So this week I will 'celebrate' my 36th Birthday. I don't feel any different from 10 years ago. But is this the beginning of the end for my fertility? Am I over the Hill?
What have I been doing?
I've been working in fertility clinics for over a decade. The fact that female fertility decreases over the age of 35 is almost a daily conversation. In fact I have become so used to talking about it that I have never actually stopped to think about it until now. Now I'm part of the statistics ...or am I? There is no magical switch that will automatically switch off my ovaries this week but I can't help but wonder if my 'fertile' time is limited.
Dates of Birth!
When you work in a fertility clinic you identify everyone by their name and date of birth. So Mary Smyth becomes Mary Smyth 25.09.1980 . It becomes second nature to associate each name with its matching birthday especially when checking embryos in the lab. Every time eggs, sperm or embryos are moved into a new culture dish or from one tube to another two people must witness the move and verbally check the name and date of birth on each new dish or tube. By the end of the day Mary Smyth 25.09.1980 is firmly planted in your brain.
Over the years I have unconsciously associated certain birthdays with fertility treatment. For example in my first job as an embryologist, almost every date of birth of women having IVF treatment was between 1968 and 1972. At the time this was acceptable to me as they were so much older than me. However in the past two years there has been a noticeable increase in the number of dates of birth in the 1980's. It started as just the odd one every few months which provoked feelings of shock and horror in me every time I saw them in the lab.
Now it's a daily occurrence.
Whats going on? Why are people my age having IVF? Surely they're too young to need IVF? Unfortunately not!
I am very lucky to have 3 beautiful children but I know for a fact that if I was working in any other area I probably wouldn't have considered having children yet. Like most of my friends and colleagues I am very career driven. I meet my deadlines, I get the promotions and I have a successful career. When you have children you learn to work your career around them but before having children I could have never imagined how I could do both.
Somehow it works itself out.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is- if you are in your mid-30's and you haven't really thought about having children yet then maybe its time to have the conversation. At least start trying so that if you are one of the unlucky ones who needs some help along the way, you still have time.
Equally, if you are mid-30 something and you have been trying for a while then ask for help now. The sooner you get help the sooner the problem can be identified. Don't wait until it's too late .
I have recently launched my 28 Day Natural Fertility Programme which is a very easy way to increase your chances of getting pregnant naturally. It can work whether you are just starting out or whether you have been trying to conceive for months/ years. It is based on science and facts and does not require any medication, drugs or time off work. Everything is done by you at home with my support and guidance. If you would like more information please contact me.
As for me, today I'll just eat my cake, enjoy the day and hope that I'm not too far over the hill yet!