National Fertility Awareness Week is trying to highlight the need for women to not to feel “too left in the dark” about their own fertility and to seek advice and support.
As the age of the average first-time mother has risen, a leading nurse Kate Davies, of Your Fertility Journey, is sharing her concerns with the team behind OvuSense, the makers of a real-time fertility monitor.
As figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are revealing that 20% of women are 35 or over when they have their first child, it also follows with research from The University of California that it is ten times harder for a woman to become pregnant at 43 than at 37.
Ahead of the National Fertility Show in London, Kate Davies has appealed to UK women to become more aware of their fertility when they are younger, and before they plan a pregnancy.
“We know that one in seven couples have trouble conceiving and the chances of success decrease by around 5% a year after the age of 30. Every cycle absolutely counts because, unfortunately as women, time isn’t on our side. Whilst every woman must decide when it is right to have her first child, I am concerned that women not only put off trying to conceive, but also fail to recognise what is going on with their fertility.
This could have catastrophic consequences when the time is right.
Taking control of the cycle and knowing exactly when ovulation occurs can increase the chances of becoming pregnant but, sadly, I come across scores of women who don’t have that control.
If women wait until their 30s before they even start thinking about their fertility, they could have left it too late, particularly as one in ten women suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which can affect the chances of conceiving naturally and also maintaining a pregnancy.”
Research carried out by OvuSense supports the idea that women are increasingly waiting until they have a successful career, have travelled and own their own home before thinking about getting pregnant.
In a survey of 500 women conducted in September 2014 56% of women said they did not feel in control of their fertility. One 28-year old from Birmingham, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been struggling with her fertility for a number of years and recently decided to take proper control of her cycles.
“My cycles were long and regular but I didn’t know exactly when – or if – I was ovulating in each cycle.
I started using OvuSense and I now know that I ovulate late each cycle. My GP said that having as much information you can about your cycles is really helpful. We can now make the right decisions about where to go next with our fertility treatment.”
Mrs Davis and the OvuSense team will be joined by a number of women currently trying to conceive at the National Fertility Show at London’s Olympia on the 1st and 2nd November to meet women in similar situations to offer advice and share experiences.