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MSNBC is Now Reporting

facts that a teenage gal is not likely to hear at home, but have been reverberated here often: time is not on your side.

Most women aren’t taught — and don’t learn — basic facts about fertility and aging, says Finn, author of the e-book “The Baby Chase.” Instead, celeb moms the likes of Salma Hayek (a baby girl at 41), Marcia Cross (twins at 44) and Mariah Carey (twins at 41) make being an older mom look easy — and glamorous.

“It’s not that we’re stupid,” she says. “It’s that we’ve been misinformed.”

As proof, she points to a new survey conducted on behalf of RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, and presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s recent annual meeting.

The poll of 1,000 women ages 25 to 35 who had talked to doctors about fertility found that participants could correctly answer seven out of 10 basic questions less than half the time. The Fertility IQ 2011 Survey found that women were wrong most often about how long it takes to get pregnant — and about how much fertility declines at various ages.

“We were not at all surprised,” says Barbara Collura, executive director of RESOLVE. “This is what we experience every day.”

Most women simply don’t realize that at 30, a healthy woman has about a 20 percent chance of conceiving and by the time she reaches 40, her odds drop to about 5 percent per month, Collura said.

Again, this bears repeating:

(1) No one is suggesting that women should necessarily forego education or careers;
(2) No one here is affixing blame on women for their predicaments.

All I am saying is parents need to be sober with their children and give them the information that they may use to make wise decisions.

If you aspire to marry and have children, it is better to think of this sooner rather than later. Your biological time clock begins ticking early, but–once you hit age 28–you’re in the 2-minute warning.

If you go to college, the key is choosing a path that allows flexibility: whatever you do, do it with little or no debt. If you choose a professional path–law, medicine==there are costs you need to consider. I’m not saying don’t do it; I’m just saying count the cost.

12 thoughts on “MSNBC is Now Reporting

  • farmer Tom says:

    Please do the readers at Boundless a favor,

    Write an article which cites this piece and send it to (Martha @ fotf I’ll not put the exact email address here, you can find it if you look) and ask her to publish it as a post there.

    This is information that every woman needs to know. I just talked with my bosses daughter last week about the folly of waiting to have children until she is “ready”. She has been married six years and doesn’t think she’s ready for children yet. BTW I doubt that she’s a believer, I’m trying to work on that part of it.

  • ReconsDad says:

    @farmer Tom
    I might do this.

    Honestly, I don’t expect our friends at Boundless to give this much (if any) coverage, even though this was a front-page story on msnbc.com yesterday.

    This is because they are going to offend two groups of people:

    (a) women who are going to think they are getting piled on;
    (b) men who think Boundless–if they reference the article–is using a story like this as a pretext to beat the drum for an early marriage mandate.

    My take: they still need to reference it. Fact is, you are always going to manage to piss certain folks off, and you cannot hold back when the truth is so obvious.

    Women need to hear this message, because they sure as heck aren’t hearing it at home, school, or even church.

    The dilemma: anyone who mentions it is going to be accused of “holding women back”, when in fact we are merely pointing out the obvious.

    The women are facing a difficult set of choices that involve conflicting goals.

    Let’s say a woman wants to become a physician, for example. (I use that example because that profession requires one of the largest time commitments.)

    That means she’s going to be pushing 30 by the time she finishes undergraduate education, medical school, residency, and specialty training. If she puts off marriage until after that, she’s behind the proverbial 8-ball.

    Complicating matters, because of the intensity of the studies and training–she’ll need to do an undergrad regime that is steeped in math and science, and must attain a very high GPA–it will be difficult for her to find a good man during that time.

    She will need either (a) a good network of family and friends, or (b) find one through conventional dating, perhaps at church or elsewhere.

    Cubbie and I have a friend who had the former. She met him during her undergrad studies and married him while she was in medical school. She still paid a price on the fertility front.

  • Adam says:

    Amir,

    I don’t think I would take this story as a reference to an early marriage mandate. I would only take it to be that if it were put alongside the idea that deliberately not having children is a sin. In that case, it would logically presuppose early marriage, since putting marriage off would be a kind of purposeful infertility.

    However, as long as it is maintained that having children is a good and honorable, but not required way to serve God, this article can be used to present sagacious advice to those who are seeking to serve God as a wife and a mother. If that is the message, we are good.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  • ReconsDad says:

    @Adam
    I agree. This is not so much about any alleged early marriage mandate as much as it is about promoting higher-percentage approaches for those who do desire to marry and have children.

  • ame says:

    parents need to pass these truths down to their kids, too. they send a double message when they tell their kids to establish their careers and then get married and give them grandbabies.

  • farmer Tom says:

    Ame,

    Ame :
    parents need to pass these truths down to their kids, too. they send a double message when they tell their kids to establish their careers and then get married and give them grandbabies.

    I totally agree with that comment. I see my very conservative(I hate that word) friends doing this to their daughters. They help the young lady establish a career, then lament the same daughters lack of marriage and subsequent grandchildren.

  • Dave says:

    @ReconsDad

    (b) men who think Boundless–if they reference the article–is using a story like this as a pretext to beat the drum for an early marriage mandate.

    There’s been a lot of societies throughout history in which women have married at a substantially earlier age than women.

    Let’s say a woman wants to become a physician, for example. (I use that example because that profession requires one of the largest time commitments.)

    That means she’s going to be pushing 30 by the time she finishes undergraduate education, medical school, residency, and specialty training. If she puts off marriage until after that, she’s behind the proverbial 8-ball.

    Perhaps a good reason to suggest to women that they reconsider entering medical school? Even the New York Times has tackled the problems of an increasing percentage of female doctors a couple of times.

  • ReconsDad says:

    @Dave

    There’s been a lot of societies throughout history in which women have married at a substantially earlier age than women.

    Did you mean, “There’s been a lot of societies throughout history in which women have married at a substantially earlier age than men.”?

  • Dave says:

    Uhm… yes.

    One of these days I may actually be able to type a coherent sentence.

  • ame says:

    farmer Tom – this is huge in church circles, too … “Get your college degree, then date and get married.” then parents are lamenting no grandbabies.

    they don’t want their daughters to struggle … to have to go to school to get a degree after they have kids … or to work a “meaningless” “low-pay” job b/c they had kids … OR, and this is HUGE, they want to prepare their daughters for the WHAT-IF-YOU-GET-DIVORCED.

    the reality and truth are that this life is full of struggles …. as Amir said, go into your choices with your eyes wide open. you go get that degree and career, dismissing all concepts of marriage until such, you’re choosing career over family.

    i was talking to a mom this past week who got a cosmetology certification while in high school thru the high school career center … used her cosmetology to pay for her 4-year college degree … and now? she’s doing nails b/c that’s what she loves and not using her 4 year degree at all.

    my first babysitter for my first baby has wise parents. she went to cosmetology school out of high school, skipped traditional college. loves doing hair. married young. is not yet 30, has 3 kids of her own, and she and her husband are in the process to adopt an international baby. i know that’s somewhat storybook, but she didn’t go for the career, she went for the family, b/c her parents value family and starting a family young, when a woman’s body is able.

    there is SO.MUCH.COMPETITION among parents about what their kids are doing and planning! it’s SICK!!! let your kids be themselves, and give them the knowledge to make wise, discerning choices. my 14 year old daughter is a bit stressed this year b/c she doesn’t know what (career) to do with her life. i have strongly assured her that having a career plan at 14 is not necessary.

  • ame says:

    some quick googling … and this website is pretty stark: http://www.advancedfertility.com/age.htm

    quoting from the above referenced link:

    “”Women’s liberation brings many advantages to women. However, as women delay childbearing, society has not educated us about this fertility decline.

    •Many couples learn too late about the impact of age

    If they tried sooner to have a baby, good “old-fashioned sex” could have built the family. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine said it well:

    •”As women delay childbearing, there is now an unrealistic expectation that medical science can undo the effects of aging.”

    We do our best to overcome advancing age with fertility treatments such as IVF. However, egg quality is a significant limiting factor.”

  • […] month, I posted a link to an MSNBC article pointing out that most women don’t realize that, when it comes to fertility, time is not on […]

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