How many kids CAN you have, according to your age?

Hello! [name_m]Just[/name_m] want to open a little discussion about fertility and age

I’ve always wanted 3, but I’m already 30 and have none so I’m worried I might run out of time. Statistically it’s difficult to have 3 if you start after the age of 27, according to a not so recent meta-analysis

According to these studies:

  • if you want one, you’ll have 90% chances of success if you start before 33
  • two kids, 90% success if you start before 28
  • three kids, 90% success if you start before 24

After these ages, the percentages start to decrease, so for example, if you want three and start at 28 you’ll have 75%, and if you start at 35 you’ll have less than 50% rate of succes

What do you think? What are overall your experiences?

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The articles where I found the references to the analysis are in Spanish, but I’ll look it up and attach in the first post.
Wow 8 is amazing, what a nice large family. I wish everyone were as lucky. For example, my mother started when she was 29 and could only have me due to fertility problems and age-related health issues


I moved this post over to Momberries.

I’ve seen this research before and to be honest, it influenced my start date.

Comes from this study:
J. Dik F. Habbema, [name_m]Marinus[/name_m] J.C. Eijkemans, [name_u]Henri[/name_u] Leridon, [name_m]Egbert[/name_m] R. te Velde, Realizing a desired family size: when should couples start?, Human Reproduction , Volume 30, Issue 9, [name_u]September[/name_u] 2015, Pages 2215–2221,


I only wanted two or three pregnancies, but with adoptions mixed in. I chose to start at 24 and got pregnant right away but was 25 when my first was born. We adopted this year and now I’m pregnant with what will be our final biological child at 28/29. [name_f]My[/name_f] husband is 9 years older and we definitely wanted to finish by 40 for his contributions, too.

It is a privilege in many ways to be able to start young. I think it can be quite frightening to think you have so little time, but I think starting as early as you CAN if you know for sure a biological family is something you want.

The study also has a differing set of ages (higher range) if you’re willing to do IVF. I knew from the outset that wasn’t what I wanted to do, but most people I think are at least open to it, so that may change things for some. Either way it isn’t a done deal until you actually have your ideal family size, but many people never get to based on age.

You still have decent chances of having 3, even with appropriate spacing for your body. But it may be harder to conceive the 3rd, in particular, than you had hoped.


I read it a few times but today I couldn’t find it, I wrote the post from memory :grinning:

Thank you!
Congratulations on your pregnancy, I find your situation (3 before 30) the ideal, what I would have wanted for myself if my personal situation had allowed it.
Out of curiosity, do you plan on adopting again in the future to have a fourth?

I had three kids in my 30s (30, 32, 38) and no problems conceiving any of them. A friend of mine easily conceived her first two at 33 and 36 but was unable to conceive a third, even after trying a few rounds of fertility treatments. Fertility varies so much from person to person that there’s really no way to predict if you’ll have an easy time or not. I will say that most of my friends/family conceived in their 30s with no issues and that most of the women I’ve known with fertility issues, those issues were due to a genetic component, not age, so they would have had a hard time conceiving whether they started at 24 or 34.


I understand this feeling. I always wanted 3-4 kids but I didn’t get engaged until I was 31. We got pregnant with our twins right afterwards and I had them at 32 1/2.

Yes, it is true that fertility decreases with age but the chance of having twins goes up with age so you never know. :woman_shrugging:t2:

Plenty of women have babies throughout their 30s so I definitely think it’s still possible for you to have 3.

I’m 34 now (35 in Feb) and we’re trying for one more.


Rule of thumb for normal ranges of fertility is an AVERAGE of under a year to conceive, up until 30 or shortly thereafter. I dont have the mode (most common) or median (middle number) of that average. But, you can assume from that that 3-8 months would probably be a common experience, with 0-2 mo and 10-12mo being slightly less commonly experienced. OPK (ovulation predictor kits) can shorten trying time by giving you insight into when you actually ovulate vs just asumming it’s day 14 of whatever (not accurate for many people). It could be closer to day 9 or closer to day 17.

There’s not a rule of thumb for people with an infertility diagnosis, or genetically inherited disorders that result in higher rates of failure to fertilize, implantant, or progress a pregnancy.

To get insight into the answer to your Question that is tailored to your genetics and biology, I would recomend:

  • OPK: would inform you of how regular and how small/large your ovulation window is every month. Or if you ovulate every month (not everyone does).
  • Pre-conception Genetic testing for you and your partner. Goes without saying that a high-needs kid affects the number of kids you might be able to care for following that kid. Certain disorders also affect fertility. Certain other disorders means miscarriage due to genetic failures in the embryo are more likely. Some have nothing at all to do with fertiillity or genetic viability of offspring…rather are good to know for your own health and wellbeing (to better tailor medicine dosing, diet, etc to your own biology).

Good luck!

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We are TTC #1 now and I just turned 28 (although, the way this is going, I might be 29 by the time we have an actual baby in our hands).

If we aim for two years between pregnancies, I think we’d manage 5 before 40. We both want a few, 4 minimum, but you never know. We are at 7 cycles TTC now, so if each pregnancy takes this long than we’ll probably have less (unless multiples?)

My Mum had her last baby at 36 and my MIL had her last at 43 - all healthy, happy babies. I think we put a little too much stock in the “scary” side of statistics. I was watching something that said the way we talk about babies after 35 makes it sound as though your risks go up 90% when in reality they only go up by about 5% (wish I could remember the name of the video).

@AlSP I think 3 after 30 sounds perfectly doable. :blush:


I conceived my first at 28 (gave birth shortly after my 29th birthday), conceived my second at 29 (gave birth at 30), and conceived my third at 32 (gave birth at almost 33). I’m 34 now and pregnant with my fourth and final baby (if all goes well with the pregnancy, I should have them shortly before my 35th birthday). [name_f]My[/name_f] first few pregnancies I conceived first try, my last two after three months of trying. So maybe age played a role there, but we still have been very fortunate. So considering my experiences, I think 3 after 30 is very reasonable, and I hope it all happens quickly and easily for you.


While the science of fertility undoubtedly plays a role (and I understand that this is what this thread is about), I think your lifestyle and security play an equally massive role in how many children you’re able to have and when.

I know of plenty of women who didn’t give birth to their first until their mid-30s or early 40s, and have had more than one. I think a major question is: how close in age are you willing to have your children be, and are you prepared to juggle three under three (or even three under five)?

I’d say, at 30, you’ve still got plenty of time to make sure all the stars have aligned. This isn’t the kind of thing you want to rush into.


I definitely think it’s possible to have 3 kids starting at age 30 (assuming there’s no fertility issues)

My mom had my sister at age 43. Perfectly healthy pregnancy and no complications.

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I guess it really depends on individual fertility? I’m not sure whether your Mum having issues affects your likelihood of having issues in anyway at all? But hopefully not!

I had my first at 32, and originally planned on having 3 (though after one, I’ve wondered if two might be more than enough!). [name_f]My[/name_f] parents had 3, and were 35 and 49 when they had the first!


Like others have said, I think it depends on a lot more than just your age. I had my first child at 26 (not planned at all), and my second a few days before I turned 31. I’m now pregnant with twins, I’m 32. [name_f]My[/name_f] second and the twins are very close together in age. I got pregnant with the twins sooner than I thought. We might try for a fifth, but I’ll need to give my body time to recover and our family needs time to adjust, so let’s say I’ll be at least 34 before we start TTC again (if we do that at all). I’ve never had any trouble conceiving.
I suppose it also depends on how big you want the age difference to be. If you start later on, you might have to “compromise” on that and have your children closer together. But I know plenty of people who had their first child in their thirties and had no real trouble conceiving. I know some women who experienced fertility problems and had to use IVF, but that had nothing to do with their age.

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I think it depends on the person. [name_f]My[/name_f] mom had me right at 30, and then 3 kids afterward (at age 32, then 35, then 39).

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[name_f]My[/name_f] mom had kids at 31, 34 and 45, but she had three miscarriages between 2nd kid and 3rd kid.

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It’s really hard to say, because statistically there are all these statistics and data out there which can influence when we decide to have children. But in reality everyone is different and there are women out there who are having babies well into their late 30s. Personally, my cut off point is 36. I am 33 in [name_u]March[/name_u] and we will be trying for our third and last in the [name_u]July[/name_u]. So I’ll be 33 at the time and 34 when third is born. I had my first at 25 and second at 28. No regrets.

I think these kind of studies are useful for planning, but you have to remember they’re averages and not necessarily accurate when it comes to you or your body. I had friends who struggled with their fertility in their 20’s and I know women with 5+ kids who didn’t start until they were 35.


My eggs were dead by the time I started ttc at 27. Everyone is different. I think all women in their 20s and 30s who want children but aren’t actively trying should get their fertility checked alongside their regular checkups. If you ask your doctor to order your AMH (simple blood test) and AFC (u/s) it should give you a sense of where your fertility is at. As above people have shown it varies with when their fertility starts really declining.

To your question about further adoptions, right now our plan is to adopt a fourth as a teenager when our current cohort are teenagers (12-15 years from now). If I’m really wanting another child sooner, we would adopt, likely a toddler.

It has been interesting reading everyone’s individual anecdotes. I think the gist of it is that while of course women have been having babies in their 30s and 40s for millennia, that the chances of you having your ideal family size diminish with age.

The Duggar mom had 11 of her 19 surviving children after age 30 (31-43), with only one miscarriage during that time period and only one set of twins.

My great-grandma who had 14 children had 10 of those beyond age 30 (31-46).

I think it is well-known that women can have 8+ children over the span of a decade (whether that is advisable for the longterm health of mother and the later-born children is up for debate). But the statistical chances are diminished.

I’m just trying to remember off the top of my head but I believe the statistical study spaced pregnancies by the evidence-based 18+ months between pregnancies and assumed a statistically normal 0-12 month period of TTC. If you’re up for trying earlier and having children very close together your chances of the ideal family size might increase (but so may certain risks for mother and baby).

I think it is all about balancing risks and rewards.