Nearly 45 per cent of women in Singapore overestimated the chances of a couple in their mid-thirties getting pregnant naturally, recent survey findings revealed.
They believed that a healthy couple in their mid-thirties has a 50 per cent chance of naturally conceiving a child in a given month. However, the likelihood of conception is only 15 per cent.
The survey also found that 83 per cent of the respondents thought having a child before the age of 30 is medically ideal.
Meanwhile, close to 40 per cent of the women surveyed said that they plan to have a baby in their early thirties, while another 20 per cent said they will wait until after the age of 35.
"The reality is that a woman's age is the most important factor affecting her ability to conceive," said Dr Roland Chieng, Medical Director at Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore.
Over 42 per cent of the respondents understood that a woman's fertility rapidly declines after the age of 35, and that an older woman faces higher risks of pregnancy complications such as miscarriage.
These survey results suggest that Singaporean women may be delaying pregnancy despite knowing that their natural fertility is declining.
This may be attributed to several factors that affect a woman's decision on whether or when to start a family - her relationship status, career and income level, as well as health.
"Many may find it shocking to learn that infertility affects 1 in 6 couples - everyone knows someone struggling to conceive. Our goal is to educate couples about their reproductive health so informed decisions about conception can be made," Dr Chieng added.
1,009 women aged 18 to 50 participated in the survey conducted in December 2015 by Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore.