Jump to content

What age to start TTC?

Recommended Posts


Hi all


I've been think a lot about how many of us are unable to start our families when we want to because of infertility or sub-fertility.


I look back and feel that no one told me how common it is to have problems, and how long it might take to go through a TTC/AC journey.


I was certainly told that I had to work really hard at preventing UNWANTED pregnancies - but never told how hard a WANTED pregnancy might be.


I'd be really interested in hearing your views.


Was it a shock that you couldn't conceive when you wanted to?


If you knew more about fertility and age-related fertility decline when you were younger, would you have done anything differently?


I'd be so grateful to hear your views



Share this post

Link to post

Would I have done anything differently? Probably not. We started TTC 6 months before we got married, when I was 29. I thought that was the best time, I'd had my 20's to work and travel and I had met The One.

We discussed what we would do if we had trouble conceiving, but honestly no, I didn't think it would happen to me. And it's still a shock every month when we're not UTD.

However I had a couple of friends who kept going on about how they'd definitely need IVF and of course they feel pregnant straight away.


Share this post

Link to post
Spring Chickadee

We started TTC early in life. I was 21 and My husband 23. Despite the headstart we still had numerous setbacks and required a Fertility specialist and endocrinologist to help us.


It was certainly a shock that we ran into numerous issues but given age would not be a contributing factor I wouldnt change when we began TTC.

Share this post

Link to post

I come from a very religious family and spent my teenage years being told not to get pregnant (to my then boyfriend who became my husband).


We never dreamt we would have significant hurdles.


We never dreamt that "relaxing", taking ANOTHER holiday, not thinking about it, was the NEW method to create a baby.


And, we thought because we had been very careful in the previous 15 years not to get pregnant, we would also be very "careful" when we wanted to get pregnant by charting ovulation. And voila, apparently my body will know to fall.


It was purely devastating.


A cruel twist of fate.


An undeniable grief that no loving couple who have everything to offer a child should have to endure.





Share this post

Link to post
Jelly Bee

** warning -termination mentioned**



Hi. I'd have done so many things different. I had a boyfriend at 21-25 that I feel pregnant to and ended that pregnancy. It wasn't the right man, that is true. But, knowing now that it was my last chance at pregnancy ... I'd have continued it.


Met love of my life, started IVF...no success, and very low chance of one


He's now left and will have children with someone else...I'm 30's and it's basically a dream now....


I think the message in schools is 'It's so easy to get pregnant, avoid it!"

It should be, more simply "plan for pregnancy"

It's just as easy to be denied pregnancy as it is to accidentally encounter it.

Share this post

Link to post



After so much difficulty getting PG myself, I am trying to advise my little brother. My formula is as follows:

  • work out how many children you'd like to have
  • work out the time interval you'd like between children
  • determine if you will try to breastfeed or not
If you accept that female fertility begins to decline at age 36, use that as an end point, and start counting backwards:


  • allow 12 months to fall pregnant for each child
  • allow 9 months for every pregnancy
  • add 3 months of no sex please / natural contraception for every bottle-fed child, or 12 months for every breastfed child
  • add the time interval you'd like between babies
  • add 12 months to sort out any reproductive difficulties
e.g. My brother wants two children, two years apart. His partner intends breastfeeding (at this point, anyway). So according to my formula, they would need to start trying by the time she is 30.5 years of age, calculated like this:


1 year to try to fall pregnant, 1 year to sort out any reproductive difficulties, 0.75 year pregnant (hopefully have a baby!) then 1 year breastfeeding, 1 year to get pregnant again, 0.75 year pregnancy (hopefully second baby!) = 5.5 years of reproduction. So they really need to start trying when she is between 30 and 31 years old, to play it safe. Leaving it later than that, you risk moving into the fertility decline, and it can take quite a bit longer to get PG, if at all.


Of course, it's entirely possible that if they started trying when Mrs Brother is 30.5, they'd have two kids by the time she is 33, but I'm telling him this because they're both 35 and he's feeling as if they have all the time in the world to get the house renovated first and possibly even wait until they've got the mortgage paid off :unsure: .


We began trying to conceive when I was 35, and commenced 11 cycles of IVF / ICSI when I was 39. We sure learned the hard way.



Share this post

Link to post

Like Karasch I am advising younger siblings that if you and your partner are thinking about having kids, you are ready enough. Dont wait for house, careers etc because you never know if you will have years of trouble.


Although I dont thinkg we wait till it was too late, we started at just after I turned 26 (DH was 26 too). We had no idea we would have problems - after all - "it only takes once" (according to the health counsellor at school). Never was there any mention of the thousands of couples suffering infertility.


I laugh now at how I was naively telling everyone I wanted to be done and dusted with 2 kids by the time I was 30. I also laugh at how I took antibiotics at 24yrs old and forgot they could sometimes make the pill ineffective and we had DTD a number of times during the course of antibiotics. DH and I had a serious conversation about how we would "make things work" because it was "inevitable" that we were pregnant. We were not.


If I had known about infertility - we probably would have started trying the day we got married - 24yrs rather than wait until 26 yrs.

Share this post

Link to post

I don't belong here yet, but we have started trying earlier then we would have due to issues in me that cause infertility. But I found out about these when I was 20 and it did make me go ok, by the time I was 22 I was a home owner. However my DH was 29 when I meet him, I am the only one of my friends my age who is married. I do have a friend or 2 who have children/are married but they are still a couple of years older then me. My youngest sister is close to turning 21, by my 21st I had signed a lease with DH and we were preparing to move out 6 weeks later. Whilst she is in a relationship and while she could perhaps be ready to go out she is still a full time student, her boyfriend is still an apprentice and they will both not be ready for sometime.

Share this post

Link to post

being a scientist, I always wanted to start by 30 just in case we had any problems. I've been with DH since 17 though. We started at 27... we've being trying 3 years now. Having been through this all I would say from about 25 onwards if you have a stable partner throw the pill out and come what may. But half the reason women are leaving it so late now is they haven't met 'the one' until later in life. I always said I wanted kids no matter what, if I had split with DH instead I would have considering becoming a single mum even if no one was on the horizon at 30.

Share this post

Link to post

It is heartbreaking to realise that I have more than likely missed the boat, aged 37.


the real kick in the teeth was reading up on adoption and learning that at 38 and over you are considered too old to even go on the list, (not even going through the whole selection criteria et al...)


If only my current knowledge and mindset had been set 10 years ago.... now it's a case of dealing with the expectation of never having children. To allow too much hope to creep in negates progress. *sigh*


I say add information about the fertility clock etc. to the standard health curriculum!

Share this post

Link to post

I am being proactive - i know that fertility starts heavily declining at 35 so i was already considering becoming a Single Mother By Choice and when i was diagnosed with PCOS last year that cemented it. i am currently on my first cycle ttc and i am aware that the odds are not fantastic. if i end up on the merry go round of cycle after cycle would i wish i had started earlier? perhaps. but i also know that prior to two years ago i was not emotionally ready and have spent the last two years becoming more physically and emotionally ready.


I did read an article/blog on EB recently about women thinking that they have all the time in the world because there is always ivf. obviously not true and i think it may be helpful if there was more awareness about that.

Share this post

Link to post

WOW!!! To all your stories!!


DH & I are 21 & 22; married 18 months ago. started TTC 12 months ago.

having one drama after the next and THIS IS THE REASON we decided to start early - you wont want to wait until 'the perfect time' because it just may NEVER come.


we both have good stable well paying jobs, we've just purchased a house, we love each other and are married - what more could we ask for.


I beleive IF the situation is right - start TTC as early as you feel ready. In our situation and fertility problems will HOPEFULLY not be lingering when we are 30 and in "high risk" age brackets - by then we should have our dream of 2-3 kids already.




I do feel bad for all the woman who posted before me - especially the one who terminated earlier on in life but now cant have kids. :( that is gut wrenching..



(sorry i couldnt remember names :( )

Share this post

Link to post

I am 23 and DH is 27.


I didn't imagine that I would be 23 and doing IVF, but I have found out that due to the way my endometriosis is, I won't be able to physically carry a pregnancy in my 30's, I will require a surrogate then, so I am very grateful that I did start TTC at a young age, so I had time to discover the problem and hopefully have time to do something about it.


Honestly, DH and I have been together for so long, I do wish we started earlier, but I think that would have taken a different kind of toll on us, we are already being asked, straight out to explain our reasons for TTC now, I couldn't imagine the pressure from others if we started even younger.

Share this post

Link to post
porkchop's mama



I knew all the facts about declining fertility after 35 but my life situation didn't put me in a place to TTC much earlier than I did. Somewhat naively, I also thought that because I'm healthy, it would be a snap and that somehow my good health would give me bonus points...


I met my husband pretty late, age 31. We go married when I was 33. I just post graduate stuff I needed to complete and I came off the pill in the final year of this, age 34.


It took us a year to get to the first pregnancy (I was 35) which was an ectopic then we lost two other natural pregnancies after this. I started IVF age 36. We were blessed with a successful first cycle and I'm now 6 month along, age 37.


I couldn't have changed anything that has happened but what I am grateful for is the maturity and strength of my relationship with DH and also that all those years of study put me into a financial position that was secure enough for us to comfortably afford IVF and the costs associated with going private for our son's birth this December.

Edited by porkchop's mama

Share this post

Link to post

Pregnancy mentioned


We started trying at 28.


My folks suffered from infertility - my mother is still scarred all these years late from things that were said to her during this period. So we knew it could be an issue, and didn't really delay. Stuffed around a long time (4+ years) before moving to AC though due to a confluence of life events and one early miscarriage which was considered evidence that we could conceive...


In any case, I don't think I would have started trying sooner - but then this is probably coloured by the fact that I started in my late twenties, was fit and healthy, trying earlier probably wouldn't have made the difference for us.


IVF was kind to us the first time around, and 5 years to the day after I stopped the pill, I held my DS in my arms for the first time.

Share this post

Link to post

My husband and I started trying when I was 23, he was 27. We recently found out due to genetic issues, it will probably be a long road for us. I'm 25 now.


Before we had the confirmation that it was a genetic issue, we felt quite discouraged by our IVF clinic while undergoing tests and observation cycles; the general sentiment seemed to be we were too young and should just keep trying naturally.


The moment we found out it was a genetic issue, that changed. FS and genetic counsellors and everyone say, "at least you started early" with relief. My FS says it's so great that we have 10 years to work with (!) before age becomes a factor.


I think it's great to encourage people in their mid 20s to have a check up that everything's ok. In saying that, if they're not thinking about it yet, they'd probably just laugh at you.

Share this post

Link to post

I know this is an old thread, but given it has been revived again, and the topic is always relevant, figured I'd add my story.


I've just turned 37 and my DH will turn 47 in a few months - we started our AC last year, with IVF, mostly due to MFI though I'm sure both our ages are a factor.


While I really wish I'd started trying to have children earlier, I don't actually know how that realistically would have happened. I guess I was what you would call a 'late bloomer' and only had my first real boy friend at age 27 and met my, now, DH when I was 28. But then I promptly went OS for two years to work - something I'd really wanted to do for sometime. So we lived in separate countries for two years and I guess effectively had to start our relationship again when I returned. So it was another couple of years before DH proposed and another 1.5 years before we got married. I really wanted to be married before we had kids, so it was thus only a couple of years ago that I felt like I was in a position to start trying. Then add almost 18 months of trying (unsuccessfully) before we finally found ourselves in a position of having to do IVF.


I laugh at how much effort we both went to trying not to get pregnant and the conversations we had about not going down the IVF route, mostly because we wouldn't actually need it, would we.


So I do have some regret that I was determined to wait till we were married before trying; I have some regret heading OS for 2 years and I have regret not finding someone sooner (not that I didn't want to!). But in the end, I wouldn't actually change any of those things. And if some one had told me I was going to have fertility issues in my mid 30's, I still probably couldn't or wouldn't change those things. It is what it is and I've just gotta keep hope that the next transfer will be 'the one'!

Share this post

Link to post

Chongololo, which state is this? There tend to be some misconceptions at times about age limits for adoption.


Legislation varies between states and for Intercountry adoption also varies between the 13 different partner countries that have agreements with Australia, however some states and partner countries work on age difference. E.g. They may work on a 45 year maximum age difference, so a 51 year old could still adopt a 6 year old for example.

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...