The age at which you should start having a baby if you want one, two or three children

WE all have a rough idea of ​​how many children we would like to have – but life often turns out very differently than planned.

So if you are serious about having your dream family, consider a scientific equation to get there.

Many people dream of a big family. But if they're serious, they'll have to try for a baby pretty soon


Many people dream of a big family. But if they’re serious, they’ll have to try for a baby pretty soonCredit: Alamy

Experts at the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands have developed a mathematical model that prospective parents can use to calculate when they should start trying for a baby.

It is a useful tool for couples to know when to stop using contraception.

For singletons, it might come as a bit of a shock to discover that you should have started trying for your brood five years ago.

The tool indicates the age at which a woman in a relationship should have the best chance of having one, two, or three children.

That’s because age is the single largest factor affecting a woman’s chance of conceiving and having a healthy baby.

It starts to decline earlier than men, starting in their early 30s before dropping off quite sharply around 35.

From the age of 40 to 45, male fertility decreases more subtly over a longer period of time.

But women are gradually getting older before having their first child – from 23.7 in the 1970s to 28.9 today.

At the same time the number of children per woman has fallen from two in 2000 to 1.58 today.

Some experts say women aren’t educated enough about their fertility and the “ticking clock” — and that could be driving them out later disappointed.

So much so that students at one of Cambridge University’s colleges – Murray Edwards College – are now given fertility seminars to get the message across.

The move was prompted by incoming President Dorothy Byrne, 69, who wants career-minded women to be aware of the fertility decline of the mid-1930s.

Ms Byrne, who herself delayed motherhood before having a child through IVF at the age of 45, recounted The Sunday Times: “Young women are taught that they all have to do well in school, get a degree, have a successful career and be beautiful.

“The thing that gets lost along the way is you forget to have a baby, which I almost did. We swung too far in one direction.”

Ultimately, when you start taking kids out is your own choice.

but the Erasmus MC model 2015based on a simulation of 10,000 pairs, might give you a rough idea of ​​where to place your expectations:

For a child

To conceive, women can wait until they’re 41 to try having a baby naturally, the study says.

But that would only give them a 50 percent chance of conceiving.

The NHS says around 84 per cent of couples will conceive naturally within a year if they have unprotected sex regularly (every two to three days).

But for older mothers it might be longer.

For the best chance of having a baby (90 percent), the study recommended age 32, while age 37 gave a 75 percent chance.

For two children

If you envision two children running around your feet, you should be contemplating conception by the age of 27.

This would give you a 90 percent chance of having a couple of kids.

At the age of 34, this drops to 75 percent, at 38 to 50 percent.

For three children

The study said if you want three children, start at age 23.

If that sounds frighteningly young, you’ll be pleased to know that if you start at age 31, you still have a 75 percent chance of having a trio.

From the age of 35, the rates drop to 50 percent.

IVF for a helping hand

In all scenarios, IVF pushed back the age at which women could begin to consider having a family.

It is one of many treatment options to help people with fertility problems achieve pregnancy.

Women who want three children could still achieve this if they tried at age 28 with a little help from IVF.

However, IVF cannot be relied on as the NHS does not offer IVF to everyone.

Guidelines say it can only be given to women under the age of 43 who have been trying to conceive through regular unprotected sex for 2 years or who have had 12 cycles of artificial insemination – another type of fertility treatment.

But decisions are ultimately made by local NHS groups.

It can cost thousands of dollars to pay for IVF privately — up to $5,000 for just one shot.

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Fry Electronics Team

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