First off to the OP, to be perfectly honest I am more concerned that after 4 years he can commit to buying a house together but can’t commit to a decision to get married to you and start a family, then your fertility odds. My partner and I have had a few discussions about the length of time people wait before getting engaged and then married and he said to me that it doesn’t take years to decide if you want to marry someone, and if you’re still uncertain after 3 years then you have your answer right there.
Your boyfriend saying he wants to someday is not a serious commitment to doing so, they are just words, and actions speak louder than words. I’m curious as to how much contribution has he made to the wedding fund vs you, although considering he doesn’t seem to mind joint financial commitments that might not offer any clues to his real intentions. It is a shame that you have purchased property together before a formal engagement has taken place, but you should not allow that to keep you bound to someone who does not seem to be overly interested in things that you are very interested in. Nor should you allow your age to cow you into staying with him, don’t settle, it won’t make you happy.
Now to everyone else stressing, as well as the OP… I’d like to point out that many of the statistics regarding fertility in your 30’s, even late 30’s, is not completely accurate and some of it is unbelievably outdated rubbish. Even Doctors will sometimes spout off these “facts”, needlessly scaring their female patients.
I discussed this in depth with my gynecologist and she said that it is not as some women believe that you get to your mid 30’s and there is some sharp drop off a cliff for your fertility, more that it slowly goes down each year. It’s also important to talk to your gynecologist to see if there is anything that is concerning regarding your reproductive system that would prevent pregnancy.
Also look at the women in your family, what is the average age that menopause has begun for your close female relatives? Have any of them had children in their late 30’s or early 40’s and how did that effect the pregnancy? My Mom’s family is heavily female dominated, the women generally have menopause slightly later and I have multiple close relatives that have had children in their late 30’s and early 40’s and even mid 40’s for a couple of them.
Stressing needlessly over something that may not even turn out to be a problem for you though does seem like something that could potentially (not an absolute) effect fertility and I base that on how stress can effect a woman’s period. It’s all connected…
Also and while this could add more stress it shouldn’t, the problem might not be the woman. Women often get the blame put on them for fertility issues in their 30’s, everyone from doctors to their partners might imply it’s their fault for not starting earlier, cuz yeah they should have totally gotten married to someone who wasn’t right for them earlier on just to get pregnant because that’s so smart.
Anyway, MEN also have a decline in fertility as they get older but no one ever talks about it which I find very unfair as people wag their fingers at women, men just sail on by unconcerned because it is clearly her fault. To crudely summarize the problem men in their 30’s and beyond have is to say their sperm get stupid, chase their own tails, herp derp around, have trouble finding where to go and of course don’t ask for directions. This is of course a year by year decline, not a drop off of a cliff. Another odd thing is studies have shown while older mothers tend to be better parents then their younger counterparts, the same does not go for men. It makes me glad my partner is younger.
Now while I am not saying “Dismiss all data regarding fertility in your 30’s and carry on like you have the rest of your life to have kids.” I do think it is good to put things in perspective so here are some interesting links I’ve come across during my own research since I’ve had too many crap doctors in my life to just take their word on something. 😀
Counterpoint to that article: http://infertility.about.com/b/2013/06/20/are-the-age-related-fertility-statistics-out-of-date-maybe-but-modern-stats-arent-much-better.htm
Different takes on first article since I never trust just one source’s opinion:
Something I hadn’t even thought about until I read this article is the deeper way the widely held beliefs about fertility are affecting women’s decisions regarding birth control.
I’ve wondered if the birth rates with mothers over 35 might also be affected by some women being so certain that they can’t have them that they don’t even try or they try for several months, assume they are infertile, and give up. People at all ages might need to try more than a few months to get pregnant. Just like people of all ages can have miscarriages and babies effected with down syndrome.
While there is an increased risk of down syndrome occurring for women who get pregnant later in life it does not mean that OMG it is absolutely going to happen. The increase in risk of miscarriage might be directly related to that. Many women of all ages may miscarry before they even know they are pregnant and down syndrome in the fetus can often be the reason. I do not know all the factors that make a woman’s body reject one fetus with down syndrome but let another to the same women be carried to term, I would guess though that the genetic abnormalities were at a higher degree in the ones that miscarried. But all women of all ages that are planning on having kids should be considering this and other common genetic issues that might occur.
Another not so uncommon problem that can cause fertility issues is translocation which both men and women can be born with and may not realize they even have unless it causes problems with fertility, BUT many people also can have it and not ever have a problem.
Article about pregnancy in your 40’s.