The Twenty Something Baby Talk We All Need To Have

Personal Growth
The Twenty Something Baby Talk We All Need To Have

 

I called my mum and said to her “did you know that your egg quality decline with your age?”

She laughed and said “of course I did” (she studied science in University).

I quickly responded “well I didn’t!”

“Just relax” she said “there’s so many women having kids later, look at Demi Moore she wanted another one at 42”.

And so began the stories of our era.

Millennial Women.

When Carrie in Sex And The City said “And then I realised something, twenty-something girls are just fabulous,” little did she know the era of Twenty Somethings was just beginning.

Empowerment. Jobs. Leaning In. Being a Girlboss.

As I 26 year I have to admit I feel pretty lucky to grow up in this generation of women. There’s no shortage of inspiration and motivation to be the best we can be. The hard work and protests of many women before us have not gone to waste.

The empowerment message has even trickled in the the baby section.

My mum had 2 kids by 22. Oh how the generations have changed. Now most of us hear their messages “you have time”, “don’t rush to have kids like I did”.

And sure. At 22 I was still drinking too much, self involved and could barely take care of my own shit, let alone that of someone else’s.

Related Content: 3 Things I Wish I’d Heard In My Early Twenties

What really is the best age to have a baby

 

Early 30’s if you’d ask me a few weeks ago.

And it’s not just me.

Mothers aged 30 and over exceed 40% in Europe.

The truth is. We wait now. There is no rush to have children. At least not until our 30’s.

We have other goals – career, finances, relationships, travel.

I felt like I really had to come in to my own, before giving life to another.

But what I didn’t know was the following

  • We don’t just lose eggs as we get older, the quality of our eggs decreases too (Studies show 51% of women don’t know this) 1
  • Fertility begins to decline significantly by 32 and takes a sharp down turn at 37 2

In a 2014 study of over 58,000 women they found:

  • For 31 to 35 year olds, the cumulative pregnancy rate was 61% 3
  • For over 35 year olds, the cumulative pregnancy rate was 51% 4

I didn’t know these statistics. I thought as long as I had kids before mid 30’s I was in the clear. And keeping in mind I also thought that as long as I had kids by then, I’d be good. Also not knowing that the quality of my eggs has also decreased.

 

The Twenty Something Baby Talk We All Need To Have

 

How Successful is IVF

 

IVF has become the ultimate back up plan. Honestly the more I’d researched the more I’d realised how much my train of thought matched the studies.

I figured if I ever had trouble getting pregnant. Or if I left it that little bit too late, there was always IVF.

Below is a table of the statistics for IVF

Under 35

35-37

38-40

41-42

Over 42

Percentage of cycles that yielded pregnancies

46.7

37.8

29.7

19.8

8.6

Percentage of cycles that resulted in live births

40.7

31.3

22.2

11.8

3.9

5

I don’t know about you but all the advertisements I see for IVF doesn’t give me that impression.

Top that with all the amazing success stories we hear. Well clearly we’re not hearing 60% of those stories.

Studies show “91% [of women] mistakenly believed that assisted reproduction could help women reproduce with their own eggs until menopause”.

Because the ads don’t tell us that success in IVF depends on the age of the women supplying the eggs (54% of women didn’t know that). 6

And once you hit over 35, you have more success using an egg of twenty year old donor. 7

 

The Options We Have (& When We Should Take Them) If We Don’t Have A Partner

 

This baby talk is avoided a lot because we don’t all find the perfect person by then.

That’s okay.

But what are the options and when should we take them.

Freezing eggs has now become a huge discussion.

For women that aren’t in the place they want to be or haven’t found a partner, freezing your eggs is a viable option. 8

To be honest, if I didn’t have a partner I would be looking at this too.

But I would’ve looked a lot later than I thought I needed to. And I also didn’t know the facts.

Freezing your eggs can cost up to 12,000. This excludes the cost of drugs and storage. 9

It also excludes the cost of getting them unfrozen and using them for IVF.

Then there’s the point that if we freeze them, sooner really is better. Because as I just learnt – as we age so does the quality of our eggs.

There’s a lot of unnecessary shame that comes with talking about this. I can’t say that this wouldn’t be a difficult process emotionally, financially, mentally and most importantly physically.

But it’s a viable option for women who want to have kids and maybe haven’t found the right person yet. Regardless of the situation, if someone is making this decision, we need all the facts.

 

the twenty something baby talk we all need to have

 

This is a wide, controversial discussion. If you want to read a more personal story, Cassandra’s prophecy: why we need to tell the women of the future about age-related fertility decline and ‘delayed’ childbearing is a great place to start. She talks honestly about her own experience and the difficulty that can come up if we do decide to have kids later.

Her biggest point though

 

Most crucially, it may be that for these women the debate about ‘delayed childbearing’ needs to be moved from the moral sphere where it usually sits (Frostrup, 2006) and be repositioned within the biological one too. 10.

 

I feel like we’ve heard so much discussion about careers and empowerment. And this has been thrown in the mix. When in reality careers, empowerment, health are mostly choices. While we can choose when we want to have kids, the biological clock isn’t spoken about anymore. It puts pressure on us yes, I get that. In fact I feel that! But at the same time, to make informed decisions about when we want to have kids and give ourselves the opportunity to create a family, we need to know everything. That includes the best age and the risks that come with it.

Notes:

  1. Macintosh, K. L. (2015). TEACHING ABOUT THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK: Age-Related Fertility Decline and Sex Education. UCLA Women’s Law Journal, 22(1), 1-37.
  2. Macintosh, K. L. (2015). TEACHING ABOUT THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK: Age-Related Fertility Decline and Sex Education. UCLA Women’s Law Journal, 22(1), 1-37.
  3. Macintosh, K. L. (2015). TEACHING ABOUT THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK: Age-Related Fertility Decline and Sex Education. UCLA Women’s Law Journal, 22(1), 1-37.
  4. Macintosh, K. L. (2015). TEACHING ABOUT THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK: Age-Related Fertility Decline and Sex Education. UCLA Women’s Law Journal, 22(1), 1-37.
  5. Macintosh, K. L. (2015). TEACHING ABOUT THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK: Age-Related Fertility Decline and Sex Education. UCLA Women’s Law Journal, 22(1), 1-37.
  6. Macintosh, K. L. (2015). TEACHING ABOUT THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK: Age-Related Fertility Decline and Sex Education. UCLA Women’s Law Journal, 22(1), 1-37.
  7. Macintosh, K. L. (2015). TEACHING ABOUT THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK: Age-Related Fertility Decline and Sex Education. UCLA Women’s Law Journal, 22(1), 1-37.
  8. Macintosh, K. L. (2015). TEACHING ABOUT THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK: Age-Related Fertility Decline and Sex Education. UCLA Women’s Law Journal, 22(1), 1-37.
  9. Macintosh, K. L. (2015). TEACHING ABOUT THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK: Age-Related Fertility Decline and Sex Education. UCLA Women’s Law Journal, 22(1), 1-37.
  10. Everywoman, J. (2013). Commentary: Cassandra’s prophecy: why we need to tell the women of the future about age-related fertility decline and ‘delayed’ childbearing. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 274-10. doi:10.1016/j.rbmo.2013.03.023
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