Singaporean Women May Be Delaying Pregnancy Despite Knowing Their Natural Fertility Is Declining
A survey of 1,000 women in Singapore aged 18 to 50 commissioned by Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore found that nearly half (45%) of them overestimated the chance of a couple in their mid-thirties getting pregnant naturally, though most (83%) knew that having a child before the age of 30 was medically ideal.
Almost 45 per cent of respondents believed that a healthy couple in their mid-thirties has a 50 per cent chance of conceiving a child naturally in a given month. Only 10 per cent of respondents chose the correct answer, a 15 per cent chance, to the likelihood of the couple conceiving naturally in their mid-30s.
“The results from the survey illustrate while there is some awareness of age as a major factor affecting fertility, they may still be missing the window that offers a greater opportunity to have children. Close to 40 per cent of women surveyed said they are only planning to conceive in their early 30s and another 20 percent say they will wait until after the age of 35,” said Dr Roland Chieng, Medical Director at Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore.
“Many may find it shocking to learn that infertility affects 1 in 6 couples - everyone knows someone struggling to conceive. Our goal is to educate couples about their reproductive health so informed decisions about conception can be made,” said Dr Chieng.
“Over 42 per cent of respondents correctly understand that fertility starts to rapidly decline between 36 and 40 years of age and are aware of the complications associated with later in life pregnancies such as an increased risk of miscarriage. The reality is that a woman’s age is the most important factor affecting her ability to conceive.”
The survey results also highlight the importance women place on their relationship status, income and health when deciding whether to have a baby. When presented with the options ‘Not relevant’, ‘Relevant’, and ‘Very relevant’, 92per cent of the women surveyed list being married as important (64.7% as very relevant and 27.2% as relevant). Almost 60 per cent of the respondents rate having a good income as very relevant factor and interestingly both partners careers as very relevant: woman’s career (42%); and partners career (51%).
Almost 60 per cent of the women surveyed list their own health as a very relevant factor while 55 per cent indicate that the state of their partner’s health is very relevant. Family expectations and societal expectations were the lowest ranked factors in the list when it comes to deciding whether and when to start a family.
The Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore Fertility Awareness Survey was conducted in December 2015. The findings are based on responses provided by 1,009 women in Singapore aged 18 to 50 across various ethnicities, education levels and marital status.
Key findings from the survey include:
- 82.7 per cent of respondents believe having children before the age of 30 is medically ideal with 45.3 per cent of respondents picking the window between age 25 and 30 as ideal only 24.4 per cent of respondent chose the correct answer: By 25
- 53.5 per cent of respondents believe having children by the age of 30 is socially ideal.
- 38.6 per cent of respondents plan to have children by the age of 35, followed by 37.3 per cent who plan to have children by the age of 30.
- 46.6 per cent feel their age is a very relevant factor when deciding to have a child
- 59.3 per cent of respondents feel that earning a good income is a very relevant factor when deciding to have child
- 44.5 per cent of respondents believe a healthy couple in their mid-thirties stand a 50 per cent chance of getting pregnant naturally in a given month when the actual likelihood is 15 per cent.
- 30 per cent of respondents believe sperm can only survive 12 to 24 hours inside a woman’s body, nearly 30% admitted to not knowing and 25.8 per cent of respondents chose the correct answer: 2 to 3 days