A recent survey released recently by fertility and parenting site The Ribbon Box has shed light on the challenges faced by those navigating the delicate balance between ambition, career, and the longing for parenthood. Over a quarter of women (26%) currently going through IVF in the UK admitted that they wish they had started thinking and planning for a baby earlier in life, instead of pursuing their career. In an era where the pursuit of professional excellence often takes precedence, the study reflects a stark reality: a race against time.
The average age of IVF patients in the UK climbed to 36 years old in 2021, and for donors (DI patients), it stood at 34. Unfortunately, IVF can’t improve the quality of eggs, and a woman’s age is the biggest determinant of IVF success. Research shows that after three completed IVF cycles, 61% of women aged 34-35 when they started treatment had a baby. The chance of a baby after three cycles at age 36-37 was 50% and at age 38-39 it was 38%.
Further results found that 86% of respondents said they wish they had started trying for a baby earlier to improve chances of fertility success, yet a survey by University College London in 2022 found that women are actively choosing their careers over having children.
These statistics underscore the need for a more supportive environment for women in the workforce and workplace policies that facilitate a work-life balance. It also emphasises the importance of open conversations about family planning, fertility, and the challenges faced by women juggling career ambitions and the desire for children.
Founder of The Ribbon Box, Eloise Edington said, “Our survey uncovers the raw realities faced by individuals torn between their professional aspirations and their dreams of parenthood. The numbers tell a powerful story, urging us to reconsider the societal pressures that lead to delayed family planning. In essence, this trend highlights the complex choices women face in contemporary society. While they have more opportunities than ever before, striking a balance between personal aspirations and the biological realities of fertility remains a significant challenge. It calls for a broader societal conversation about how to support women in their pursuit of both fulfilling careers and meaningful family lives.”
To learn more about all things fertility and parenting, visit www.theribbonbox.com.