To think we should be fertile from 25-50 ish?(115 Posts)
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!
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.
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...)
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.
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!
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 . 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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 :-)
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.
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
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.
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?"...you 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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PS Now of course it's in every second Daily Mail article.
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.
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