Health experts have warned that the credit crunch could lead many couples to delay starting a family, increasing the likelihood that they may need infertility treatment in order to conceive.
Many consumers are struggling with their finances at the moment. For instance, the Daily Mail Cost of Living Index reported in August that the cost of shopping basket essentials was rising at 25 per cent a year.
Research by Liverpool Victoria suggests that the cost of raising a child now exceeds £100,000 over 21 years.
With this in mind, many couples may consider waiting before starting a family, but this could cause problems as a woman's fertility is known to decrease "dramatically" as she ages, according to Professor Brian Lieberman, one of the UK's leading fertility experts.
"Women in their early 20s are generally twice as fertile as women in their late 30s, with the most significant decline in fertility beginning during the mid-30s," he revealed.
"We are predicting a steep rise in the number of women requiring IVF and other forms of fertility treatment as women delay conception to further their careers."
Professor Lieberman urged couples not to wait too long before starting their families as missing out on having children would be "even more traumatic" than living on a tight budget.
Who can you complain to about private hospital care?