I recently turned 27 and I joke a lot about my eggs ‘dying’ mainly because of that episode of New Girl when Jess freaked out. But despite being perfectly happy with my man (read: ‘pain’)-less life, during a boozy lunch with my gay best friend in London he asked me outright if I wanted kids.
I reacted quickly with ‘Yes! But my eggs are dying!’ as I usually jest, but he found my comment so hilarious that he posted my one liner as his Facebook status. After returning to my desk at work I read his status and typed into Google: ‘the best child bearing ages’ out of curiosity. The first answer that appeared pulled a recent study from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists which stated that the average childbearing age is now 29, whereas in 1968 (our parents era) it was 23.
The most ‘secure’ age to conceive a healthy baby is between 20-35 years old for women. Relief washed over me as I read that, knowing I’ve got at least another two years to find myself a boyfriend, husband, baby daddy, soulmate. Plenty of time to live the dream. But guys who are looking to settle down at that age may be older, seeing as men mature later than women. Not a problem, right? Wrong.
I was under the impression that a man of any age could easily get a fertile woman knocked up overnight. But according to the study, the average 40 year old man takes two years to get his partner pregnant, even if she is in her early twenties.
More data from the Millenium Cohort study which followed 18,000 British children found that those born to women in their thirties tended to be more intelligent with high cognitive scores. Various factors contribute to this, including that women in their thirties are stereotypically more physically and mentally prepared to have children, they are likely to have higher incomes and be in more stable relationships which in turn provides a better environment for their children.
So it shouldn’t be us women panicking about our body clock ticking overtime because our eggs are drying up. We shouldn’t be feeling the pressure if we’re single and wanting to conceive just because of timing. I’m a big believer in fulfilling your own ambitions and goals before unnecessarily panicking about getting knocked up just so you don’t miss the fertility boat. There’s plenty of time..