Women’s fertility peaks in the early 20s, and drops considerably after age 35. Menopause typically occurs during a women’s midlife (usually between ages 45 and 55). During menopause, hormonal production by the ovaries is reduced, eventually causing a permanent cessation of the primary function of the ovaries, particularly the creation of the uterine lining (period). This is considered the end of the fertile phase of a woman’s life.
According to a computer simulation run by Henri Leridon, PhD, an epidemiologist with the French Institute of Health and Medical Research, of women trying to get pregnant, without using fertility drugs or in vitro fertilization.
At age 30
75% will have a conception ending in a live birth within one year
91% will have a conception ending in a live birth within four years.
At age 35
66% will have a conception ending in a live birth within one year
84% will have a conception ending in a live birth within four years.
At age 40
44% will have a conception ending in a live birth within one year
64% will have a conception ending in a live birth within four years.
Not getting pregnant can turn into a huge burden within the marriage / relationship. Once the wish having a baby comes to mind, the couple is hopeful and patient. Mostly they know that they have to wait a while until the hormone level normalizes after discontinuation of contraceptive. This phase takes a few month until a year.
Then the couple starts to involve with a higher effort by reading books and magazines, having plans how life will be as a little family, maybe moving to a child-friendly area, buying the right car and paint one room in the house for the future child.
After this phase the couple is constantly reminded at their own infertility by other pregnant women or acquaintances who have just had a baby. Visiting happy mothers with their newborn can become a veritable obstacle. The couple still has hope but the innocence is gone somehow. One might distance from the other partner.
Men tend to arrange themselves easier with the infertility and start to focus on life without having children of their own, not talking about the topic no more. In this phase, the woman feels left alone and stops to “bother” her spouse, realizing that he is tiered to listen to her and the things she has to say. She feels rejected and lonely. Thoughts, of who’s “fault” it is, not getting pregnant, pop up in her mind. Particularly worse, if her spouse has already children from a pre-marriage. Feeling of guilt and a decreasing self-esteem might be the consequence.
In this phase, where things are stirring up she might think that he never wanted a child (or another) and the couple starts to argue a lot, disagreeing about almost everything and the man now turns physically away from his wife. She realizes that now having a baby is impossible and she might get depressed and starts to neglect herself. The relationship is on the way to break down.
Do not give up on your marriage, get help to come back to a healthy, enriching and joyful togetherness and open up for the thought, that an adoption or fostering a child can be a solution or discover other possibilities. Once on that way, it happens often, that the baby comes along.