View Full Version : Biological Clock

April 8th, 2002, 01:17 AM
I was watching "60 Minutes" tonight and they were talking about fertility. They said that most women think that with modern technology they can become pregnant into their late forties and early fifties but that it's not true. It's actually pretty rare and it's with someone else's egg when it happens.

I believe they said 45% of successful women in their 40's were childless and 35% of women who were in their late 20's and early 30's were childless and that it was a record setting statistic.

A group who started an ad campaign to make women aware that there really is such a thing as a biological clock were blasted by the Feminist community for making it seem women were judged by their womb. One woman on the show said she went through fertility treatment for a year and a half and they never informed her of the chances of her becoming pregnant at her age. She's now adopting a little boy.

Personally, I don't intend to have a child in my twenties. I've always thought I would be much better prepared to care for a child financially and emotionally after I was thirty. If I didn't feel I would make a good mother at thirty then I probably wouldn't have kids.

This show has me thinking though. The experts say a woman is not likely to have children past 35, which was about the time I was thinking of having kids. That has me seriously rethinking my plans. Last fall I was running from the idea of settling down and having a family but after hearing the stories of different women I wonder how I would feel if I decided I would make a good mother but found myself infertile.

It doesn't help that I've found myself "haunted" by a little girl lately. I can even smell her, picture her and know her name and it's a major cause of worry for me.

Anyway, it's thrown my plans off track and got me to do some serious thinking about my life. I'd love to hear your comments on biological clocks and things of that sort in general.

April 8th, 2002, 02:42 AM
Well..my mother had my little sister when she was 40. And this certainly isn't the only case of later age pregnancy. It is still rare, yes, but not impossible. Also, I think that if you DO conceive at an older age at this point, you have more chances of carrying the baby to term, and less chance of having complications, then you did twenty years ago, or more. And I also think that it has a LOT to do with how you've treated your body over the years. Fertility is determined by many things...some of them, we can change, some of them, we can't. To me, this story seems a bit biased. At least from what I'm hearing of it. Out of those older women who could not conceive, how many of them safeguarded theirs and their husband fertility for years prior? Proper nutrition, certain vitamins, exposure to certain chemichals, etc, can all lead to infertility problems. So...how do these factors fit in? Certainly, a person who is in better shape, physically, and who has less toxins, and less health problems, would be more fertile at ANY age, then those who Weren't more fit, or who had toxins, and health problems..of the same age range.

So I guess what I'm trying to say, is that while age is a factor, I'm guessing it really depends on a variety of things...not just your age. And yes, it IS possible to conceive at an older age. Not frequent, perhaps...but possible.

I would start safeguarding your fertile health NOW, if you haven't been in the past, just in case you DO decide to have children when you are older, it will be that much easier.

Plus..there's also lots of alternative methods of fertility boosting, that aren't necessarily endorsed by, or even KNOWN by the medical community.

Such as magick, herbalism, aromatherapy, etc. There are numerous routes you can try, before getting worried about it :)

April 8th, 2002, 03:39 PM
The women were in perfect health.

I've heard of women in the late 19th century giving birth at 60 so I know it's not impossible but the idea that my chances are really bad after 35 was a bit of shock to me.

I'm definitely going to look into protecting my fertility. Even if I never have children I would at least like to know I can. :)

April 8th, 2002, 04:14 PM
Must be nice to be in perfect health; I've never met someone who is and has always been throughout their life :) :D

Personally I don't plan on waiting to have children for more then, perhaps, a year tops (I'm 22), so *shrugs*

Something to think about anyway huh!

April 10th, 2002, 08:35 AM
I have 2 kids and I'm 23. Granted they were "surprises" but I feel I've done a good job as a mother.

I was an only child until I was 16 when my 42 year old parents had my brother. In my opinion it is a mistake to wait that long (He was a surprise to) For those who are chosing to wait. I can tell you now my parents are pushing 50 and my brother is 7 and they cannot keep up with him. They're tired and worn out and don't have the energy to even attempt to discipline him. <I know this kinda sounds like it goes in Pagan Family>

Anyways, maybe the body is telling you something past a certain age. (Maybe it is a biological clock of sorts) If it's that difficult to concieve then maybe it's because it's not a good idea. Maybe that's mother nature's way of saying "It's too late". I hope I didn't offend anyone. It's just my opinion.

April 15th, 2002, 11:39 AM
Hmm..i'm not so sure of that, either Margie. Of course, i'm only speaking from my own experience, or rather, my own observation of others experiences, just as you were.

But..my mom had my sister when she was 40. The pregnancy had a few more difficulties, and my mother had a prolapsed uterus afterwards..which made for a difficult time because she had to have a complete hysterectomy afterwards. However, as far as raising my sister, I think she's done a pretty good job. She makes mistakes, but no more than she did when I was a kid. She had no problem "keeping up" with my sister per se. Actually, I think it was quite the other way around. These days, my sister has difficulties "keeping up" with my mom.

In short, I think the whole thing is really just a very individual thing, each case is differen't. My mom happened to get a rebirth of health and energy after her hysterectomy, and after a few more cathartic experiences happened, and she seems now, to almost be acting like she's 21 again..lol. So for my mom, it doesn't appear to be as difficult a situation as some older moms seem to feel. In fact, one thing my mom has said, is that having Kelly later in life has been good in various ways. A)she has far more patience with her. B)my sister can't get away with anything, because my mom's already seen it all with me and my brother, and C)when my sister was small, she had me and my brother to help her out with occasional babysitting, diaper changes, etc.

I think the person who got the raw end of the deal, in fact, was my sister. As I said, my mom already went through so much with me and my brother, that she's pretty much prepared for anything. And secondly, when I was living in their town, she had her parents, numerous aunts and uncles and cousins, and me, and her brother ALL watching over her. LOL. In fact, I used to live right across the street from the school she attended, and my brother lives about three streets away from her now, on a road where most of her friends live! LOL. She has too many "Guardian Angels" for her taste...heheh.

April 15th, 2002, 07:48 PM
There was a question in the "Ask Marilyn" column of the Parade over the weekend relating to this topic. Someone wrote in asking whether it is better for a woman to have a baby at 20 or 40. Marilyn's answer was "40" because, according to her, people at that age are more mature and stable. She said she thinks the media has exaggerated the statistics about older women and pregnancy; that most of the risks come from low birth weights and that the lower birth weight averages are coming from an increase in multiple births.

Personally, I think 30-35 is the best age to have children. At that point, I think individuals are pretty much secure in their lives and jobs and ready to take on the responsibilities of raising children. My opinion comes from my own feeling that I could not be a suitable mother in my early 20s. Obviously each person is different, though, so the best age to have children will be different for everyone.

I'd also like to comment on this
A group who started an ad campaign to make women aware that there really is such a thing as a biological clock were blasted by the Feminist community for making it seem women were judged by their womb.

Women need to be educated about their bodies. The only way we can make informed decisions about our health and the health of our babies is if we actually understand how our bodies work. So I wouldn't be critical of a campaign for trying to do that; of course, I haven't seen the ads in question, so I can't make a judgment about that specific situation, but overall I think education and awareness are good things for women.

May 12th, 2002, 10:41 PM
Originally posted by Myst
Personally I don't plan on waiting to have children for more then, perhaps, a year tops (I'm 22), so *shrugs*

Just found it amusing that I posted that a little over a month ago :D

May 12th, 2002, 11:41 PM
I think when to have kids is a personal choice, but I would hate to see someone who really wanted children not end up having them because they waited too long. Unfortunately we can't know the future. We can't know if our health will stay well or not. I know I didn't plan on getting cancer, and the treatment to save my life was expected to put me into menopause. It didn't, but I've still been unable to have more children. At least one third of the couples in my fertility doctors office were there with no known reason why they hadn't concieved. Even after testing. And if you go to the CDC website, they post the success rates for IVF for all the clinics in the US. Looking at those numbers make it obvious that the age of a womans eggs are very important in the success rate of achieving pregnancy.

So, what would I say if a friend asked me if she should wait to have children? I would say this; If having a child is a lifes dream of yours, don't put it off to long. Life is what happens when you are busy planning for the future.

May 13th, 2002, 09:58 AM

I agree with your last statement. You never know what will happen tomorrow...so live for today. But then again, if a person isn't ready to be a mother at 20 something, but they feel it will be something they want to do eventually....then it is best that they wait. Usually, instincts are correct. If you conceive a child when you don't feel like your emotionally ready for it, or it is the wrong time in your life for it, then it is possible you might wind up with some regrets, or resentments about your life. It even happens with those who *Want* to become pregnant at a younger age. I look at my mom for instance, who had her first kid at 20, and her last kid at 40. She loves us all dearly, we haven't a doubt about that. It's not that I think she regrets having us..but...I do know that she has alot of regrets about all that she missed out on in life.

She got pregnant around a year after she got married. She got married at age 20. Hadn't seen all the things she wanted to see, nor done all the things she wanted to do. Because she THOUGHT what she wanted most of all was a child. But the years passed bye, she raised the two of us..always thinking that when we were grown, she'd have that time "BACK" to do all the things she wanted to do for herself. Having a child, or two, can be incredibly demanding to a person, and consuming. There is so much that mothers sacrifice for their children. Like, suppose you want to go on a vacation with your family...OOPS your kid comes down sick with the flu. Suppose you want to attend some classes at night, to sharpen your mind..OOPS..your husband suddenly loses his job, and has to take a nightshift somewhere else. Someone has to stay home with the kids...etc.

My mom sacrificed so much for us. Even things like buying herself a new winter coat...because we wanted x, y, or z for Christmas, and she couldn't afford both.

As I said, she always thought that when we were grown, she'd have time to herself again, to do what she wanted to do for herself..then...WHAMMO...she get's pregnant with my little sister. At age 40. There goes that idea. My mom is in her mid fifties now. My sister is just 15. She's also got my elderly, ill Grandmother to take care of. So guess what? My mom STILL doesn't get that time for herself. Her days are torn between working, running my sister to school activities, and social engagements, and running errands for my Grandmother. And she's beginning to feel her age, too.

My mom would never say it in words, but I can feel it sometimes around her. She never had time to explore her life. To explore herself. She is angry with alot of things....and it shows in her marriage, and in the depression/anger cycles she goes through. I can't help but think..maybe if SHE had waited....she'd be a happier person now. So I guess what I'm trying to say...is that anyone pondering motherhood, should be very sure that it is really what they want, and that it is the right time for them.

May 13th, 2002, 11:10 AM
Yes it possible that if you concieve a child when your not ready you might have some regrets. Anything is possible, just as it's possible if you don't have children when you can you may never. (not speaking about you specifically)
But, our lives are always changing, what may not seem right or convienant now, may months later have ended up being the perfect time.

I think many people have regrets about one thing or another. Every day we make choices about our life. And with every choice we make we give something up. Maybe we don't give it up forever, but maybe we do and don't even know it yet...

May 28th, 2002, 05:53 PM
I came agross this article about biological clocks and thought I'd post it.


June 22nd, 2002, 02:11 AM
Well the sad fact of it is no matter how great a shape you keep yourself in you still only have so many "childbearing" years in you. What that study was trying to point out is that a lot of women are under the assumption that if they take care of themselves they can "choose" when they have a child and the fact is they can't. Women are born with a finite number of eggs and we lose them in great numbers from the time we are born. Once they are gone they are just gone. Unlike men who produce new sperm regularly women only have so many eggs and we all lose them at different rates. There's no test to tell us how fast we're losing them or when they'll be gone. Our best chances are before we're 35. That doesn't mean we can't get pregnant .. some can but some can't and the people who did that study simply felt women should make their decision to wait based on all the facts.