This article in The Atlantic titled “How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby?” helps explain why some age-related fertility pressures may be undue. It shines a light on some common misperceptions around women’s fertility rates as a function of age.
The widely cited statistic that one in three women ages 35 to 39 will not be pregnant after a year of trying, for instance, is based on an article published in 2004 in the journal Human Reproduction. Rarely mentioned is the source of the data: French birth records from 1670 to 1830. The chance of remaining childless—30 percent—was also calculated based on historical populations.
In other words, millions of women are being told when to get pregnant based on statistics from a time before electricity, antibiotics, or fertility treatment. Most people assume these numbers are based on large, well-conducted studies of modern women, but they are not.
Many women and couples feel pressure, and according to this article undue pressure, when trying to get pregnant in their 30’s and 40’s. With recent studies concluding that at least three out of four women ages 35-40 are able to conceive naturally within a year, it may be time for couples to reframe their expectations and fears about their fertility.
At Collaborative Care, we have helped hundreds of women, including those in their late 30s and 40s, get pregnant by all-natural means—combining acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and nutrition—in a supportive and caring environment.