Saturday, December 10, 2011

Do You Flunk Fertility Math?

How long does it take to get pregnant...on average?

What is the average chance a woman has to get pregnant each month at age 30?

What is the average chance a woman has to get pregnant each month at age 40?

Disengage your brain and really think about your answers to these questions.

Seventy percent of women in the US age 25-35 answered these questions wrong.

The answers are 5 months, 20%, and 7%.

A recent Infertility IQ survey put out by RESOLVE showed that most women of child-bearing age flunk fertility math. Read an article about it here.

In 2008, I switched fertility specialists. The first one just wasn't very aggressive and didn't want to have discussions about when to move on to the next step. Anyway, during my consultation with my new doctor, he looked at my chart. He said something like this: "You're 27. Let's say it takes six months to get you pregnant...and if you want more than one child, we're going to have to hurry before you turn 30. We're running out of time."

That made me feel OLD.

And it is true! I was old. At least my ovaries were (and still are!). While medicine and nutrition have found ways to extend our life expectancy, while social norms have delayed the average age of marriage and financial stability, nothing in our modern world has convinced women's ovaries and eggs to push back the biological clock a decade or so.

It's a hard pill to swallow, to realize that as women we can't always "have it all." There is a certain amount of juggling and give-and-take. Putting off children until a woman is in her 30s or 40s could mean not having children at all. It's a scary reality, but it's reality.

And women need to know.

It's quite scary that 70% of women don't know.

I am curious...did you know the correct answers to the three questions at the beginning of the post? (I didn't - and I kind of consider myself an amateur infertility expert).


Frederick Family said...

My answers for me would be 5 minutes, 99% and 95%. I really wouldn't know the last two questions for me for real since I was done by age 30 with kids. I would have 12 kids by now if I hadn't stopped. Why do challenges have to be soooo extreme. I couldn't stop getting pregnant and others can't at all. Seems like the fertility should be evened out amongst us all.

Ahora said...

I know what you mean Lara, and you are making a valid point, but the questions are just so badly formulated... What does it mean "the chances of getting pregnant each month on average"? Doesn't it depend on the frequency of intercourse? And the knowledge of ovulation calendar? And, in the first place in fact, the intention to get pregnant? I just wonder how they produced those statistics. Put out of context, they can be misleading... And no, I didn't know the correct answers, precisely because I had no idea what they meant by the question:)
Hugs for you and Joci!

Lara said...

Ahora, you have a very valid point - important to know when reading any study. The RESOLVE article explains better (I was just paraphrasing). Intercourse 3x a week with the intention of getting pregnant. For me the most eye-opening part is that women are unaware of how quickly fertility declines with age.

Meagan said...

5 months? I was thinking 6, it took me one month with Asher, 7 with Gage. That makes me feel more normal... the 5 as an average. I didn't have any clue with the other statistics. I told my husband I wanted to finish having kids by 30... which means we have to hurry it up if we want to have 2 more before I hit the big 3-0.


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