I, like many other Americans, want to congratulate Kate Middleton and Prince William on their marriage. As a person who is married to a European royal (well, my wife had a great-great-great-great grandfather who was knighted by the King of Denmark after he saved the king during a storm - by the way, he was a pirate at the time), I am always fascinated by the great continuity that these families always seem to have.
Looking at these two beautiful people, I have to recommend that they have a baby as soon as possible. Why? Well, beyond passing on those top-tier genes, the reality is that Kate is 29 and Will is 28, and this is the ideal time to have a baby – especially if they are planning on having more than one child.
While starting a family right away may seem like a daunting prospect for a newlywed couple – even a pair who has been dating for years, as Kate and Will have – here’s the medical lowdown on the matter:
For a woman, ages 26 to 33 years old are peak times in terms of fertility. After age 35, one tends to have more complications with hormones and ovulation, so fertility-related risks increase.
There are a number of variables that contribute to a woman’s decline in fertility after 35. Among these, include:
-A decrease in the number of eggs
-A decrease in the health of the eggs
-A decrease in cervical fluid
Additionally, a woman in her childbearing years has a certain probability of having a miscarriage during her first pregnancy, and that risk increases as she gets older.
Men aren’t off the hook either when it comes to age and having babies. After the age of 35, men’s chances of conceiving within a year suffer a whopping 50 percent reduction. Generally, after this age, a man’s sperm count significantly decreases.
Other factors, which are related to stress, could also influence a couple’s fertility chances. These include financial stress, career stress and relationship stress. Of course, I don’t think this couple needs to worry about some of these things at this point in time.
By all accounts, it looks like they have a charmed life ahead of them.
So, here’s my prediction: Barring any unforeseen health issues, the royal couple are at ideal ages to conceive and could have a child as early as May of 2012 if they choose to pursue that path. Who knows? If I’m right, maybe I’ll get invited to meet the Queen.
Dr. Manny Alvarez is the Senior Managing Health Editor of FoxNews.com and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.