After trying for a year to get pregnant, the strip barely registered the + sign before I miscarried in the middle of the night. Clueless about the combination of issues faced, I swallowed the tears and began again. I had yet to realize that I had taken a sharp right turn off Happy Drive and headed into unexplored terrain.

There were no warning signs about steep trails or dangerous cliffs along the way.

Even though I recall hearing how age affects pregnancy I brushed it off as something I didn’t need to worry about. I needed someone to kindly look me straight in the eye and say, “You are 38 years old. Trust me when I tell you your fertility will be a challenge. Do not try to get pregnant. Don’t stress, but go straight to a well-respected fertility doctor or endocrinologist in your area and have them conduct basic tests.”

You see, it was only much later that one of my doctors drew a simple chart showing the decline of a woman’s fertility after 35. Not only is it more difficult to get pregnant, but the rate of successful deliveries also drops.

When I say drop, I mean the heart-pounding-stomach-lurching-mind-spinning drop of an amusement park ride.

Minus the amusement.

Whatever your age, I encourage you to consider adding this piece of information to your life journey supplies. (I have no medical training. I am just offering friendly advice from my experience and the experience of others who have walked this road.)

If you are 30, getting married, and want to have children, go see your doctor. Tell him or her that you don’t want to waste time and would like basic blood work and tests to make sure you and your husband have no obvious challenges. There are simple ways to evaluate and address many issues.

If you are under 30, getting married, and want to have children, relax! Enjoy time with your husband. I do advise friends in your age group who are actively trying to get pregnant to consider seeking basic medical advice after a year of no pregnancy.

Knowledge about your body and the role that age performs is foundational.

The warning signs may not obviously appear along our path but once we experience roadblocks we can stay alert to what is happening in and around us and seek wise counsel from appropriate sources.

If you have walked the road of infertility, what role do you think age plays? In your experience, what tests did you have done or wish you had done earlier in the process? (Please feel free to email me.)