Study: women seeking to have a child should start before age 32

Brain vs Heart, from:
Brain vs Heart, from:

Dina sent me this sobering piece of research from the New Scientist which is perfect for all the young feminists who have been taught in college that marriage should be put off, and women can easily get pregnant after age 40.


It’s a question many people will ask themselves at some point in their lives: when should I start a family? If you know how many children you’d like, and whether or not you would consider, or could afford, IVF, a computer model can suggest when to start trying for your first child.

Happy with just one? The model recommends you get started by age 32 to have a 90 per cent chance of realising your dream without IVF. A brood of three would mean starting by age 23 to have the same chance of success. Wait until 35 and the odds are 50:50 (see “When to get started”).

The suggestions are based on averages pulled from a swathe of data so don’t give a personal prediction. And of course, things aren’t this simple in real life – if only family size and feelings about IVF were the only factors to consider when planning a family. But the idea behind the model is to help people make a decision by condensing all the information out there into an accessible form.

“We have tried to fill a missing link in the decision-making process,” says Dik Habbema at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, one of the creators of the model. “My son is 35 and many of his friends have a problem deciding when to have children because there are so many things they want to do.”

It’s a scenario that will be familiar to many; the age at which people have their first child has been creeping up over the last 40 or so years. For example, the average age at which a woman has her first child is 28 in the UK and has reached 30 in Italy, Spain and Switzerland. In the US, the birth rate for women in their 20s has hit a record low, while the figures for those over 35 have increased over the last few decades.

The decision is more pressing for women thanks to their limited supply of eggs, which steadily drop in quantity and quality with age. Female fertility is thought to start declining at 30, with a more significant fall after the age of 35.

[…]The new model incorporates data from studies that assess how fertility naturally declines with age. The team took information on natural fertility from population data collected over 300 years up to the 1970s, which includes data on 58,000 women.

I have often tried to talk to young women about the need to get their lives in gear. I advise them to work summers during high school, obtain a STEM degree in university, minimize borrowing money by going to community college for the generic prerequisites, don’t have premarital sex, get a job related to their STEM field straight out of college, pay off their debts, move out of their parents’ house, start investing from the first paycheck, marry between age 25-30, and then start having children after the first two “stabilizing” years of marriage. This is sound advice, rooted in my careful reconnaissance of the things that human beings care about and need in their old age. This advice is not bullying, it comes from reading many, many relevant papers. It comes from putting the knowledge gained from reading the papers into practice, and seeing results where appropriate.

I am giving you the numbers. Straight out of a peer-reviewed study. Don’t follow your heart. Don’t listen to your friends. Follow the science. Make your decisions within the boundaries of reality. God will not save you from foolish decisions.

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6 thoughts on “Study: women seeking to have a child should start before age 32”

  1. It sounds like this advice is based on fertility and chance for success, but it seems to me there an even more important reason for women have had kids early. It’s because the older they are when they have kids, the more likely their kids are to have health problems. Or so I’ve read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d actually tell women to make finding a husband their #1 priority and GET IT DONE by age 25. If he doesn’t want to get married, chuck him and find a man who does. Early 20s women should be looking at men age 27, 28 and up. Everyone really needs to get over their weirdness about 4, 5, 6, 7 year age differences. There’s nothing wrong with a 22 year old woman marrying a 28 year old man.
    I know that people aren’t going to do this, and people are still going to try to jam square pegs into round holes, but marriages are still failing because women are marrying men they’re not attracted to because they’re waiting until there are no men left. It’s an enormous problem and what people are doing now IS. NOT. WORKING.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was looking at a dating profile on plenty of fish and saw a nice trauma nurse, 39 years old, insisting that she wanted to have her first baby. I thought to myself… What were you doing the last 20 years???


  3. I met my husband at 28, married at 30. Got my nursing degree and went to a Christian university on full academic scholarship, and graduated at 22 with no debt. During the time prior to meeting my husband, I went on dates on and off and you know what? The available men at 22-28 lacked ambition, were overweight, and expected me to always pay for dates and to keep myself in perfect shape-which I did then and still currently do as fitness is important. The Christian men were upset that I worked and had no debt. The older men aged 29-36 were established with careers but many already divorced with young children and ex-wife baggage in tow that I had no interest in dealing with, or who frequented strip clubs and wanted to be lifelong bachelors. So in my case, the availability of eligible men who had a decent job and not an awful amount of debt, a good relationship with their family, no prior children/marriage, were Christian and virgins, and who took care of their body and health were slim to none. My husband is a semi professional athlete, and we both married as virgins in the Catholic Church. He was WELL worth the wait! I’m now 31. Too bad genetic testing showed we have a 50/50 chance of conceiving a child with serious illness, and this fact would not have changed if we married at 18, at 23, or at 27.

    Liked by 1 person

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