'Your fertility has a shelf life': What a fertility coach wants women in their 20s to know
Of all the questions you've asked us over the course of Fertility Month, the 'right' age to have a baby is one that's come up over and over again.
We know that biologically, a woman is primed for getting pregnant and giving birth in her 20s but we also know that for lots of us, becoming a parent that young just wouldn't suit.
Is there a way young women can reconcile wanting to have a career and get the most out of their youth with the desire to at some stage be a mum?
Fertility coach Alison Reede reckons that any woman in her 20s who thinks she might want kids in the future should be realistic.
"I say to people, your fertility has a shelf life, it comes to an end.
"Your career could go on into your 60s, so you have to prioritise. You can have it all, just not all at once."
Alison struggled for five years with infertility herself before she and her husband welcomed twin girls.
She says she certainly wouldn't discourage her daughters from starting their families young.
"God forgive me but if I had gotten pregnant in my 20s, I know what I would have done.
"That just wouldn’t have been acceptable. If my daughter came home to me pregnant in her 20s I’d be going oh well, that’s your lot now and you just adjust your life.
"It’s not to say that you can’t have the career but you just have to focus on being mum for a while and go a different path."
Her advice for anyone in their 20s who might want children is to have their fertility checked.
The first port of call should be the GP, who can do some basic tests.
You can also visit a fertility clinic to have a more in-depth check-up - and men should be just as proactive as women.
"Get informed, learn about your fertility and take a checkpoint on it every couple of years," she says.
"Like the way we have our cervical check and our breast check – just tune into it like that and listen to your body.
"It’s a good investment. I’ll be all over it with my girls!"
This October is Fertility Month on Her, when we’ll be talking all things reproductive health and having babies.
You can check out all of our Fertility Month articles here.
Want to get in touch? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.