Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Planning a Family

Family Planning

WebMD Feature

As Jeanne Meyers was growing up, she always assumed she'd have children someday. But when she got married in her 30s, at a time when both she and her husband had successful careers, they decided to postpone starting a family for a couple more years. A family, they felt, could wait a little while longer.

But before long, their plan of having children was turned upside down. In her mid-30s, when Jeanne and her husband had finally made the decision to become parents, she had difficulty becoming pregnant, month after disappointing month. Finally, a reproductive specialist broke the news that had seemed inconceivable to Jeanne earlier in her life: Her eggs had deteriorated in quality as she had aged, presenting a major obstacle to pregnancy.

"We tried in vitro fertilization (IVF) when I was 37, and while I did get pregnant, I miscarried, probably due to the egg quality," says Jeanne (whose last name has been changed in this article at her request). "I used to work as a nurse in the fertility field, but I never thought I'd be on the other side. I never imagined that I'd have difficulty having children myself."

Jeanne, who now does medical-legal consulting in Atlanta, says that she and her husband faced the facts: While she could probably get pregnant again through IVF, the odds were good that she would miscarry. So they stepped back, and decided to adopt children. Today, at age 40, she and her husband have two sons who were born in the Ukraine.

For millions of Americans like Jeanne, the family life they've given birth to isn't exactly the one they may have envisioned years earlier. In fact, in America today, terms like "family planning" have taken on new meaning, with couples often moving in unanticipated directions as they respond to the hand they've been dealt.

Waiting Too Long?

As part of their family planning, more women than ever are choosing to postpone childbearing into their late 30s and early 40s, due to careers and late marriages. But as with Jeanne, many may have miscalculated their ability to become pregnant. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a startling two-thirds of women will not be able to conceive spontaneously by age 40 due to factors such as changes in their eggs and the way their ovaries function.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Woman looking at pregnancy test
calendar and baby buggy
dark chocolate squares