With infertility now affecting one in six couples in Australia, Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs), such as IVF, on the rise and many women, more than ever before ‘coming out’ about their infertility struggle, everyone has an opinion on when is the ‘right’ time to start a family.
A recent news article suggested that women should get pregnant and start their families straight after they graduate, otherwise they risk the struggle of infertility in their 30s when they have established a career, paid off their student loans and are ready to settle down. While there are definitely biological forces of nature at play in this issue, no one has the right to tell you when you should or shouldn’t have a baby.
Many women experience infertility in their early 20’s due to issues such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, obesity or just plain unexplained infertility. It seems that there is never the ‘right’ time, it is just the time you feel ready.
Yes we do know that egg supplies and quality diminishes dramatically after 30years. Yes we do know that the promise of ARTs is not always delivered, and yes we do know that juggling the demands of toddlers and elderly parents is not ideal, however, you need to be the one making your decisions.
It seems that there is a public commentary on everything, especially women’s bodies and lifestyles. Our advice is to speak with your partner, family or trusted friend about your thoughts about having a family. Consult your doctor to discuss your health and options. Go into this decision with your eyes and ears open.
While it is easy to think it will just happen when you’re ready, unfortunately for one in six couples this is not the case, so make sure that if you want to pursue a family with children you are fully informed and prepared for whatever life throws at you. Remember too that there are many pathways to parenthood, and so if you meet the ‘right’ person, and it is the ‘right’ time, and things don’t go according to plan, look for alternatives, look for supports outside the traditional medical field, ensure you are looking after your mental and physical health to give yourself the best shot at whatever pathway you may need to take.
Our Mind Body Program for Fertility supports women at any stage of their fertility journey. We aim to teach women, and their partners, how to manage the struggle, the demands and the stress of starting a family. We use mindfulness, meditation, cognitive behavioural therapy and yoga to ensure the mind body connection is as healthy as can be at this important time in a woman’s life. The skills learnt in our program are life skills for whatever lies ahead.
Please feel free to contact us for a chat about this evidence-based program.