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Waiting to get pregnant could lead to disappointment

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – If you want to wait a few years to have a baby, you are not alone.

But a UBC study suggests many people may not even know they are setting themselves up for disappointment.

Dr. Judith Daniluk says many women have no idea how many eggs they have in their basket.

“There is lots of social reasons, there is lots of personal reasons, career and educational reasons and economic reasons that people are waiting to have kids, but they are waiting with the assumption that when they are ready, they’ll be able to go ahead and have the families that they want.”

She was interested to learn the majority of men and women don’t know the proper facts surrounding their fertility.

“It was absolutely shocking in some respects, but I guess not surprising that of the 16 fertility questions we asked women, 50 per cent or more got only six of them correct.”

Men on average got four answers right.

She says fertility starts to decline as early as age 28. “Unfortunately as a consequence they are going to have to turn towards technologies like IVF, that really can’t compensate for age-related declines and are very expensive.”

Over 90 per cent of men and women asked also incorrectly believe that until menopause, in vitro fertilization can help most women to have a baby using their own eggs. Since 1991 the average age for a woman to have her first child has risen from 25-29 to 30-34.

Up to 81 per cent of men and 73 per cent of women incorrectly think that for women over 30, overall health and fitness level is a better indicator of fertility than age.

She adds that infertility can strike at any age and many common diseases contribute to infertility, including endometriosis, diabetes, anorexia, obesity, cancer and lifestyle choices such as smoking.