11/23/2011  |  Posted By:

Last week, a story released by MSNBC focused on the fact that many women are uninformed about infertility.  The article included a poll conducted by the National Infertility Association, in partnership with EMD Serono. The results found that women ages 25-35 years old who spoke with doctors were incorrect about the age fertility begins to decline and how long it takes to get pregnant in the first place.

Here are the facts:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 6.1 million women in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. 
  • Age continues to be the largest factor in female fertility
  • The optimum age for fertility is between age 18 and 25 years old.

Women who try to get pregnant later in life are not only more likely to suffer from infertility, but are also more likely to have pre-mature babies and babies with a higher risk of Down syndrome.

So the real question which seems to be the most unaddressed is: when is the best time to speak with your doctor?  The answer: before you start trying. 

Women thinking about having a baby should speak with their doctor about diet, habits, lifestyle and any concerns.  Some experts say that women should plan on visiting the doctor within a year before wanting to get pregnant.  At this time, a physical check-up can be provided and medical history asked.  It also represents an opportune time to ask questions.

As our biological clocks tick, the best way to utilize this time is by research and preparing our bodies for what lies ahead.  If waiting to try and have a baby later in life seems like a gamble, take the time to educate yourself about your options to best “stack the deck.”

Want to read about more women’s health issues?  Follow Tracy @jpawomenshealth.