Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Women and Fertility

An interesting study. I remember seeing a 60 minutes piece about this years ago. Young women thought they could have children in their mid 50's. Men's fertility also drops with age, though not as rapidly. There is evidence that men also have biological clocks.

Women are delaying childbirth until later and later in life partly because they have an exaggerated belief that fertility treatments will help them get pregnant well into middle age, suggests new Canadian research.

Media accounts of older celebrity mothers and even advice from ill-informed family doctors is fuelling unrealistic expectations about in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other reproductive technology, said Judith Daniluk, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia.

Women who responded to a recent survey by Prof. Daniluk suggested they expected to delay childbirth until much later than even they considered ideal, and that they believed fertility treatments were far more effective later in life than is really the case.

In fact, the efficacy of treatments for infertile women declines precipitously after the age of about 34, with the technology-aided birth rate hitting barely 1% for those age 46.


Jennifer said...

Even younger women are having more trouble conceiving. Is it due to hormone like products and endocrine disrupters? stress? Here is an article that talks about natural approaches to conceiving.

been around the block said...

The pace of our lives vastly affects our ability to conceive. Young women are increasingly involved in their jobs, in their entertainments and physical exercise, and have often been using contraceptives for years. All of these factors, in combination, have a negative effect on their ability to conceive.

Fatigue in both the male and the female will often result in an inability to conceive a child.

Dr. Edward Ramirez, MD, FACOG said...

With all due respect, regarding that 1% statistic you quoted, there is a difference between women who are trying to conceive with their own eggs at >44 years of age and those who opt to try with donor eggs. With the latter, the PR increases dramatically.

I believe that all women should begin to have their 'fertility' tested at 30 yrs in order to gauge whether or not they can afford to delay childbearing. That does not mean, though, that they do not have options if they wait until they are over 45. The ability for reproductive endocrinologists to utilize all aspects of ART, including donor eggs, is why you see so many "celebrity" pregnancies that are in that age bracket. On the subject of contraceptives from the comment above: it may surprise many, but staying on the pill actually increases your ability to remain fertile, since the pill "rests" the ovaries.

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