Vogue January 2017 - Fertility Debate: How Late Is Too Late?


More of us than ever are having babies in our thirties and forties, which means more of us are struggling to conceive. But what are the costs of leaving it later? Charlotte Sinclair investigates in the May 2012 issue of Vogue.

There’s a game I like to play with my husband when we go out to dinner. It’s called How Long Until Someone Asks If We’re Going To Have Babies. Inevitably, as the wine is poured, a well-meaning guest will ask me if I have children, and when I say no, comes the rejoinder: “Will you have any soon?” Really, they might as well ask me “How’s your womb?” or “Had any good sex recently?” My husband deals with such incursions into our personal life by delivering the roadblock: “The thing is, I don’t really like children.” (Untrue, but it seems to do the trick.) I just smile and offer, obliquely: “Yes, maybe, soon-ish.” There is clearly something faintly disquieting about a 33-year-old married woman whose stomach stays obstinately unswollen…