Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Grim Beeper

Susan Walsh tries to knock some basic reproductive facts into her readers' heads:
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%.

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.
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.


Roundtine said...

This is my "excuse" for dating younger women. Not that I need one, but it's even more explosive to drop during conversations with SWPLs.

Mrs. Pilgrim said...

Absolute truth, this. Another thing nobody tells girls is that menopause can start as young as thirty.

But then again, fertility therapy is big business now, so...

Markku said...

What does "one try" mean? If it means the obvious, then there's going to be a bun in the oven in no time.

So it probably doesn't mean the obvious.

Daniel said...

Seriously, "Why didn't anyone tell me this?"

I'm sure they covered it in public education throughout childhood.

After all, shouldn't this generation of still-fertile women be among the most sex educated of all time?

Didn't they notice that the condom banana turned brown after a week in Ms. Babcock's health class?

Same basic principle.

Mrs. Pilgrim said...

Daniel, they don't teach this stuff in sex ed. They focus on technique rather than actual functionality and biological realities. They have you label a few diagrams and then start discussing new ways to injure yourself in the name of hedonism.

Do not underestimate the power of rationalization. "Well, they didn't teach it in school, so it must not be important."

Brad Andrews said...

How many of them also killed their first child (or several)? (Abortion)

That has got to be a huge whammy for them too.

Mrs. Pilgrim said...

Mr. Andrews, that is another major factor that the feminists insist must be suppressed. If word ever got out that this "harmless, victimless procedure" actually had a direct negative effect on women, the Power of Government might act to protect all those dumb, helpless women from evil doctors.

SarahsDaughter said...

I'm so thankful I started having children at 21. Four pregnancies (one miscarriage) by the time I was 29, and then nothing for the past 7 years. I use an ovulation test now, every day. It's been negative for 60 days straight. I have no idea when I stopped ovulating. But I would have been highly disappointed if we waited for the "right time" to have children.

Anonymous said...

I am planning to encourage my daughter to skip college and focus on getting married as her job during her 18-22 years. I expect lots of hysterics from family, friends and acquaintances when they find out.

Anonymous said...

*sigh* This is super depressing to me. I married as a virgin at 21 to another virgin, who was even younger than I was. I'm now 27. We've been actively trying for three years. Nothing. Gynecologist says the issue isn't me. Nothing is guaranteed, even to people who try to be smart about managing their lives.

Just over 30 said...

And of course it's equally depressing for the aging virgin who thought she would be married by now but isn't.

*sigh* I'm not a feminist, and I did try to do everything right. I'm still trying. Life doesn't always work out the way we want it to.

Toby said...

really? 30% when she's 30 years old? I know the chances will start to drop after 25 but I never imagined it to be that big of a drop.

doctors should start teaching this to women by the time they are 16 years old

Markku said...

This says that the probability of getting pregnant in early thirties during a month of active trying is 15%.

Anonymous said...

How old were you and your wife?

rycamor said...

Remember that the stats are averages, and most people don't put much effort into their health, so you can probably improve your odds by staying fit and eating well (lots of fresh whole foods rather than diet shakes and ramen noodles).

My wife was a virgin at 30 when we married (sigh... yes I would have married her half a decade earlier if I had any sense), but we had no trouble with the first pregnancy, miscarried the 2nd, and had another two very well spaced out, so that our last was born when she was 40. All extremely healthy, smart kids. Yes, I wish we had gotten together earlier, but a later marriage doesn't have to be the end of the world.

One thing that might be a guide is the longevity of your parents and grandparents. My wife and I both have long-lived family (in fact our kids still have two surviving great-grandparents). My grandmother had eight children, and I believe she had the last in her early 40s (youngest aunt is only 7 years older than me). My wife's grandparents had children well into their early 40s also.

Jonathan said...

"Remember that the stats are averages, and most people don't put much effort into their health, so you can probably improve your odds by staying fit and eating well"

Here's a very memorable quote from Dr. Michael Eades, in response to a comment on his blog:

"Your menstrual experience is a pretty common for one going on a low-carb diet. We have had this reported to us many times by our clinic patients. We also had many women who weren’t having periods begin having them once they got going on low-carb diets. And we also had an enormous number of women who were unable to conceive becoming pregnant after a relatively short time on a low-carb diet. We lost a lot of patients that way – at least until they gave birth and came back. This normalization of the menstrual cycle is just one of the many factors that have led me to believe that the low-carb diet is the diet the forces of natural selection has molded us to function best on."

LP2021 Bank of LP Work in Progress said...

It is so sad that women with health problems/emotional issues and full time jobs are trying IVF to conceive after 35 - I was ringing up at the local grocer and saw a magazine with a celebrity couple late in their 30's trying to conceive for baby #1. They seem like a nice couple but what's the point of spending thousands in IVF for a baby you'll just sit in day care?

Semi-OT: On the male-hating- informative-emo-soft news network of HLN, beta male Dr. Drew featured a hamster spin we've seen all too often: working mothers are happier, the children ARE BETTER off and everything is just, just, just FINE. I look at these women and half of them weren't even married. What the hell kind of selfish...Nevermind.

Age is cruel enough, so I'd never tell any woman to her face that her fertile time is over after 30 (for baby #1). Just as mine is over as I stroll towards 32.

JCclimber said...

SWPL = Stuff White People Like


Single White Pretty Lady.

Neither seems to fit how most gamers are using this in their sentences.
Either their grammar sucks, or gamers have come up with a third definition for this acronym.

Markku said...

SWPL = Stuff White People Like

It means "Having similar preferences to what is portrayed at Stuff White People Like"

LP2021 Bank of LP Work in Progress said...

"This normalization of the menstrual cycle is just one of the many factors that have led me to believe that the low-carb diet is the diet the forces of natural selection has molded us to function best on."

Not to gross out men but a problem with pro-ana's and nonfat eaters is that periods will cease after a year on that regimen. While its a wonderful, low hormone life to live, its not very natural or healthy. And detailing this sort of thing to any doctor will get you in "trouble". Doctors go apoplectic if they find out one is low weight and not having a monthly visitor. Freaking anti-thin doctors...

Anonymous said...

IF you live in the USA and are dateing a Amercian female, you are a fool to mary her if she is over the age of 25. If the girl isn't willing to get married and have a family before then, other things are more important to her than a man and kids.

Sarah said...

I thought it was 15%. Huh. Well, yes, feminists care more about empowering themselves than they do about women. That's obvious to anyone paying attention. Poor duped souls.

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