British Ad Campaign to Scare Women Into Having Babies Younger
30 May 2013

The campaign, which is sponsored by pregnancy testing company First Response, believes the solution to the trend of British women waiting longer to have children is to criticise them and prey on their fears of aging.

The average British woman now has her first child at the age of 30 with their motives to wait including: wanting to be financially stable, the high cost of childcare in Britain and waiting for the right partner to name a few. Rather than acknowledging these real issues that young women face, the campaign is trying to blame women, and women alone, for any reproductive troubles they may face by waiting to have children at an older age. 

Here Dr Zhai comments on the campaign: 

“The campaign “Get Britain Fertile” aims to educate British women to start thinking about having a family at an earlier age. However, if you ask these women why they are not having children at a younger age, you will find that it’s not because they don’t understand how their fertility works. Instead, it’s because there are many circumstances such as wanting to be financially stable and waiting to find the right partner that are keeping them from having children earlier. 

I happen to be very proud of British women. The average British woman now has her first child at age 30, which is not old at all, given the fact that most of them are educated, have careers and do not completely rely on their partner or the government to support themselves and their children. Since most of these women are educated, they also need to factor in paying back educational loans in addition to getting to a place in their career where they feel they are financially stable enough to raise a family. Childcare costs in Britain, which are the 2nd highest in the world, is another factor that needs to be financially considered as well as women who take care of their parents’ finances as they get older or who may become ill. At the end of the day, women need to find the right partner to share their lives with and build a life they would be comfortable bringing a child into, as these are the most important factors when deciding to start a family. 

At The Zhai Clinic, our patients are on average 37.8 years old and have had four failed Assisted Fertility Treatments before consulting us. In the UK, Assisted Fertility Treatment remains the first recommended source of action for couples who are having difficulty conceiving, but this may not be the most appropriate choice of treatment in all cases and may cause the woman to actually take longer to conceive. The British government, health authority, media and British Fertility Society need to review the current fertility treatment recommendation in Britain. Assisted Fertility Treatment can put the women under a huge amount of physical, emotional and financial stress, putting their overall health at risk. Along with the current recommendation, women should be offered information on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment for fertility as well, so that they can make a more informed decision on their treatment and overall health.”