A recent survey found that women dramatically underestimate how much fertility declines with age. They estimated that a 30 year-old had an 80% chance of getting pregnant in one try. The real likelihood is 30%. They also thought a 40 year-old woman would have a 40% success rate, while those odds are less than 10%.This is important information for young men to know as well. If you're going to get married and you want to have more than one healthy child, you probably don't want to marry a woman any older than 25.
Women are surprised to learn this information and they’re angry about it. One woman had this to say about her 10 year struggle to conceive:
I just feel like it’s something else that they lump onto women that we have no control over. You tell us, “Oh, your fertile years rapidly decline in your mid-20s.” Well, if I’m not dating anyone, and I want to have a family, what is that information going to do for me?
Barbara Collura heads the National Infertility Association. She says the first thing women say is “Why didn’t anybody tell me this?”
Let’s be honest, women don’t want to hear that they can’t have it all. We can have a great job, we can have a master’s degree, we don’t need to worry about child-bearing because that’s something that will come. And when it doesn’t happen, women are really angry.
So why aren’t women getting the message? How can women with master’s degrees have such a poor understanding of their own bodies? Three guesses, the first two don’t count.
“A decade ago, a campaign by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine sparked a vicious backlash. Ads on public buses in several big cities featured a baby bottle shaped like an hourglass, to warn women their time was running out. But women’s rights groups called it a scare tactic that left women feeling pressured and guilty.”
So now they’re feeling barren and depressed instead.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The Grim Beeper
Susan Walsh tries to knock some basic reproductive facts into her readers' heads: