This article explores the importance of time for an understanding of women's experiences of reproductive identity. In order to do this we draw on data from two separate qualitative research projects. The first project is concerned with the experiences of conception, pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood in primagravidae, whilst the second focuses on the experiences of individuals (especially women) who defined themselves (at the time of the fieldwork, or some time previously) as ‘involuntarily childless’ and/or ‘infertile’. These two areas are usually treated as separate; this article, however, explores similarities between them in terms of time and medicalisation. Our central concern, then, is with exploring the similarities of experience for women who do or do not conceive.