Well, that was quick.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby is due in the UK spring. Considering that the couple only got married in May, it seems likely that they fell pregnant after just a month or two of trying. (Without wanting to sound grossly intrusive.)
And yet we’re always being told that women’s fertility declines after the age of 30, and we’re taking a risk by waiting till our late thirties to start a family.
So what’s the truth?
President of the Fertility Society of Australia, Professor Michael Chapman, says 37 isn’t “old old”. The chance of a woman that age falling pregnant is somewhere between 12 and 15 per cent per cycle.
“I talk to patients about the roll of the dice,” he tells Mamamia. “One in six is 15 per cent. You can roll a dice and get a six first time.”
That could be exactly what Meghan and Harry did. Lucky them.
But Professor Chapman is concerned that Meghan falling pregnant so quickly could send the wrong message to thirty-something women.
“Unfortunately, Meghan getting pregnant at 37 potentially makes people think, ‘Oh well, it will all be all right. I’m only 35. I’ll wait till I’m 37, because Meghan got there.’ It is potentially a negative.”
Chapman says fertility rates do drop between 35 and 37.
“There’s probably about a 10 per cent decline. By 40, it’s gone down 50 per cent.”
Meanwhile, fertility expert Dr Karin Hammarberg, who is working on the Your Fertility campaign, says she was “so pleased” when she heard Meghan and Harry’s pregnancy announcement.
“I thought, ‘If they think they’re going to wait a few years before they even try to have a baby, it’s going to be disappointing,’” she tells Mamamia. “So they must have got the message and got onto it straightaway.
“Certainly, at 37, most women who try will, at least within a year, get pregnant. Meghan was fabulously fertile, obviously, and managed to get pregnant pretty much straightway. Good for her.”