Alex Jones, the 39-year-old One Show star, recently revealed she is pregnant with her first baby – but it seems that Alex has been on quite an emotional journey where her fertility is concerned – and she admits she’d had no idea about the extent upon which age impacts on your ability to conceive.
Alex told ITV’s This Morning programme that she had been completely unaware her own mum had gone through the menopause at 44 – and that when she had found out, she was just 6 years younger herself.
Alex had been filming a documentary, Fertility and Me, for the BBC at the time, and was left surprised by her mum’s revelation.
“She told me that and I was quite shocked. I thought: ‘Gosh I’ve got 6 years.’ And I’ve always known I wanted a family,” Alex explained.
She added that she suspects her mum hadn’t told her before because she wasn’t at that stage thinking about starting a family.
“She probably thought she doesn’t need to know that until she thinks about it, if she thinks about it (getting pregnant).
But it was quite a shock,” she said, adding that she was “like many people, quite naive” about her fertility, even before learning about her mum’s early menopause.
“Of course you know that age impacts your fertility but you don’t really realise to what extent until you start looking into it,” she said.
“Nobody leaves it late on purpose…It’s all a case of timing. Family was the number one priority. I didn’t meet my husband until a bit later on… I thought it will be fine.”
And although she and her husband of almost-a-year Charlie Thomson are now expecting, she admitted that at the time her mum told her about her own experiences it was all ‘quite stressful’.
“I still was in my early 30s saying ‘I can’t get pregnant’ and then one day you suddenly go, ‘Gosh I really want children.'”
And, Alex added, that although young people are educated about safe sex and avoiding pregnancy, there is generally little information out there about declining fertility.
“Nobody told me in school,” she said, “Yes, safe sex is important, but actually you need to know when your body is at its prime.”
And although some women are choosing to delay motherhood longer and longer these days, the presenter said she did think there is ‘still a limit’.
“Even early 50s, people are pushing it by 10 years, 15 years, but ultimately, people should be aware that if they can, the sooner the better.
“35 is starting to push it. But having said that, people don’t meet the right people at the right time. But it’s not a dead loss.”
Alex also told This Morning that although her mum ‘never put pressure’ on either her or her sister Jennie to have children, both she and her dad were over the moon at her baby news.
“Of course they are doting grandparents and are delighted with the news,” she told Phil and Holly.”
Aw, we bet they are! And we can’t wait to hear more about Alex’s pregnancy journey as it progresses ?
Fertility and Me is on BBC1 tonight at 10:45pm