If you want a baby (it’s not compulsory) you are probably alll too aware of your fertility, and how it declines with age.
You might just want to sort a few things first. Like a suitable partner, a decent job, affordable housing, affordable childcare and while we're at it how about flexible working practices?
Once you are ready - or if you have decided to go for it anyway - you have the small matter of getting pregnant to attend to. Well-meaning, but oversimplified messages about the importance of contraception might
The reality isn’t always that simple. After pregnancy, infertility - or perceived infertility - is the most common reason for women aged 20–45 to visit their GP.
But fertility problems are not as common as you might think. Lots of the time, the problem is a lack of basic fertility knowledge. Knowing when to have sex if you want to get pregnant and how improving your general health can improve your chances.
More and more women are having babies in their late thirties and early forties. That might not be ideal. The risk of miscarriage increases as we get older - and the risk of infertility. It is is OK to wait for a bit but if you can have children sooner then go for it.
I'm grateful to the doctor I met at a party when I was 29 and had vague ideas about having a baby at some point in the future. She asked me what I was waiting for. I had a husband, a flat, a job with maternity leave.
To start with I thought how about a kitchen and bathroom that aren't falling apart? And a new boiler? And some more holidays? But I'm glad we prioritised having our daughter. It all worked out in the end - and we now have a decent kitchen, bathroom and boiler, even holidays that aren't in a tent - joy!
If you want to get pregnant but not yet, you could consider using fertility awareness as contraception.
It's not a guarantee that you will be able to get pregnant when the time comes. My fertility aware smugness evaporated when we didn't get pregnant the first month - but it will give you a head start.
You'll know when to have sex, and you'll have sorted out, or at least identified, potential problems.
Check out Do It Yourself if you want to go your own way, or I can provide you with support if you want someone to help you out.
- The Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant by Jean Twenge (book)
- Infertility UK - support, advice and understanding for those having difficulties.