A major study from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists brings together all the new research on how to maximise your chances of getting pregnant.
They report that the average childbearing age for women is now 29.3 years of age. In 1968 the average age was 23.
The study published in the medical journal Obstetrician and Gynaecologist is a review of several major studies on fertility and getting pregnant.
It reveals that the number of women giving birth at 40+ has trebled in the last 20 years. Almost 27,000 babies were born to mothers over 40 last year.
But doctors wrote the report to make sure women are aware of the lifecycle of their fertility. Doctors say that the most 'secure' age for childbearing remains 20 to 35. Women aged 35 are six times more likely to have problems getting pregnant compared with those ten years younger.
Up to 30 per cent of 35-year-olds take longer than a year to get pregnant compared to only 5 per cent of 25-year-olds. They also say that women in their late 30s and 40s are more likely to suffer complications such as miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, ectopic pregnancy and stillbirth- and are also far more likely to need a Caesarean.
They also reveal some interesting statistics surrounding men and conception. Male fertility also declines from the age of 25 and doctors estimate that the average 40-year-old takes two years to get his partner pregnant - even if she is in her twenties. The authors of the review want women to be aware of the facts surrounding fertility to help them make an informed decision about when to have a baby.
David Utting, specialist registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology at Kingston Hospital NHS Trust and co-author of the review said, "Clear facts on fertility need to be made available to women of all ages to remind them that the most secure age for childbearing remains 20-35."
Jason Waugh, consultant in obstetrics said, "There are a number of reasons why women are leaving it later to start a family, for example, career concerns, financial reasons and finding a suitable partner. "However, women should be given more information on the unpredictability of pregnancy and the problems that can occur in older mothers."
Lindsey Harris, founder of the website Mother 35 plus says; "It is the job of the medical profession to give people the facts about fertility, but not every woman is in the right position to have a baby under the age of 35.
"Older mothers are often aware of the risks and we are there to give them the support and reassurance they need."
Read our feature, What's the best age to have a baby? in the March issue of Prima Baby & Pregnancy magazine, out Feb 17.
When do you feel is the right time to have a baby? Comment below or in our chat room discussion now...