We all swooned over the wedding of Katie Middleton and Prince William, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. So how soon will it be before we can go ga-ga over baby pictures?
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in a baby carriage. Right? If William and Kate know what's good for them (and their fertility), the wait shouldn't be long, says Dr. Manny Alvarez, Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey and FoxNews health editor.
"Looking at these two beautiful people, I have to recommend that they have a baby as soon as possible ... beyond passing on those top-tier genes, the reality is that Kate is 29 and Will is 28, and this is the ideal time to have a baby—especially if they are planning on having more than one child," Alvarez writes in an editorial on the royal couple's chances for a baby.
As the fertility doc goes on to explain, for women, ages 26 to 33 years old represent peak times in terms of fertility—Kate, at age 29, is in the "sweet spot" for fertility. After age 35, women may have an increasing number of complications with hormones and ovulation, "so fertility-related risks increase," Alvarez finds. There are a number of variables that contribute to a woman's decline in fertility after 35, including a decrease in the number of eggs and their viability, a decrease in cervical fluid, and other medical and gynecologic conditions related to age, such as endometriosis, high blood pressure, or diabetes, which can interfere with conception.
But William isn't off the hook, either! After the age of 35, men's chances of conceiving within a year suffer a whopping 50 percent reduction, according to Alvarez. Generally, after this age, a man's sperm count significantly decreases as well.
Dr. Alvarez admits that other factors can influence a couple's fertility chances, no matter what age you are. These include career and relationship stress and financial stress (which Will and Kate probably won't need to worry about) and other medical conditions that affect fertility.
Leading by royal example? If the Duke and Duchess follow his advice, Alvarez predicts a royal baby as early as 2012. Only time will tell on this one...