When it comes to making babies, it seems a lot simpler when you're trying not to get pregnant. Once the trying begins, many couples realize it's not always as easy to have the exact number of children they want, right when they want them — and it's less easier the older they get. A new study out of the Netherlands will likely open many eyes as it provides estimates as to the maximum age at which a woman should begin trying, depending on how many children she wants and whether she's willing to undergo in vitro fertilization to get them.
For example, the researchers conclude:
While this study only took into account a woman's age, other studies have shown that a man's age can affect a couple's fertility as well. One study showed that a man's chance of fathering a child decreases each year, by as much as 11 percent.
For couples who want to build careers, travel and put off babymaking for a variety of other reasons, the numbers may be a bit sobering. However, it's better to know ahead of time, which many people don't. Research shows that almost half of women of women over 40 were "shocked" when they had to resort to fertility treatments to get pregnant.
The takeaway from all this information shouldn't be for couples to panic and rush into parenthood before they're ready, but rather to arm them with the information and realities of what they may face if they wait. Also, while everyone may have their idea of the perfect family in their head, most times, the one you wind up with in your arms — no matter what size — ends up being the perfect one for you.
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