this step, he notso) and 3) made our flat liveable in whilst TTC which took 18 months (had DD1 age 33). This is seen by society as being responsible but has left me with declining fertility when I need it most! I happily conceived DD2 age 35, I'm now 36.

OP, keep on trying, you HAVE got time - don't feel the pressure of the invisible tick-tick-tick, it will do nothing for stress levels. Follow all the good advice about healthy lifestyle to maximise your chances. I also made sure we had enough sex at the right times by following "the Deanna plan" (google it).

Good on you if you had children before 25/30/whatever but not everyone has that opportunity.

Catchingmockingbirds Sat 12-Jan-13 19:55:05

But many people aren't still acting like kids at 24. I left home at 16 and grew up fast, same with DP.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 12-Jan-13 19:57:59

You sound like Penny from Dirty Dancing grin

Let me assure you, I am NOT Baby Houseman.

Catchingmockingbirds Sat 12-Jan-13 20:00:20


ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 12-Jan-13 20:05:52

Yes, I was only being silly.

Allthenamesiwantaretaken Sat 12-Jan-13 20:06:21

I'm sure there are some people who are mature in their early 20's but I definitely don't know any of them. The youngest of my friends to have a baby was 28, and she seemed very young.
I wouldn't even say all the circumstances are right now as I was the only one with a steady income (dh self-employed and income sporadic) and I am now redundant and starting my own business. Sooo, weighing thngs up, age, relationship etc we are trying now, even though I would prefer to be able to wait a little longer.

DiscoTent Sat 12-Jan-13 20:09:45

Rather than just being fertile 25-50 it would be nice if it was just a choice you could make. It seems so unfair that we spend so long doing so much to prevent conception, then (sometimes) have to try for ages to make it happen and then have to go back to desperately preventing it. Come on biology, surely there is a better way than this! grin

porridgewithalmondmilk Sat 12-Jan-13 20:13:24

This worries me a bit ... will be trying later this year when I'll be 33. But I have to go to a clinic so I hope it doesn't take ages.

Allthenamesiwantaretaken Sat 12-Jan-13 20:14:00

yeah agreed, just would like the window to extend, also would have been nice to start periods later than12!

Catchingmockingbirds Sat 12-Jan-13 20:17:25

I haven't watched Dirty Dancing in years, never really liked it so it went right over my head anyway!

DP and I are both mid/late 20s, most of his friends are still childless and quite immature whereas the majority of my friends have a had children early/mid 20s and are far more mature.

tiggytape Sat 12-Jan-13 20:29:12

There are definitely times when it would be totally impractical to have a baby aged 20-30 but there's an awful lot of procrastinating now too.

It is one thing if you haven’t yet met your partner or got any kind of security at all but more and more people want every last detail of their lives totally perfect before committing to children which can mean leaving it too late at all.

People talk about buying a house then a bigger house and decorating it top to bottom and get promoted and doing all the exotic holiday destinations they fancy and sorting out a grand wedding and going back to do a bit more studying....
Which is fine if you’re quick but for most people, a time will never come when everything else is just perfect so one day you just have to decide to go for it anyway.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 12-Jan-13 20:37:53

The problem with having a baby when both parents are fifty is that whilst most people are still alive and (relatively) well at 65, a significant minority are dead or have had a health catastrophe. If you want to maximise the chances of both parents being alive and well until their children reach (say) 16 then you want to be having them before you're forty. Mortality and morbidity have improved a lot but there's still a big difference between thirty and fifty.

TheBrideofMucky Sat 12-Jan-13 21:33:21

I'm all for matching men's fertility windows up with ours tbh. grin Several women I work with are in their mid/late thirties and being given the run around by men of the same age who "don't want to settle down yet."

I also think things are changing. I walked out of uni into a graduate job but that doesn't happen so often now. I know people in their thirties who don't have any prospect of owning a house in the near future, people in their mid twenties who still live at home etc. It's taking so long to get hold of any real security, the options seem to be have children young, get it out of the way early and bring them along for the ride or wait until the main securities (job, house, wedding) are in place, by which time fertility is declining. I think I was one of the lucky ones. Not sure which option I would have gone for if I hadn't had my "happy accident" with ds1.

lapsedorienteerer Sat 12-Jan-13 21:37:57

Married at 36 (DH 40), no thoughts of DC. Pregnant at 39, DS at yanbu.

SamuelAndOscarsMummy Sat 12-Jan-13 21:43:06

Even though I'm 24 and pregnant with my second I don't actually think you are being unreasonable. I probably should of waited til I was a bit older to have my babies then uni & nights out etc would all be out of the way & more of my friends would be settled with partners and children. Obviously I don't regret my baby boys in any way though, they are the best thing in my life smile

I don't know about ladies having babies at 50 to be honest, it sounds absolutely awful but I don't think I would want to be in my 60s before my children were even teenagers, I want to be able to relate to them properly! I hope you get pregnant soon though!

ilikesweetpeas Sat 12-Jan-13 21:48:07

I'm with you OP! Took me a lot of time and help to have DD at 35, I would LOVE another but age as well as unexplained infertility is against me now sad

juule Sat 12-Jan-13 21:52:30

In an attempt to reassure you I'd like to say that I had no5 at 35y and no9 at almost 44y. Also 3 m/c in between.
I dont know how long youve been ttc. However, I was told to seek medical help if no conception in 2y if under 35 or 1y if over 35.
Hope you have the news you want soon smile

LST Sat 12-Jan-13 21:55:59

I don't agree with the 25+ bit. I started trying for ds at 20.

MadBusLady Sat 12-Jan-13 22:01:17

I read this recently which claims a lot of our standard stats about fertility over 35 come from outdated sources. Don't know any more about it than that, but it was an interesting read.

Catchingmockingbirds Sat 12-Jan-13 22:05:40

There should be a longer window for fertility, but saying 18 - 25 yr olds shouldn't be able to have children but a 50 (ish) year old should be able to fall pregnant is completely unreasonable. Many people are basing the idea that under 25s shouldn't be parents on the fact that they may not be financially secure. Many are financially and emotionally ready to have children (I know plenty of great parents who had their dc before turning 25) and many 50 (ish) year olds really shouldn't fall pregnant.

It's awful that you're struggling to conceive but to then say under 25s shouldn't then be parents because it's not fair on those who waited to have children is completely unreasonable.

My ability to parent for instance is no less than yours just because you're older.

50shadesofpink Sat 12-Jan-13 22:06:07

OP I'm 35 and have been trying two years. I already have a DC who is 5.6 but this time round it's just harder to fall. So I am there with you in relation to frustration!

Good luck to everyone TTC hope 2013 is the year for us.

littleducks Sat 12-Jan-13 22:15:58

I guess I'm just another offended by the 25 thing but I reckon it is a question of priorities.

I had children young because to me that was the most important thing. I didn't wait for circumstances to be perfect -everything can change pretty quickly anyway- I do want a career but I'm working on that now (I have two dc) as I'm expecting to work way over 50, probably not draw a pension till my 70s and I wouldn't be able to have children then.

porridgewithalmondmilk Sat 12-Jan-13 22:19:26

littleducks, children are the most important thing for some of us old fogies wink hence some of us need to provid them with a stable home and so on. My life before I was 25 was very chaotic and dysfunctional (through no fault of my own I hasten to add) all the same it would not have been a suitable environment to bring children into.

I have left it longer because I want my child(ren) to have the best, not necessarily in terms of material possessions, but rather for me to have matured and be the best parent I can be. I didn't feel ready until I was about 28 and as it is have had to wait until I'm 33 because of other issues.

Allthenamesiwantaretaken Sat 12-Jan-13 22:23:02

For any I have accidentlly offended, I picked 25 as an arbitary number, was meant in a light-hearted way, more about the challenges of trying to get the basics sorted (finding someone with whom you wish to concieve, and they you, is hard enough) and just when you do your fertility starts to decline. (in my case).

HollyBerryBush Sat 12-Jan-13 22:31:24

Interesting the thought evolution should have caught up - the average age of death ranges from 39 in Mozambique to 85 in Japan with the mean average being 68 world wide.

I don;t thin kevolution moves that quickly; 400 years ago you were xonsidered old by 40 in England. Our teeth havent evolved for one thing to continue eating past 40 - it is only medicine (ie fillings and dentures) that allow us to keep going.

Take away vaccinations and antibiotics et cand I think you'll find we'd all still pop our clogs at around 40 .

sameoldlovebunny Sat 12-Jan-13 22:32:47

no. we should change society to suit our 14-30 fertility window.

honeytea Sat 12-Jan-13 22:53:58

We started ttc when I was 25 but my DS was born when I was 28, just because your at the "ideal age" doesn't guarantee you will have an easy time getting pregnant, I guess it just gives you more time to sort out the problems.

Allthenames you say you "know everything else is ok" have you done all the tests? endometriosis can show few symptoms and have a great effect on fertility. Has your DP had a sperm anaysis? have you had an hsg?

Good luck, I hope you are pregnant soon!

deleted203 Sat 12-Jan-13 22:59:38 can think what you like but it won't change the facts of nature, unfortunately. It's one of those situations where you have to accept that 'it is what it is'.

Personally I think Johnny Depp should be on the phone every day begging me to be with him. But it doesn't mean it's going to happen, sadly.

weegiemum Sat 12-Jan-13 23:05:58

I'm glad I had my dc when I was 29, 31, 32 as by 35 my fertility must have been falling off the cliff, I was totally through the menopause by 40.

Yes, people in their 40s have babies, but I really wouldn't want to count on it.

I couldn't imagine having a newborn now at 42, I'm far too tired already!!

TillyTommyTootToot Sat 12-Jan-13 23:16:48

I had my ds at 21 the year I graduated from college, when he was six months I got my job and then my house. I know it sounds terrible but I really don't feel any sympathy for anyone who suffers fertility problems after leaving it so late to start!

CloudsAndTrees Sat 12-Jan-13 23:21:41

Yabu. Mother Nature knows what she is doing.

tiggytape Sat 12-Jan-13 23:22:45

I do feel sympathy because a lot of people don't choose to leave it that late - life just happens that way.

But I am still puzzled by (for example) a 34 women planning her wedding for 2 year time saying she wants 'at least 2 or 3 years' together as a married couple before they even try for children. Loads of women fall pregnant at 39 but if you're unfortunate enough to be a couple who needs help or time, it might be far too late by then. I don't why people just assume they'll be the ones that it all happens easily for when everyone knows infertility is a huge issue for many.

Fakebook Sat 12-Jan-13 23:27:53

YABU. I had my dd at 24. Then from age 26-28 had loads of miscarriages. It doesn't matter if you're 25 or 35 or 45, if you're body doesn't want you to have a baby, it won't let you regardless of being in the fertile window.

Allthenamesiwantaretaken Sat 12-Jan-13 23:37:07

Tilly, that's really harsh, I haven't left it too late (hopefully) I am 34. I didn't meet my DH until I was 32, nearly 33, some (many) women don't meet someone until a little later on

soontobeburns Sun 13-Jan-13 01:07:55

Im 23 and have been TTC since I was 21 and been told I need IVF. Im glad I didnt wait until I had a house etc in order as I would be much older and not able to take the time to conceive.

apostropheuse Sun 13-Jan-13 01:57:13


Fertile at fifty - no thank you very much!

Also, many twenty-five year olds are more than mature enough to have children. I was lucky to be extremely fertile, having four in the space of four and a half years. Even back then, in the eighties, we knew that women's fertility drops off dramatically at 35 and also there is an increased risk of having a baby with Downs etc. With this in mind many people did have children in their twenties.

You also have to consider that you don't know how your body is going to act. In my case I went through premature menopause at 38. Totally unpredicted. My mother went through it at 52.

You can't always wait until the "right" time unfortunately.

MerryCouthyMows Sun 13-Jan-13 02:14:10

I'd had three of my four DC's before I was 25 - in fact my third was born when I was 22. If I hadn't been fertile then, I wouldn't have three of my four gorgeous DC's!

Not everyone wants DC's later in life - my youngest child will be 18 when I am 47. I will have finished my childrearing then.

And when I am 47, my DD will be 31, so I will more than likely have grandchildren by then! I'm quite looking forward to grandchildren - I can swoop in, have fun with them, feed them ice cream for dinner and then go!

(DD is adamant that if her DC's want ice cream for dinner, she will let them, and the only reason I don't is because I'm mean. It's a bit of a running joke between us, because I know full well that when she does have DC's, they will no more eat ice cream for dinner than stick their fingers in plug sockets...)

Adversecamber Sun 13-Jan-13 02:21:02

I'm 46 and the thought of having another baby now let alone at 50 brings me out in a cold sweat.

Which would possibly be better than the hot sweats keeping me up in my peri menopausalness tonight.

thatisall Sun 13-Jan-13 02:50:30

Y a b v u. Who are you to say that women should only have babies when theyre 25 + or that a child of ten would be just fine with a mother if 60? We are fertile when we are for good reason, even if it doesn't always seem fair. It's nature.

VestaCurry Sun 13-Jan-13 03:09:13

I wanted to start a family when I was 26. Had been to uni, and was 5 years into a great career, which I would have been very happy to take mat leave from, return to work, then have second child with a 3 years or so age gap between it and first child. I had seen slightly older women in the field I was working in do exactly that and knew it was what I wanted. I had it all mapped out in my head because I knew it wasn't a good idea to leave trying for a family until my thirties a) because of the fertility issue and b) looking further ahead I wanted to hopefully still be alive to be lucky enough to become a grandparent (and one still physically fit enough to 'keep up' with grandchildren)!

But....I didn't meet someone I actually wanted to have children with until I was 33. We married when I was 35 and I had my first dc 10 months after the wedding. Second dc born almost exactly 2 years after my first. I still say 'phew' to myself about it, that I was incredibly fortunate to become pregnant so easily, both times. It felt, and still feels late to have started a family though, but hey ho, it took a while to find the right man!

Mimishimi Sun 13-Jan-13 04:10:58

YABU if you actually expect that biological processes should conform and adapt with our economic needs of today. That said, YANBU to wish we were fertile a bit longer. We had our first, unplanned, when I was 24 too and our second when I was 30. Even then now it was considered almost like being a teen parent by friends and colleagues grin. Now many of those peers are spending huge sums on fertility treatments anyway , so I am not at all convinced that you will be able to save more in your twenties if you don't have them. It's very sad for those who don't feel they've met the right person until their mid-thirties though. Then again, other friends have met at that age and gone on to have three or four!

LibraryMum8 Sun 13-Jan-13 05:48:51

I'd go to a specialist ASAP. The longer you wait the less apt they can help you. I was 38 when I had my one and only. Would have loved 1 more but I had one mc before and one after ds and then immediately went into full menopause! (At 40)

But 50...oh heavens no!! I'm 49 now, ds is 11, and I can't imagine having one in a year. That would do me in! And I waited until 36 to get married ;)

I would have loved to have dcs before thirty. I always wanted three.

But here I am at thirty five, with none and after spending the last ten years with two timewasting men/looking for someone nice.

Some pretty insensitive views on this thread (i.e. no sympathy for those leaving it too late etc) - not everyone gets a choice to conceive early on.

I agree with the poster who said things would be easier if men got the same fertility window as us.

As it happens I am thirty-five and single but I still have faith I will get my family.

Fwiw OP I got the spirit of the thread and knew you weren't suggesting 25 as a minimum age one should start a family.

firawla Sun 13-Jan-13 10:16:57

I've had all my kids so far before I was 25, I know you picked it as an arbitrary number but dont think you needed a minimum

I wouldn't worry too much at 34 though hopefully you will be fine, I know people had babies even over 40. wish you all the best

Yabu. Sigh.
Yes it's unfair for you that your fertility has declined as you've matured but that doesn't mean that some under 25s aren't already mature enough.
Biologically women are supposed to have children younger. It is only society that has changed.
So much agism against younger people at the moment. If I started a thread saying fertility should be from periods starting to 35 because any older and you are surely too old to run around after children, might not be in there lives for as long and wont be able bodied grandparents I would get flamed. Rightly so as its bullshit - just like your post.
I'm sorry that you're finding conceiving hard but just because you chose not to have children earlier doesn't mean that those that did/have are wrong.

Alconleigh Sun 13-Jan-13 10:57:42

OP wasn't saying people shouldn't have children before 25 at all, I got that from the first reading, and she's clarified as well.
What I find very interesting about this is the very different social groups which it highlights. Not one of my peers married before 29. First babies therefore 30 onwards, second coming 2 years later. even from the whole of my school year, I think the earliest child was at 24. And that was considered odd. It's only from my time on MN that I know there are many mature, sorted young women who have babies under this age and are delighted about it and loving parenting. I don't know anyone like that. Now, I know you're probably thinking I need to widen my social circle a bit, and that's true, but it also shows I think how people can fail to understand each other on this topic, and take offence where none was meant.

HollyBerryBush Sun 13-Jan-13 11:04:55

Having babies late is a very Western trend

With the level of interventions needed as you get later, it kind of blows a giant hole in myth 'you can have it all'. Some people can't. You make choices. Career or children. Hanging in therehoping for change or ditching once a partnerhas shown he just isn't father material.

Average age in the UK now for first time babies is 30, with the average first time father now at 32. That is about right, give or take a year for my peers.

amandine07 Sun 13-Jan-13 11:08:28

Interesting thread, lots of strong opinions.

OP I get the intent of your post, you're not saying that anyone under 25 should not start a family, rather it was an arbitrary figure.

I think it highlights a rather important issue that people don't seem to be able or want to acknowledge- it's all very well smugly berating the OP for not 'having chosen to have children earlier'. But hang on, what about all the men involved in this?

OP made it clear that she didn't meet her DP until she was 32...we are not all lucky enough to meet the right man in our 20s. Or should women bite the bullet and reproduce with whoever they're with before the age of 30...?

So many men seem put off by kids & marriage before 30 when ironically it's the best time for women biologically speaking.
I have close friends who wasted time in relationships if 5+ years with men who were lovely but ultimately total commitment phobes who trotted out every excuse under the sun to delay marriage & TTC.

Some if those friends find themselves aged 35+ with no partner or in a situation where marriage/babies seem so far off. Sadly they wasted their best fertile years with men who ultimately did not want to commit. IME this is not a rare occurrence.

I agree with the poster who says men should have the same fertility window as women- however I suspect this would mean that the human race dies out! Men would not be convinced until time ran out :-)

Catchingmockingbirds Sun 13-Jan-13 11:14:44

But alcon, surely you can see how it could be very offensive for someone who had dc under 25 to be offended by this thread? Jazz puts it perfectly:

"If I started a thread saying fertility should be from periods starting to 35 because any older and you are surely too old to run around after children, might not be in there lives for as long and wont be able bodied grandparents I would get flamed.

I know far more parents under 25 than I do in their 30s but I can still work out that someone in ther mid 30s is just as capable of parenting as I am.

amandine07 Sun 13-Jan-13 11:15:27

Alconleigh I am totally with you there about not knowing anyone getting married/having babies in their early 20s. Within my social circle the earliest marriage was 27- and that was the guy, his wife was 3 years older and very concerned about waiting too long before starting a family.

None of my close friends had babies before the age of 29. In our early 20s we were all too busy studying & getting degrees then starting out on the career ladder. Even couples who did subsequently get married waited until almost 30 despite being together several years...and others broke up when the marriage/babies issue got pressed as 30 crept closer but that's for another thread grin

Well saying that women shouldn't be fertile before 25 regardless of whether that was an arbitrary number or not is still saying younger women shouldn't have children.

amandine07 Sun 13-Jan-13 11:20:03

Just to add OP- good luck with TTC I hope 2013 brings you a baby.
I think going to see a health professional about all of this would help pit your mind at rest and any necessary tests can be initiated.
How long have you been TTC? Once thing I've learnt is that it's just like "how long's a piece of string?" just don't know until you give it a try.
I really understand where you're coming from & sympathise with the pain if it all smile

LettyAshton Sun 13-Jan-13 11:20:15

I agree with OP.

We were constantly fed the notion that you go to university, get a job, build a career, meet fantastic "evolved" bloke and then have photogenic children leaping about in fairy wings and wellies. [Too many women's magazines, moi]

And we still are in Hollywood-land. Many celebrities have very late babies and are a bit economical with the truth regarding the biology.

I found that my fertility did indeed "fall off a cliff" at 35 which was a bit of a bummer to say the least.

Meanwhile, dh's friend who is 48 only looks at women in the 25-35 age bracket as he hopes to have a family. Not fair!

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 13-Jan-13 11:20:37

I think many of our current generation is "pickier" about choosing a mate as well i.e someone to have children with, whereas for my parents it was the norm to marry at 22 and have children by 25. However a lot of these people divorced in their 40s and 50s once the children had grown up.

Horses for courses.

LettyAshton Sun 13-Jan-13 11:24:09

And people who say that the fertility issue is rubbish and anyone can have babies in their 40s only need visit a fertility clinic.

They are busting full of middle-class women of a certain age looking very desperate and willing to part with any amount of money.

NamingOfParts Sun 13-Jan-13 11:49:57

I agree with LettyAshton, young women are being sold a bit of a lie. Certainly when I listen to the young (late 20s-early 30s) women at work talk, they are assuming that they will be able to meet, marry and have children all at some unspecified point in the future. Just now they are too busy being young(ish), free and single. There is no sense that there is any sort of practical time limit to the possibility of having children.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 13-Jan-13 12:01:38

Agreed. I said it upthread: people said "Oh there's plenty of time!" when I said aged about 32 that I didn't know whether I wanted children or not. Certainly there was absolutely no MENTION of declining fertility at school in human biology and so on - the menopause was when you stopped being fertile and not before.

Chunderella Sun 13-Jan-13 12:01:39

Most people consider a reasonable degree of stability to be desirable before having a child. It seems to be getting increasingly hard for people to achieve this in their late teens and early 20s. I'm not talking about having bought a home in a good catchment area, done up the nursery, got a managerial position at work and sorted the nanny beforehand. But simply having a job and a home and a reasonable degree of confidence that you're not going to get turfed out of both tomorrow. It's harder for young people now than it was a few years ago, i think. Yes I know you can bring up a child and do a damn fine job of it with no job, no housing security etc, but it's extremely hard. I say this as someone who got pregnant whilst unemployed and living with family.

And of course fertility is so complex. A woman in her mid to late 30s can still be spectacularly fertile, or have missed the boat entirely. I have a friend who started trying at 35 and got knocked up two months after her coil was taken out, and another who didn't manage to get pregnant until aged 38 after 4 years of very active trying. Neither of these examples is unusual. Some women do get accidentally pregnant the first time ever in their lives they have unprotected sex at whilst aged 42- it's statistically unlikely, but even if the odds are only like 0.1% that's still a fuck of a lot of women. It's a shame there isn't some kind of easy test women can have at aged 20 to get an idea when their fertility will decline.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 13-Jan-13 12:01:59

PS Now of course it's in every second Daily Mail article.

Lambzig Sun 13-Jan-13 12:02:45

YANBU, I had my DC at 42 and 45, but it took 11 years of trying and a lot of medical help to get the first. I also realise how incredibly lucky i am to hve them now - I was definitely on my last chances.

I cringe when I hear late thirties friends saying they will start soon and assuming all will be ok.

Bakingtins Sun 13-Jan-13 12:05:59

I think it's one of those things where most people have the idea that fertility generally declines in late thirties but not that it applies to them as individuals.
I married at 29 and had DS1 at 31, then MC and struggled TTC and DS2 at 35, then struggled TTC, MC again and still trying at 38. Looking back I wouldn't have started earlier because for me as an individual I wasn't in the right place, but I hadn't really appreciated that it might be difficult and that my family size might be curtailed by my fertility rather than my decisions about it.
I have several work colleagues in their early thirties who are planning weddings in a few years, getting settled, finishing off various projects then TTC and want to say to them just to get on with it, they'll be 35 before they even start trying.
I think women are ready to be mothers at very different times - my cousin became a mother to twins at 47 (assume she had some fertility treatment to get there). I've set a cut off at 40 after which we'll stop trying and accept that we are a family of four.
It would be great if you could choose your fertile 20 year period at a time that suited your lifestyle, but it doesn't work like that so you have to work with your biology.
Good luck OP!

herecomesthsun Sun 13-Jan-13 12:07:14

Erm, it is perfectly possible to have kids in your 40s. I had one just after I turned 44 and another 6 weeks before my 48th birthday. I have PCOS as well (was on metformin and vitamins, no other medical intervention to get pregnant). I did have 3 mcs in the space of 9 months when I was 41-42 and that was tough.

Before contraception it would have been a lot commoner to see women in their 40s with babies (and past 50 is also possible). Women in my family had families of 14 or 21. (Glad I don't, even though I would have LOVED to have been able to start sooner, and probably would have had more). I was keen to have kids from about age 20 onwards, but didn't want to have them on my own/ fool someone into a surprise baby/ marry someone unless the relationship had a good chance of lasting etc.

Apparently, women over 40 who thought they had completed their families are more likely to terminate a surprise pregnancy than teenagers, so I would infer that there is a sizeable proportion of women who would not like to be very fertile in their 40s.

I do feel for anyone who thinks it is too late for them, I thought this in my early 40s and would be so so sad not to have my kids. I do have a friend who married in her 30s, could not have kids, and was overjoyed to adopt a baby, this can be a real possibility also of course.

Good luck!

deleted203 Sun 13-Jan-13 12:15:36

herecomesthesun Yes, it is possible to have kids at 44 and 48 - but it's rare. I had my last baby at 37 and would have liked another - but despite falling pregnant easily enough, had 4 MC between 38 and 41 and have not fallen pregnant since, despite never bothering with contraception. I had to accept my GPs words which were 'you're old and your eggs are now very poor quality. It's nature's way of getting rid of babies which are not viable'. Which was blunt, but true. He told me that there is a massive drop off in fertility after 37 and that very few women, statistically speaking, will find that they can conceive and carry a healthy baby in their 40s. He said he found it frustrating that so many women looked at people like Cherie Blair and other women who had had babies over 40 and though, 'oh well, I'll still be able to then'.

Chunderella Sun 13-Jan-13 12:32:57

It's perfectly possible for a human female to have children with no assistance in her 40s. Just not for every human female. Regarding the point about women in their 40s having babies in the past, that's true, but they'd usually had children already. Conceiving your 8th baby at 45 is very different to conceiving your 1st. But of course there are plenty of women who can do it with ease, and they are not numerically insignificant. There must be millions of childless 39 year old women on the planet who do indeed have lots of time left.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 13-Jan-13 12:40:50

Part of the problem is that we hear about the celebrities with late babies but we don't hear a) which of them have used egg donation which is almost impossible in the UK, and not most people's ideal choice and b) all the miscarriages they've had while getting to their take-home baby.

Sorry things are taking longer than you hoped op, but it isn't game over at 35, my Mum had my brother just before she was 41, 20 years after she had me!

Some people are ready before 25 though, I'm 24, dp 26 and we've finished our family, I do think I was a bit young when dc1 arrived however I sure grew up pretty quick when he was here!

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 13-Jan-13 13:14:54

I think that's one of the keys: that the women you hear about having babies in their 40s are rarely the women who have never had a baby before. Sometimes but rarely.

parttimer79 Sun 13-Jan-13 13:38:35

Sorry to hear things aren't happening for you yet!
I am a cautionary tale in the opposite direction.
I work as a researcher into social attitudes to fertility and had sent myself into a total panic that in my (early) mid thirties I was going to take forever to conceive and face the prospect of childfree living.
Stopped taking the pill as soon as we decided we wanted to try, got pregant the next month - cue shock and general gobsmackedness. I still wouldn't have tried any earlier than this as professionally and personally I wasn't in the right place.But God I don't want to be doing this again when I'm 50!

Realistically couples of any age can take up to a year or 2 years to conceive and nothing is necessarily wrong. And while fertility as a general trend does decline as we age this has little bearing on individual fertility.

MadBusLady Sun 13-Jan-13 14:49:02

Parttimer makes an important point. This is a trend we are talking about. So "declining fertility" doesn't really mean much applied to an individual. If you're 35+ you might be in the group that gets pregnant in the first year, the group that takes longer or the group that never gets pregnant at all.

I totally get the ambiguous feeling about whether you're grown up enough. Some are misreading it as concern for the perfect job/house/finances but I think it's far more profound. And "maturity" IMO isn't about no longer staying out drinking all night either. For me it's more "Fuck, could I do this? Do I even totally want to? Would it be ok to try knowing I might be rubbish at it? What if I hate xyz elements of it?" and all that. If you expressed those doubts about a partner or a job, people would tell you to be cautious, take your time and weigh things up. Sadly, there's a limit on that here.


tiggytape Sun 13-Jan-13 15:37:18

I do understand the need to feel ready but many (most?) people don't feel 100% confident and ready for a baby when they try for a baby - it is always a bit of a leap of faith. Most go through some kind of angst that they aren't grown up enough or worry they won't be good enough no matter how old they are.

Becoming a parent is such a big deal that - just like getting finances in order - with the emotional-maturity side of things, there's hardly ever an ideal time when you know you feel totally maternal and grown up and ready to be responsible for a tiny dependent baby confident that you'll be fantastic at it. Becoming a parent is naturally daunting but if you wait for it to stop feeling that way, you might wait forever.

I assumed the decision to have DC2 would be easier. But then the angst set in about loving them equally, meeting 2 sets of needs, finances, work prospects, childcare, being pregnant with a toddler to look after......
Basically at any life stage it is easy to talk yourself into not being ready without really knowing what it would take to feel ready.

amandine07 Mon 14-Jan-13 20:30:50

Really interesting posts, lots of food for thought.
I'm almost 35 and not TTC yet, am already going into a mild panic that my fertility will be falling off a cliff in the near future.

OP I really's a a tough one for women, men can be fertile for such a longer time span but for ladies you have to get on with it/start planning & thinking about TTC sooner rather than later.

Celebs aged 40+ don't help when they are having babies/multiple births, I do wonder how many egg donors are involved. My DP has referred to older mothers having babies e.g. Carla Bruni etc but I have berated him emphasising that it's generally not that easy at that age.

He doesn't get why I'm worrying so much, for me 35 is round the corner- I don't think I feel 100% ready but as ready as I'll ever be- wish I could know how long it will take to fall PG!

I wish you luck OP, quite a few good debates & social commentary going on in this thread...

Chunderella Mon 14-Jan-13 20:53:24

Carla Bruni also has an older child, so that makes a difference.

digerd Mon 14-Jan-13 21:12:27

My GM had my dad at 43 and was her 7th child. My MIL had 15, but after 42 she never got pregnant again. At 39, I was too old to have any more.
The youngest of the Railway Children - forgotten her name- had her first at 46. A complete surprise as had thought she was infertile, not having conceived before, and thought her lack of periods and weight gain was the menopause.
It's just how it is, that men can be fertile until they die - nature knows they are not the ones that get pregnant.

amandine07 Mon 14-Jan-13 23:11:20

Ah that is true about Carla Bruni- I debated with my DP that I reckoned they'd been TTC since their marriage which was almost a good 4 years before their daughter was born i.e. it didn't just take a couple of months.
Anyhow, that's off on a tangent...

Chunderella Tue 15-Jan-13 10:07:04

Men's sperm quality does decline as they get older though digerd.

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