This week in the Washington Post there was a very interesting quote regarding fertility and women. ACOG (the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists) “recommended that doctors talk to women if they ask about their fertility but ‘we don’t want to do it in such a way that they feel that it might interfere with their career plans or make them nervous about losing their fertility.’”
Very interesting, as we live in a country which is constantly publishing scientific studies, promoting education, access to information, equality and guidance through a myriad of avenues. When the author goes on to discuss the ASRM (American Society of Reproductive Medicine) and their 2001 fertility awareness campaign promoting information about obesity and other lifestyle and health issues that may affect one’s fertility, she reveals that some organizations did not support the campaign, wanting to avoid causing anxiety in women, and suggesting that if our country promoted this awareness women would feel guilty about their choices.
Yes, times have changed and now women have more choices than ever before regarding their life and their fertility, and woman tend to be waiting to begin building their families. But what we need to start promoting is awareness of the actual fertility facts. Forty is not the new thirty, at least not from an ovarian perspective.
While a woman’s uterus can remain quite healthy for many decades after twenty, her ovaries may not fare as well. Most women’s fertility begins to decline at age 30, and once a woman is 42 years old there typically is a marked change in function, leaving many women with a decreased percentage of chance in having a healthy live birth with her own eggs.
More and more women are seeking out egg freezing, which offers such a wonderful way of adding to fertility preservation, but this is best to do before the ages of thirty to thirty-five. Crouse goes on to add that his can be a little tricky, as some women are used to focusing on pregnancy prevention in their twenties and thirties, not preserving their fertility or having children.
Fortunately in Los Angeles, the discussion is always brewing (and even Hollywood’s affect on the topic promotes more and more discussion about how long one can wait to have a baby) and we are lucky to be the home to many amazing universities, technologies and pioneers in reproductive medicine.
Hopefully in 2015 there will be more and more authentic conversations about fertility, family building, advanced age, egg quality and everything regarding trying to conceive. We hope to continue to educate and promote fertility awareness, and are proud to have been able to have helped so many families over the years.
If you have any questions about fertility, we are always available to answer any questions you may have about your own journey towards family building – whether it’s planning for the unknown twenty years down the road, or seeking immediate assistance on your journey to have a baby, we are always happy to help!