When is the best time to start trying for a baby?
Today, couples are waiting longer and longer to start their families. It has been known for many years that a woman's (and to a lesser extent a man's) fertility declines with age. So, as couples wait longer, they are more likely to need help from a fertility doctor and to need treatments such as IVF or other assisted reproductive technologies. While most couples, at least those who are under 40 will ultimately be successful, many will never be able to have as many children as they desire.
So what are the actual chances if you want to have a family with 1, 2 or 3 children? When is the right time to start?
Researchers from Erasmus University in the Netherlands used a huge computer database to crunch the numbers to help couples truly understand what they can realistically expect:
This is what they found the Dutch fertility specialists found out:
- If you want to have only 1 child and are willing to do IVF if necessary, you should start trying by age 35 (wife) to have a 90% chance for success.
- If you want 2 children, you should start trying to conceive at age 31.
- If you want 3 children, you should start attempting pregnancy at age 28.
- If you are unwilling to consider IVF in the future, you should start attempting pregnancy even earlier- age 32 for 1 child, age 27 for 2 children and age 27 for 3.
- For couples willing to accept a 75% chance for conception rather than 90% of completing their families, these ages can be pushed back by 4-11 years.