A comprehensive review of the academic literature and the media indicated that

  • women have too often delayed child-bearing in the belief that their fertility extends for longer than it does
  • men think infertility is a women’s issue and doesn’t apply to them
  • men and women are having less children than they say they want
  • the impact of societal and economic factors on decisions about family formation is significant.

Fertility declines with age, so delaying a first child means fewer second and third babies. Surveys of young men and women tell us that most would choose to have two or three children, but the sad reality is they will more likely have one or none.

In summary


Women’s Fertility

  • women are born with all the eggs they will ever have : 1-3 million eggs
  • only 3-400 eggs will ovulate in a woman’s life
  • chance of pregnancy in any month is best before 25
  • fertility starts to decline after 30
  • at 35 the chance of conceiving is half that at 30
  • and at 40 is half that at 35
  • numbers and quality of eggs drop significantly at least 10 years before fertility is lost

Men’s Fertility

  • male fertility declines from 35
  • genetic material in sperm deteriorates with poor lifestyle
  • both are associated with higher risk of miscarriage and birth abnormalities

Lifestyle factors affect conception:

  • drugs, smoking and alcohol
  • weight and medical history
  • sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia contracted years before