A leading health expert insists that women should take a fertility test at the age of 30, so that any potential problems are identified before it is too late.
Studies have revealed that the average age of starting a family has now risen to over 30 for married women, with many waiting until their 40s.
AdvertisementHowever, by the age of 35, fertility has halved and many are compelled to undertake expensive IVF treatment to have kids.
Professor Bill Ledger, a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, suggests that women should opt for a 100 pounds blood test, which could be followed up by a 200-300 pounds ultrasound scan and consultation to identify whether they may have difficulty conceiving early.
"Women do not realise the importance of age when it comes to fertility," the Telegraph quoted Ledger, the professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Sheffield University, as saying.
"They think, 'It won't happen to me, I'm 37, I go to the gym twice a week, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I'm fit - everything about me is young'. Well it is, except your ovaries," he added.
Ledger has created a test kit called Plan Ahead. It works by measuring the number of eggs in a woman's ovaries and indicating what that level might be like in two years time.
He believes that such a test, in combination with full medical assessments, would help many more women to conceive naturally.
Tony Rutherford, chair of the British Fertility Society, backs Ledger that couples should be more aware about the risks of leaving trying for children too late.
However, he's adamant that women should not base their decisions on a blood test alone.
"None of the tests give an accurate answer. They are not reliable. You can be fertile at that moment, but you can't tell what you'll be like two years on," he added.