While many women choose to delay childbirth due to their careers, working is not always the reason. In fact, one Canadian study found that less than one third of women surveyed cited career goals as their reason for waiting to have children.
In reality, every woman is an individual and has her own reasons, and quite simply, we are products of our society. Women today want to experience all that life has to offer — whether that is furthering their education, traveling or simply having more time with their partner as a couple BEFORE adding another little person into the mix. Today's women have many more options before them than prior generations had.
But one of the primary reasons women wait to have children is simply because they have not found the right partner yet. The Canadian study found that the three factors with the most influence over when a woman has children are:
- Being in a secure relationship (97 percent)
- Feeling in control of one's life (82 percent)
- Feeling prepared to parent (77 percent)
The economy also plays a significant role in decisions about having children. During 2012, the fertility rate — the number of births per woman — dropped to its lowest point in 25 years. From a 2007 average that peaked at 2.12 births per woman to 2012's average of 1.87, the United States is experiencing its lowest fertility rate since 1987. Birth rates are not expected to increase until the economy picks up.
Preserving your fertility through egg freezing may be a good option for you if:
- You have not found the right partner.
- You have education, career or travel plans and would like to delay attempts to get pregnant until after age 35.
- You and your partner are newly married or don't have plans to start a family until after you are 35
- You want to have children, but want to wait until you feel more financially secure and/or the economy improves.
Of course, egg freezing is expensive and should be considered if you can afford it. It is also not a guarantee that you will be able to have a family later. But taking the steps now to preserve your future fertility can give you options that were not available to the women of an earlier generation.