By Denise Donati
Is there such a thing as a “snooze button” for the biological clocks? Do they exist?
However it seems that many Australians are unaware of this fact. The Fertility Society of Australia (FSA) surveyed 2,400 people in an attempt to find out what their expectations were relating to having babies.
The survey revealed that 88% of men and 57% of women between the ages of 30 and 39 believe they will have no problems conceiving. And just 2% thought that male infertility was ever a reason for couples to seek IVF treatment, while none believed that a man’s age could influence his fertility.
Anne Clark, who runs the fertility preservation project for the FSA, says that while there was misunderstanding about the effects of age on a woman’s fertility, there was even more misunderstanding about its effects on a man.
Just 27% of Australian women have their first child before the age of 30, compared to 92% 30 years ago. Dr. Clark said that contrary to popular belief, later childbearing was not down to women pursuing careers, but to their desire for a stable relationship and financial security. The women who took part in the survey rated their career 13th out of 14 factors that would influence their decision to have children, while one in three women in their thirties had no children because they had no partner.
Dr. Clark said that any fertility education campaign should also encourage couples in their thirties to seek help if they were unable to conceive after 6-12 months of trying. More than 80% of men in their 40s surveyed thought they would be able to have a child without problems, as did 43% of women in the same age range.
But, said Dr. Clark, when it comes to problems conceiving, “the amber light comes on for women at 35 and for men at 40.”
Australian Fertility Facts
- 27 is the age that a female chance of getting pregnant starts to decline
- The majority of women who delay having children do so because they havent found Mr. Right
- At 20, the risk of miscarriage is ~9%, by 35 the risk increases to ~18%, by 40 the risk is ~36% and by the age of 45 the risk reaches ~55%
- By the age of 40, approximately 90% of a woman’s eggs are abnormal
- Women in their early 30s have a 30% chance of taking home a live baby after fertility treatment
- By 43, the success rate for women taking home a live baby using their own eggs after fertility treatment is <3%
- A decrease in female fertility occurs, despite the fact that women often maintain regular ovulatory menstrual cycles
- With men sperm numbers don’t decline that much with age, but the actual quality of what’s inside the individual sperm starts to decline in the late 30s, going through into the 40s and 50s
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