Looking for statistics on time to concieve vs age

(19 Posts)
OverseasBrit Mon 21-Apr-14 02:23:50

Can anyone direct me to somewhere with detailed stats on the chance of conception after different numbers of cycles, preferably vs age? I'm sure this info must be out there somewhere but I can't find it, the MN info page is pretty basic.
My DP and I have just agreed that ideally we'd like to try to have a baby whilst on our current expat assignment - having scared myself slightly with the realisation that I'll be 37.5 when I finish it! However we don't want to start trying right away as there is the 'small' matter of a wedding 1st and also part of our reason for moving here was to explore and enjoy the surrounding area which would be much more difficult and less pleasant I suspect whilst pregnant or with a tiny baby.
I'm trying to figure out how long I should sensibly allow for becoming pregnant, I know the stats are averages and every individual is different but I'm hoping they might guide me. Obviously it might take much longer and we'd find a way to live with that but it would be helpful to know if at 35/36 there is a 20% chance of conceiving after 3 cycles and 50% after 6 and so on to have a rough idea when to start trying. I'm reasonably fit, normal weight BMI, non-smoker but I've been on the pill (microgynon 30) for over 15 years which I guess will have an impact that I'll also have to look into.
Any help much appreciated!

FortuneFavoursTheFit Mon 21-Apr-14 15:02:19

Bumping as I'd be interested too.

Floggingmolly Mon 21-Apr-14 15:06:47

Why not have your FSH levels checked? Averages are just that; you'd be very foolish indeed to assume what happens to the "average" woman will also happen to you.

Greenrememberedhills Mon 21-Apr-14 15:12:22

I don't know but I can tell you I got pregnant immediately three times in my twenties and it took me 18 months of trying in my late thirties, more than once.

HopefulHamster Mon 21-Apr-14 15:18:14

Maybe ask the doctor for some tests and come off the pill - because you don't know what shape your natural cycles are in.

I read yonks ago that the average couple has a 20% chance of conceiving each month, but I know a 40-yr-old who conceived 1st time and a 30-year-old who took years. In general fertility does decline - both the quality of eggs and the number, but at the same time you only need one decent one.

I also heard 50% conceive within six months and 'most' couples will do within a year - let's say 90% in a year and 95% in two years. That info is back from when I thought I might be fertile though, I bet it's all changed now!

Good enough fence-sitting non-answer? You won't really know until you try.

ImAThrillseekerBunny Mon 21-Apr-14 15:25:55

Just so you're prewarned - the problem with TTC at a later age is not so much a problem with getting pg in the first place - it's more an issue with the way the miscarriage rates increase. Don't look at the "what % will conceive within a year?" figures on their own because that's very misleading

.Many women who come off the pill on their 37th birthday may be cuddling their newborn at him on their 38th birthday. But for others it might take more than two years and one or more miscarriages to get there. Very best of luck.

mrsnec Mon 21-Apr-14 15:25:58

I got pg when on the pill in my early 20's.

Then tried again at 30. No luck for 5 years but I had a bmi of 37 at that point when I got it down to 27 I had an mc but then got pg again 3 months later at 36. We didn't bother with investigations really I don't know if it was my weight all along. I appreciate I'm still a bit over now but not as bad as I was!

I regret leaving it so long.I don't feel old but my doctor here did comment on it.

I don't know much about the effect of the pill. Id stopped taking it years before we started.probably shouldn't have let myself get so fat though!

But I wouldn't take being in good health and the right weight to mean much in your case I don't think I'd leave it too much longer.

OverseasBrit Mon 21-Apr-14 16:00:03

Thanks folks.

flogging I live abroad and have no idea if I could get my FSH checked here or what the response would be to me trying to investigate fertility before I was married but it's definitely something to look into. I know I won't necessarily be 'average' but I'm a scientist and I like stats, it's got the be better than just naively assuming it will happen the day I stop the pill!

mrsnec glad if worked out for you in the end, I'm currently BMI 24 but it's on it's way down a little more, just have to keep it there then!

thrillseeker that's a really good point, I should really be looking at births per cycle, I haven't seen that info at all.

hamster good idea to get off the pill a few months before I want to start TTC, hadn't really thought about that but avoids wasting time while my cycle sorts itself out.

Green thanks for sharing.

fortune I did just find a website of good stats, I think hanging around this board gave me a better idea of google search phrases! I'll try to find the link again for you.

In summary at 36 there is around a 10-15% chance of conceiving per cycle and about a 50% chance of being pregnant in 6 months (as more cycles go by the chance per cycle gets lower).

HopefulHamster Mon 21-Apr-14 16:05:14

as thrillseeker points out one of the problems is what happens after you get pregnant - as you get older a much larger proportion of eggs (and therefore embryos) are likely to be chromosomally abnormal, which is why some women (much further along in the journey than you - so DO NOT panic), find that they can get pregnant with donor eggs but not their own.

Chances are you will be fine, honestly, but it is good to be prepared and do what research you can ahead of ttc. And not to put it off too long (there is no right time). Good luck!

mrsnec Mon 21-Apr-14 16:12:51

I think there is also an argument for not letting the bmi go too much the other way too. 24 is spot on I'd say for ttc.

It's a tough one. I agree you don't know until you try. So start as early as you possibly can and if there's no luck within say 6 months do the fsh test. I don't live in the UK either. Here they have private labs for all blood tests in every town and that would have been my next port of call.

duchesse Mon 21-Apr-14 16:14:00

dunno but I had three unplanned pregnancies with very little waiting time in my 20s and one that took 6.5 years for a successful pregnancy (1 MC about halfway through) starting at age 35.5.

eurochick Mon 21-Apr-14 17:55:03

The problem with averages and statistics is that they don't take account of individual cases. I was also a fit, non-smoker with normal BMI when we started ttc when I was 34. It took 3 years, 2 rounds of IUI and 4 of IVF to achieve a lasting pregnancy (not sure of the outcome yet!). There was one IVF mc along the way. We've passed all the tests and investigations. My FSH is good. Like 1/3 of couples, no reason has been found for our lack of fertility. The longer you wait the greater the risk that it won't happen. As long as you are accepting of that, then start ttc whenever you want.

Do think of where you might end up if it doesn't work quickly though. Say you start when you are 37.5. You try for 6 months and then start investigations at 38. Investigations take several months (some need to be done on certain cycle days, etc). So 38.5. If you needed to be referred for fertility treatment, that referral could be very quick (a couple of months) if private or much longer if NHS, so say you start treatment at 39. If you are lucky and it works quickly, you are having your baby at 40. Do you only want one? If more than one, you are really playing the odds. It's something to think about.

GoooRooo Mon 21-Apr-14 18:12:01

I agree with euro chick - it's a dangerous waiting game. But I am coming from a place where I started TTC the day I got married at 32 and it took five years, with unexplained infertility. I'm now pregnant with number two at aged 39 and that took two years as we started TTC again as soon as DS was born.

OverseasBrit Tue 22-Apr-14 00:32:02

Thanks eurochick and GoooRooo I've just realised I made an error in my original maths, I'll be 36.5 when we finish here not 37.5. I had intended to wait until we move as I only get 16 weeks maternity leave here and no option for extra unpaid or going back part time. However, I've realised recently that's probably pushing it - plus our next posting the maternity leave could be anything from 6 weeks to 1 year so no certainty it would be better.
My DP is younger than me and really hasn't wanted to discuss it but I got quite upset a few weeks ago and he's thought on it and come round to the idea of trying for a baby whilst we are here. Looks like we'd probably be starting when I was late 34, turning 35. If it takes more than 6 months we'd be going for tests anyway and the results might determine whether we extend this posting, look for a posting with good maternity terms and compromise on other things or go back to somewhere with better healthcare but more expensive childcare.

Thanks everyone, this has been really helpful in clarifying my thinking and helping me be realistic.

OverseasBrit Tue 22-Apr-14 02:34:38

For those who are interested Wiki has good info here en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_and_female_fertility

And this site is also useful www.countdowntopregnancy.com/tools/age_fertility_calculator.php although I'm not sure what study their numbers are based on.

eightandthreequarters Tue 22-Apr-14 02:42:54

There was a great article in the Atlantic Monthly on this.

GoooRooo Tue 22-Apr-14 08:31:09

OverseasBrit I am self employed and only took three months off for maternity leave last time, and will be taking four months off this time. It's not ideal, but needs must and the mortgage must be paid and I'm the main breadwinner.

Having children is such a huge, personal decision and there are lots of factors to take into consideration, money and age being two, but in my (very limited) experience it may never be the 'right' time and sometimes you have to take the plunge.

Of course your husband needs to be on board too though - that's a toughy.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do smile

Inshock73 Tue 22-Apr-14 08:56:59

Hi OverseasBrit I can tell from your post you're someone who likes to enjoy life, I'm the same, so I totally understand why you want to experience your current expat experience before taking the plunge.

I never met anyone I wanted to have children with until I was 35, we then decided to go travelling for a year, something we both really wanted to do, we decided to ttc when I was 39 and he was 35, I fell pregnant the first month we tried but sadly had a mc at 9 weeks and we've now been trying again for 9 months.

Averages are just that, averages. I have 3 friends who started ttc at 26, one friend took 2 years, the other two ended up needing fertility treatment, in contrast I also have a friend who fell pregnant at 43 and delivered a healthy little girl.

From my own experience I would say to try as soon as you can without sacrificing everything, unfortunately the odds do start to go against you from your mid 30's and should it not happen naturally you want to allow time to explore other options.

Best of luck!

OverseasBrit Tue 22-Apr-14 09:12:00

Thanks eightandthreequarters that is a brilliant article. I did wonder why the only website I found that have references was Wikipedia! Even the official looking ones from government websites are very vague - I had got that some of the Wiki stats were from very old studies but I hadn't realised the 'new' research showing that your chance of conceiving per cycle falls to <10% after 6 months TTC if you are 35 was actually a new mathematical technique applied to old data. I found the uni press release but not the actual article.

Anyway, nice to see something slightly positive!

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