In this week's Scrubbing Up, Stuart Lavery, a consultant gynaecologist at Queen Charlotte's hospital and a director of the IVF Hammersmith fertility clinic, says, despite the wealth of new reproductive techniques every year, age is still the critical factor in whether people can have a baby.
What do you think? Here are some of the comments you have been sending in to this week's Scrubbing up.
I waited until my late 30s to start having a family, mainly because I met my partner late in life owing to having a demanding career. I had to ditch the job to find him. After we got together I was working shifts, and it's pretty hard to conceive when you are working under that sort of pressure. I finally did have a baby at 44 when we had all but completely given up. I did acupuncture and the Foresight Programme plus I had given up work altogether. Work pressures don't just destroy families, they stop them ever being created in the first place.
We started trying for children at 23, so we'd never be at the stage where we left it too late. Two years and three miscarriages later, the fertility treatments available are now our only chance to have a family. There are far more factors than just how old you are that can determine whether you have children. The one comfort is that at least I have my whole life ahead to adjust to being childless. I can throw myself into my career, carve out a path that having children might have prevented. I can't imagine how I would cope if we had reached this position 20 years down the line.
I had my first child at 20, and shortly after, discovered I had polycystic ovary syndrome which has meant a struggle to have a a second child. I am only 25 and if I had "waited" then I may have been faced with the possibility of never having children. I met my husband young and our first child was unplanned, so we feel incredibly lucky. Surely having children younger gives an opportunity for you to watch your family grow and grow - meeting grandchildren and great grandchildren!
Claire, East Yorkshire
"Did you realise that by waiting for the 'right time' may mean you never have children?" Of course, yes - I'm in my late 20s and feel emotionally and financially ready to start a family - but my partner of five years says he's nowhere near ready and has lots that he wants to do before having children, and can't see himself having kids in the next five years at least. Please stop running stories on how women are delaying having children; it's heartbreaking. It's not women, it's men who refuse to grow up.
I am 33 and pregnant for the first time. I would love to have started trying for a family earlier, but the fact is that the cost of housing is so high in the South East we need two decent incomes just to pay for a roof over our heads. However desirable from a fertility point of view, there's no way we could have afforded to pay the mortgage and support a child when we were in our 20s.