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Thursday, September 1, 2011

163

A Baby for Jen at 5,000

"They all think they are more fertile than they are."
—Good morning to you and your moldering interiors. Just because you're pretty and bleach your teeth doesn't mean you can have a baby forever, say biology and this sad, patronizing article by a lady who probably looks all old. (No, she's lovely. She also writes books.)



163 Comments / Post A Comment

Decca

"Then Came You" seems like it would be a very different book if the word order in the title was switched.

L M
L M

how do women not know that 35 is the outer limit of "yay I wanna get pregs let's do it next month!" and 40 is going to be really hard? HOW DO THEY NOT KNOW BIOLOGY?

photoalice

@Lucia Martinez Because I do vaginal pilates every day and just had my pubic hair glossed.

angermonkey

@Lucia Martinez I know, right? I mean, yes, women are told they can "have it all" and you totally can, just... not all at the same time. And if you put off having kids until you're 40, you may not get those kids. The tone in this article is a little offputting but the take home is the same: your ovaries cannot be put in a time machine. They (and your eggs) get older just like the rest of you. My knees are not as great at 32 as they were at 22- this isn't oppression, it's that I'm older. Not old. OLDER.

Also, FIFTEEN ROUNDS of fertility treatments? At, what? $15k-$20k a pop?? That's... I mean, I know she wants a Baby Of Their Own (TM) but at that point, I would have adopted two kids and sent them to the best schools in the country.

L M
L M

@angermonkey maybe I'm extra aware because when you're getting your doctorate, it's constantly drilled into your head that KIDS WILL BE HARD and YOU WILL NOT GET TENURE IF YOU HAVE THEM and you have to figure out how to time it perfectly, so that you get a job (around the age of 30, 31), have a kid within three years, preferably when you're on leave for your book so that you don't have to take maternity leave and render yourself invisible. or wait until you have tenure, at which point you'll probably be 36 or 37.

or have one while you're still in school. ugh.

also, I already have a savings account set up for fertility junk. yaaaay lesbians.

Miss Minx

@Lucia Martinez - can I tell you that I opted for the latter, and it has not done my dissertation any favours?

Ladies, I can't recommend NOT HAVING KIDS WHILE IN SCHOOL strongly enough.

I love my daughter a lot, but man am I tired.

L M
L M

@Miss Minx ughhhhh yeah. I gathered. mom had me after her MS and my brother just after her PhD. freak.

Decca

@Lucia Martinez Ugh this gives me the shiiiivers. I'm (hopefully?) heading for the same clusterfuck situation of doctoral student/wannabe procreator/dyke. Why can't everything just be easy? Hmm?

Lily Rowan

@Lucia Martinez "HOW DO THEY NOT KNOW BIOLOGY?"

We know biology, we're just in denial.

fondue with cheddar

@angermonkey your ovaries cannot be put in a time machine.
They can...sort of. You freeze a bunch of eggs when you're young, but who does that?

nancydrew

@Lucia Martinez The thing is, I think most women do know. How could they not? We are constantly inundated with the information that we are running out of time. I've seen this same article over and over and over. But some women roll the dice anyway for a million reasons and yeah, sometimes it doesn't work out. But it's pretty fucking insulting to suggest that most of us are so incredibly stupid. I don't believe it, and I think these articles are patronizing and paint women as complete morons.

queenofbithynia

@Lucia Martinez I was going to say something super snotty about how maybe women don't know biology because their mothers and grandmothers and women throughout recorded history have been getting pregnant after 40, both intentionally and unintentionally, all the damn time, but then I looked it up and apparently age of menopause is not hereditary after all. Still! I don't think assuming that I could do now what my grandmother could do in the 30s and my mom could do in the 70s is particularly deluded of me. (Or, in my case, assuming that I'll have to worry about birth control until I'm 55.) It's not unusual, never has been.

L M
L M

related: HOW DO THEY NOT KNOW HUMOR

mistything

@nancydrew THANK YOU. @LuciaMartinez, angermonkey: Its not that I don't know biology. I am single and straight and childless and 42 and trying to figure this out right now. I didn't have kids before (when I had chances) because I wasn't financially or emotionally able to do it responsibly. My mom raised us in a VERY irresponsible way and it sucked, so part of why I waited to have kids is so I could be a better mom than I had. (see: http://thehairpin.com/2011/08/amusingly-horrible-things-moms-have-said-the-bracket) Healing my past took longer than I expected- I was kind of fucked up in my 30's... and in my chosen field I dont make huge wads of money or expect tenure level job security. So- now that I am less fucked up, I am currently trying to develop my career to make enough time and money so I could have a kid, figure out what it means to have a kid as a single mom , including if I am willing to break up with with my current longish term boyfriend to have a kid alone. I also mentor my students, am exploring being a Big Sister Volunteer and thinking about what fostering or adopting might mean to me. OK so I'm not 32, a Phd lesbian with a tenure track job, but ya'll don't have to be so judgmental , I am just a woman trying to work it out, the same as you.

L M
L M

@mistything I'm fairly certain we were talking about the women in the article. jesus christ it's too early for this.

mistything

@Lucia Martinez: You ( and others) started talking about your choices and I started talking about mine. Whats the big deal?

Lily Rowan

@Lucia Martinez It's hard to read your original comment as satire when it's literally what we all hear all the effing time. And by "we," I mean childless women starting at probably 34.

annev6

@Lucia Martinez I guess I've never thought about it much because my mother had all of us between the ages of 33 and 41. So I guess waiting that long just seemed normal to me? I remember after college when friends started popping out kids at like 24 and 25 and I was all "Whoa! That's weird."
But then I see news stories like this (scroll to box story at bottom about late pregnancies): http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1345690/Victoria-Beckham-pregnant-Posh-David-expecting-fourth-child-girl-last.html

Because, ok, 41, 42, yeah, you're probably pushing it if you're just then going for your first kid, but 35? Really?? THAT'S almost too late??? When am I supposed to do anything other than have a baby?

L M
L M

@Lily Rowan if you really think a woman reading the Hairpin would be dumb enough to make a blanket statement about women, think again. I like the Hairpin because of its sense of humor, unlike, say, Jezebel. I do not have my phd yet, I do not have my tenure track job yet, none of this is guaranteed, I've been through years of therapy myself for some pretty horrible shit, my mother is IN the fucking horrible things bracket, my aunt waited for years before trying very hard and succeeding at having children when she was in her 40s, and that was as a NICU nurse, and, given family biological history, I'm planning on having at least three miscarriages as it is. yet I can still find this funny.

but hey, I didn't say any of that, because I didn't take this as an emo HERE IS MY LIFE HISTORY thread. because the women in the article are, frankly, humorous and have way too much time and money on their hands.

melis

I think everyone should just have a few babies and calm down.

L M
L M

@melis EXACTLY

euphoria

@Lucia Martinez I'm too pretty to do biology, so my brother has to do it for me.

melis

@Lucia Martinez I'll start! MMMMMMMM-BABY.

Cavendish

@Miss Minx Well, shit. I'm 32, starting the third year of my PhD program, and planning on getting pregnant next year. Everything else I have read suggests it's better to have babies in grad school than after. I don't feel like I have a choice. I guess it's like so many other lady-related things: we're fucked no matter what we decide.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for with this comment. Commiseration? Reassurance? Sigh.

melis

@melis 'MMMMMMM' was supposed to represent the sound of...straining to generate a baby. Did that come across? I fear it did not.

L M
L M

@melis I got "mmmmmm baby...you're makin me crazy" as in that How Bizarre song from the 90s.

Decca

@melis I got: precursor to eating a baby. Like a Homer Simpsonesque drool.

melis

@Lucia Martinez That will do nicely. Every time I look around (every time I look around)!

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Lucia Martinez I spend a lot of time sitting around my apartment moping about how I keep managing to start fights on this website without having any intention of doing so. But I feel a little better now, knowing that I am in good company in that regard!

Ophelia

@melis ....aaaaand that made me think of the theme song from Punky Brewster (every time I TURN AROUND! I see the girl who turns my world around...)

L M
L M

@Ophelia I had such a crush on her.

Ophelia

@Lucia Martinez Aww. She was totally cute. Actually, she grew up pretty cute, too - remember when she was on Friends a while ago?

L M
L M

@Ophelia NO I DO NOT WHAT??

fondue with cheddar

@melis I thought maybe you were hungry.

Ophelia

@Lucia Martinez She played Joey's girlfriend - hang on, let me see if I can find a link.

Ophelia

@Ophelia ...and there don't seem to be any clips (that my lame googling can find - look for episodes about "Girl who hits Joey"), but there are pics of her as a grownup on IMDB.

saythatscool

@Ophelia She had the BIGGEST cans. She even had to get a boob reduction when she was a teenager. I remember well.

By the way, any of you ladies need some help in the baby department, let me know. I'll get you pregnant quicker than an inner city middle school roller skating party.

Ophelia

@saythatscool HOLY CANNOLI!!

Miss Minx

@Cavendish - there's definitely a lot of conflicting info out there. Part of my degree requirements was to take a "Pro Seminar," which was moderated by the chair of our program. She explicitly advised female students to have kids in grad school, to avoid having to take mat leave in the precarious years-before-tenure.

It sounds good in theory (which is why I did it - I was 32 as well, and had finished all my coursework), but in practice I found it nearly impossible to switch out of being in Mommy Mode all day and magically turn into Super Student at night. Not to mention that by 8pm, I was completely drained and exhausted.

That said, it does get better as baby gets older, and if you have access to affordable daycare (which I do - *thanks lucky stars*).

I agree, though, that there's totally a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't thing going on for all women, let alone us school-y types :)

February Revolution

@Cavendish Commiserating! I'm doing the PhD thing, too, and it looks like a rough road all the way from here. The best time to raise an infant is while I'm a) doing research in a foreign country with poor medical care, b) teaching while writing a massive tome on which my future career depends and looking for jobs and making poverty wages, c) working 60 hours+ a week teaching and researching and writing trying to make tenure, d) once I'm settled and gainfully employed and by the way over 40 years old.

Reassuring! I have now three good friend-colleagues with grad-school babies who seem at least as happy and successful as anyone else. It is totally doable with planning and time management skills! Also maybe your university offers support like health insurance and assistance for day care and lactation rooms which might help things!

fondue with cheddar

@saythatscool WOW. I'd heard she'd had a breast reduction but had no idea they were so ridiculously huge. I've never seen natural boobs that big on someone so thin. I can't imagine how much pain she was in.

Vera Knoop

@jen325 My partner and I are actually talking about it right now. We're 30 and 31 and don't expect to be ready for a kid for another 3 or 4 years (for all the normal reasons, i.e. school and finances). And, like Lucia, we have a baby savings account.

angermonkey

@Lucia Martinez OH god, yes, the additional time constraints of the PhD route (science, by any chance? because that's where I experienced the MUST SCHEDULE YOUR FAMILY, YOU ARE NOT A DUDE pressure) make things even more complicated. I guess I got the easy route, since I'm not a kid person generally, but man, planning yoru family CAN affect your tenure chances. OR, in some cases, the tenure chances of your spouse, because kids take time and somebody has to shoulder that. It's kind of a finite resource.

Good luck, though! I know amazing parents who are also AMAZING scientists and writers. I have no idea how they do it.

angermonkey

@mistything I am... not being judgmental at all. I think you've misinterpreted and I'm sorry for your troubles.

fondue with cheddar

@Vera Knoop Isn't it crazy expensive?

noReally

@jen325 Egg freezing isn't viable yet. Still very experimental and not available. You can freeze embryos, but you have to do an IVF cycle, and you need sperm. If freezing eggs were as easy as freezing sperm, the Times would have less to be snarky about.

fondue with cheddar

@noReally Oh...yeah, that's a pretty big difference. Y'know, needing sperm vs. not needing sperm.

randummy

@jen325

@angermonkey your ovaries cannot be put in a time machine.
They can...sort of. You freeze a bunch of eggs when you're young, but who does that?

YES WHO DOES THAT??!

I am a lover of science and a bit of an early adopter type, and while I am not plannin' on having the babies I have a friend who's in the category of having to plan for this in her future, and she wants kids, at least one, and would make an awesome mother.

So I looked into it, and found the freezing option. I know it's expensive, I know it's not a guarantee, but is there any reason NOT to do it? Is it like freezing your head for the future day they can thaw it out, and put it on an android body?

Or is it a practical idea that could just be a saving grace? I think it runs around 10K with a few grand for storage, which, while not cheap, is not "totally undoable for any except the rich".

Does any one have any info on this? Any thoughts? Anyone studying/up on the latest research on this?

I myself TOTALLY LOVE the idea, it's the muthafuckin' bomb in my opinion... because while some people are so totally cool as young mothers it's like so very very beautiful, there are plenty of folks who maybe should "learn a little about themselves first" before they start replicating/being such a huge impressioner on a totally vulnerable and helpless young 'um.

I haven't brought it up to my friend because I know it would be a bit of a financial hardship for her, but on the other hand, I know it's something she would feel was worth spending money on.

randummy

@randummy

Not to mention, it can be nice to have some time to explore and figure yourself out before you have to attend totally to someone else's needs.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@jen325 Re: "that's a pretty big difference" are you joking or not I can't tell!!

fondue with cheddar

@josiah It was intended to be humorous but not sarcastic because it is, in fact, a pretty big difference.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@jen325 It could have been a "men are sluts" joke--I was unsure and curious!

fondue with cheddar

@josiah Well...men are sluts, but so are women so it's cool. ;)

Vera Knoop

@jen325 It is. But none of our options is cheap, and this, if anything, seems like something worth investing in. We're still figuring out how sci-fi we want to go with the whole deal.

fondue with cheddar

@Vera Knoop It sure does. Good luck with it!

jacqueline
jacqueline

Stupid women, don't you know how old you are??

Decca

@jacqueline Math is hard. Ask my brother?

euphoria

@Decca ahhh you beat me to it. bad reader.

discocammata

@jacqueline something about the tone of your comment coupled with your avatar had me in stitches when i first read it thursday morning, caused me to crack up during work later, and continues to cause me to snort water up my nose more than half a day later.

major disaster

The best part of that article is where they lament the unfortunate fact that Hollywood now considers women over 40 sexy.

ribs+bbq

@major disaster My favorite part: ‘I’m 48 but everyone thinks I’m 38. Shouldn’t I be as fertile as a 38-year-old?’

Decca

"Tell it to your ovaries" is the new "talk to the hand"

julia

"5 is the new 4" complete with head-wiggle. I <3 it. Oh yeah I only watch videos, I don't read.

lobsterhug

That illustration! I know that book! Most terrifying witch who kidnaps unsuspecting children ever!

marigny

@lobsterhug The skull curtains are really quite quaint.

lobsterhug

@marigny They do add a certain je ne sais quoi

melis

@lobsterhug BABA YAGA WILL STEAL YOUR FERTILITY AND TAKE IT TO HER CHICKEN LEG HOUSE

martini

@lobsterhug Have you seen the illustrations by Bilibin? http://thelooksee.com/?p=1366 Even scarier eeeeee

christonacracker

@lobsterhug AAAAA BONY LEGS! She has iron teeth! What a disturbing children's book (that I read over and over)

anna-chris

@mellis BABY YAGA, AMIRIGHT? EH? EH?

foureyedgirl

I think I pulled something shaking my head so hard. Oh, are your teeth and hair nice and shiny and clean? That totally means your uterus is too. Totally.

melis

@foureyedgirl Yes, it seemed odd the way they played up the 'these women don't know how reproduction and fertility work.' It was like that Fry and Laurie sketch, 'Mr Smear Confronts the Headmaster':

'They're not lies, Mr Smear.'

'Oh, not lies, are they?' 'Sexual intercourse can bring about pregnancy in the adult female,' is it?'

'Well, that's quite true.'

'Oh - true my arse. It's nothing more than a disgusting rumour put about by trendy young people in the sixties.'

'Trendy young people in their sixties?'

'THE sixties. THE sixties.'

melis

'If you're trying to trick me into sexy talk -'

'I can assure you that I am not.'

'Yes, well, it's very hard for you, isn't it, it's very hard for you to believe that some of us can have children without resorting to cannabis and government handouts. Welcome to the harsh realities of the marketplace, Mr Casalingua.'

Bittersweet

@melis: Dammit John, if I could give awesome Fry & Laurie references more thumbs-up, I would!

theharpoon

@foureyedgirl But my uterus is so shiiiiny!!

foureyedgirl

@theharpoon Is it also clean? Because that's key.

@melis Now I hear all of the quotes in that story as read by Fry and/or Laurie. Makes it sort of amazing.

melis

@foureyedgirl Dammit twice around the carpark backwards, Pet-ahhh, I sense Marjorie's hand in this.

Dancercise

@melis
Kiss me, Friedy-kins, kiss me!

melis

@Dancersize Oh, Stephen? Love that body.

Dancercise

@melis
Thanks. It's mine.

VictorVictrola

Silly women, she isn't singing I got the swag and it's pumping out my ovaries to the 40 plus crowd.

Lily Rowan

I can't believe how long it took me to realize who "well-known 40-something pop star who had just given birth to twins" was -- Mariah, right?

jacqueline
jacqueline

@Lily Rowan Or J-Lo!

Lily Rowan

@jacqueline I forgot about her!

Ophelia

@Lily Rowan But does J-Lo still count as "pop star" or is she "actress"? Ahh, so confusing.

Lily Rowan

@Ophelia Or is she BACK to "pop star"??? What has she done recently, acting-wise?

Ophelia

@Lily Rowan Oh, god, I have no idea. I can't keep up.

Lily Rowan

@Ophelia I'm going to go back to assuming it was Mariah. "Precious" didn't make her an "actress," right??

SO CONFUSING.

Dancercise

@Lily Rowan
I think you're forgetting about a charming little film called "Glitter."

jacqueline
jacqueline

@Dancersize I wish I could forget about Glitter.

Jennifer Wray@twitter

@Lily Rowan I think it was J.Lo (J. New interviewed her in a 2010 Allure story).

Googlin' is way more fun than, y'know, doing the work I'm supposed to be doing right now!

Lily Rowan

@Jennifer Wray@twitter: Actual Information, what!?!

@Dancersize: I'm quite sure "Glitter" didn't make her an actress....

Jennifer Wray@twitter

@Lily Rowan I know. Let us never speak of this again.

atipofthehat

If you have a period, it may be quite possible that you can have a baby. I have proof.

The heavy-handed social message to women is NOT entirely based on hard science. There's a lot of scaring going on.

Magpie Shinies

@atipofthehat True! My father had a baby at 50 and everyone, myself included, thought it was awesome.

atipofthehat

@Magpie Shinies

Tip to older ladies: tune up your endocrine before you start!

MoonBat

@atipofthehat
I don't care what you say, I'm planning to use "I'm pretty sure im too old to conceive." as my new pick up line.

kitten_witawip

How sad is the name of this place "Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine." Didn't they have one of the most bitter, divorces in the history of bitter divorces?

fondue with cheddar

I'm 37 and don't want children, so it's reassuring to know that "only 10,000 to 40,000 of the two million eggs [I was] born with remain, and a majority of those perish before ever being released." I know that my chances of getting pregnant are slim, but it's nice to see a statistic based upon my actual age. I doubt I was very fertile even when young, though, considering how many times I've successfully practiced the pullout method of birth control, particularly with my ex husband who I now know IS fertile.

queenofbithynia

@jen325 I don't want children either, and I'm reassured to know that in a few years I won't be able to have more than than, say, a thousand, no matter what I do.

fondue with cheddar

@queenofbithynia Seirously. I'm SO glad those days of worrying about having two million children are over.

LRMG

@jen325 Ha! Me too. So sorry ladies who want to conceive but I was like ohh I'm 32, so very very close! I might have poked what I thought was my ovarian location and said "hurry up with the dying off already!" Yes I do work from home, why do you ask?

fondue with cheddar

@LRMG Haha. Wouldn't it be nice if you could will them all to release at the same time and get them out of there once and for all?

Actually, that would be pretty awesome for ladies trying to conceive, too.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@jen325: They have this, it's called fertility drugs, and when it goes awry you get things like octomom :\

fondue with cheddar

@Too Much Internet Well yeah, but I'm talking about releasing all of them for the purpose of not making babies.

Fertility drugs gone awry...scary stuff.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@jen325: Now I am imagining a girl releasing a clutch of eggs like a frog. They can call the drug Tadpolex.

fondue with cheddar

@Too Much Internet Okay, now I'm picturing tiny limbless babies with tails.

Ophelia

This whole article...you know, understanding basic biology doesn't make it any easier to take the plunge, so to speak. There's a point where you can throw all the data in the world at me, but I still am going to make a decision about kids based on fuzzy, touchy-feely things rather than ovarian statistics.

(I took the plunge with your mom last night)

Magpie Shinies

My ex-FIL, in a crowded restaurant, once started a very lively, and loud, conversation about the fact that I had not yet gotten pregnant and what I was "doing about it."

I kid you not that he said, and this is a quote, "Your eggs are getting old and you don't want to have one of those Mongoloid babies."

Yeah, he was an asshole.

Ophelia

@Magpie Shinies That deserves a whole tournament bracket of its own.

Magpie Shinies

@Ophelia We SHOULD have a Horrible things In-laws Said contest!

Ophelia

@Magpie Shinies Or can you imagine a new advice column? Ask Your Mother-In-Law (or Father-In-Law)

Decca

Lisa, I don't need this. I swear to God, I do not need this right now, okay? I've got a judge that's just aching to throw me in jail. An idiot who wants to fight me for two hundred dollars. Slaughtered pigs. Giant loud whistles. I ain't slept in five days. I got no money, a dress code problem, AND a little murder case which, in the balance, holds the lives of two innocent kids. Not to mention your *tap tap tap* BIOLOGICAL CLOCK - my career, your life, our marriage, and let me see, what else can we pile on? Is there any more SHIT we can pile on to the top of the outcome of this case? Is it possible?

Maria

@Decca The two yoots.

Decca

@Maria Sure I've heard of grits. I just never actually seen a grit before.

cheeseandcrackers

@Decca I don't care what anyone says, Marisa EARNED that Oscar. She was awesome.

Decca

@Decca Oh, agreed a million percent.

MissMiah

I tried to get pregnant for nine years, increasingly dreading the death knell of baby-making times - the thirty-fifth birthday. Then, the husband got assigned to a new duty station, I was suddenly seeing a brand new doctor, and when I expressed my concerns regarding my age and getting pregnant she laughed at me. Laughed. "Women get pregnant well into their forties, don't be such a worrywart."

Lily Rowan

@MissMiah That's horrible.

kerplunk830

Old Bony Legs! Perfect.

young preeezy

This article was not at all what I thought it was going to be: "I’d based a lot of my self-worth on looking young and fertile, and to have that not be the case was really depressing and shocking."

Age vs. baby-making is one thing, but it's another thing if people actually BELIEVE that doing things that "make you LOOK younger" (like yoga and botox injections) actually have any effect - or connection whatsoever- on your ability to have kids.

That being said, this Tatiana Boncompagni is still weird and patronizing, and her youtube video was funny, but not in the way that she intended it to be. Don't tell me what I can and can't do with my eggs! First rule of fight club.

MmeLibrarian

Last year, I saw my gyn to have the "my husband I are maybe possibly thinking about trying for a baby soon" chat/exam. I was 31 at the time and I mentioned that part of our reasoning was The Dreaded 35. My doctor, sighed, sat down, and, at great length, explained that 35 was only part of the problem. The a more serious issue, he said, with people in their 30s and 40s trying to have children, is that we live in a more sexually liberated time, where people have multiple partners, are stupid about having multiple partners, and contract STIs that destroy their reproductive systems. He said this rarely gets discussed in mainstream circles because people freak out when you suggest that they may have done something to damage their own fertility. Also, it creeps dangerously close to slut-shaming (he said "slut-shaming." I love him.), which never sits well.

Since I had that talk with him (and confirmed what he said with a couple of nurse friends of mine), I can't not notice that articles like this one never bring up even an inkling of what he talked to me about, instead tying fertility to something that is 100% out of our control. Now, please do note that I am not suggesting anything ungenerous about the women quoted in this article. For all I know, they're just having a hard time getting pregnant because they're older. But for those of you in the comments thread who have indicated that you're thinking about getting pregnant later in life, staying safe and getting tested and treated if something does go awry, will, apparently, go a long way toward increasing your odds. Screw the dreaded 35.

MmeLibrarian

p.s. - The Dreaded 35 would be a great name for a feminist punk band. Just thank me in the liner notes on your first album. That's all I ask.

Ophelia

@MmeLibrarian Does anyone know if there's a link between HPV/Cervical cancer and fertility? Just curious, b/c that might be some pretty good news for those of us ladies who were young enough to get the Gardasil vaccine (which = awesome), but not yet catching the baby train.

wharrgarbl

@Ophelia There isn't really, but needing to get seriously treated for HPV so that you don't get cervical cancer (the Dreaded Colposcopy) can royally fuck your ability to carry to term if you do conceive. So yay! Gardasil.

The real assholes of the fertility bunch are PID and chlamydia, mostly by scarring up your uterus and fallopian tubes. I definitely don't want to come across like the infertile have it coming or did something to deserve it--if nobody fucking talks about it, how is it any more fair that your babymaker got trashed by an STD than a non-STD infection or simple bad luck?--but getting the word out about routine testing for the full battery, not just HIV, would do a lot about this particular problem.

Ophelia

@wharrgarbl You know, there are probably way too many legal issues to let us really do this, but it would be awesome if Hairpin ran some sort of "Health Class for Grown Ladies" column. I'm sure there are quite a few OB/GYNs, other doctors, nurse pratitioners, etc., lurking among us.

Carrie Hill Wilner

@MmeLibrarian @Ophelia Not that it's like, a good idea to rock untreated chlamydia, and not that his advice doesn't hold for any given woman, but your doctor's epidemiology is kind of wack--suggesting that age itself isn't the real issue is. . . wrong. Disease creeps in at the edges as a factor, sure, but:

ok. Best we know, from like 1600, until 1900ish something like 70% of women had their last kid in the 38-44 age range (I think 50% by age 40?) and they didn't stop because they were like, well, now we have all the farmhands we need. There's literally 0 mystery beyond the general mysteries of life about why it's harder for women in that age range to conceive in this part of spacetime as well, we jut have more people trying to have their FIRST kid then rather than sort-of-accidentally having their last kid then. Anyway. So 35 is relatively young to have serious trouble conceiving, but it's not unthinkably young, and I guess they think it's an easy number for us to remember because it divides by 5? Anyway If I were the boss I'd say 38.

So meanwhile, the ectopic pregnancies we'd see if the big infertility-causing diseases were changing something in a major way would more or less track onto the rates of those diseases over time and populations, and they don't. And whatever, we are all shameful old whores, is my point?

Finally HPV doesn't cause infertility itself but if you get the cancery kind and then get precancerous cells or cancer that they have to take part of your cervix out to treat, that can make it hard to carry a pregnancy to term.

ahhhh being a knowitall! epidemiology bat signal went off, sorry, can't help self.

Carrie Hill Wilner

and see, someone basically already said the thing i said while i was saying the thing!

fondue with cheddar

@MmeLibrarian Wow, you have a great doctor. And not just because of the "slut-shaming" comment.

MmeLibrarian

@Carrie Hill Wilner I take your point, but I take his, too. As I said above, he wasn't completely discounting age as a factor. He was really talking about women in their 30s and early 40s who, despite all of the time and the medical interventions in the world (like the woman in the article who has gone in for 15 rounds of treatment - wow), cannot conceive. I believe he said he sees more and more of them in his practice and that they are totally shocked when he attempts to gently explain that their sexual history might have something to do with it.

Carrie Hill Wilner

@MmeLibrarian I get that, but the big STIs that cause infertility cause it in predictable and generally observable ways, so they don't explain "unexplained infertility" which is what I'd guess someone going for 15 rounds if treatment is experiencing, though who even knows. I'm just waiting for the swell in mals-factor infertility caused by mumps when all those kids who were not vaccinated grow up. MUMPS! WHO KNEW!

wharrgarbl

@Carrie Hill Wilner Everyone should know! It's really horrible! Also, rubella! What the fuck is wrong with people!

Beauty School Drop Out

@MmeLibrarian et. al. just to mess things up a little more you can also be a gynecological wreck and conceive without even trying at an advanced age...I had chlamydia for about a year without knowing it at 25 and got pregnant due to vatican roulette and an apparent inability to count at 36. And when the ob-gyn was sewing me up after an also unplanned c-section delivery, he poked his head around the side of the drape and tried to lighten the mood by saying "by the way, you've got a huge fibroid." So maybe STDs affect the fertility of some women, but not everybody. If you've had the clap, you're old and you still want a baby...take heart.

ann aunamis

"I’d based a lot of my self-worth on looking young and fertile..."

Uhhh. Okay.

foureyedgirl

@ann aunamis I'm confused by the "looking fertile" thing. How does one look fertile? Just by looking young? Or is there some sort of cosmetic that needs to be applied?

charmcity

@ann aunamis Um...do your ovaries not visibly bristle with gleaming eggs through the porcelain, toned skin of your abdomen? I'm so sad for you :(

gfrancie

@charmcity I had fillers injected into my ovaries so they look more pert.

atipofthehat

@foureyedgirl

I think probably overalls stained with fertilizer. And maybe a straw hat and a garden spade?

MoonBat

@atipofthehat
You and your fetishes, Tippy!

ann aunamis

@gfrancie You should add some Sticky Nips to your ovaries to make them look even more pert. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpQIeUUlgmk

ann aunamis

@charmcity I don't drink enough water to have porcelain, toned skin.

Xanthophyllippa

@foureyedgirl I just turn around and show the men my rump like any good primate does.

Ophelia

@MmeLibrarian Does anyone know if there's a link between HPV/Cervical cancer and fertility? Just curious, b/c that might be some pretty good news for those of us ladies who were young enough to get the Gardasil vaccine (which = awesome), but not yet catching the baby train.

Nutmeg

So apparently being 21 means I could get pregnant at ANY SECOND? Am I already??? Should I stop kissing men, just in case? I hear if you have sex standing up, it doesn't take

wharrgarbl

@Nutmeg It might take, but I hear if you stay standing up for a while and wear short skirts, the fetus will fall out. So maybe you could keep kissing men if you got a job as a cocktail waitress.

Ophelia

@wharrgarbl Or a coat check attendant.

sorry, couldn't resist.

M'fly

@Nutmeg I'm 21 and I'm pregnant, and it obvi has way more to do with the fact that I'm 21 than the fact that I had the sex.

gfrancie

I wonder if ANYONE in this article considered why a number of women waited to try and conceive? The fact is the culture isn't terribly supportive of a woman trying to raise a family and have a career. The way we approach "work" is from the mind-set of a man going off to work and the other partner being the primary care-giver. Even when you have two working parents, often it is the Mother who has to stay home when a child is sick, is the one who sorts her schedule so she can pick up her kids/do more of the child-care. (and I am not bagging on men here because there are A LOT of Dads who do their part as parents) I know it is an up-hill battle for many women to try and work out some sort of alternative schedule so that they can see/care for their kids and put in the required work for her career. (because you also have people at work thinking you are being a lazy git or asking special favors or that you are getting pregnant out of malice so you don't have to work.) Then you look at the lack of proper support for genuine maternity leave/childcare and it leaves a lady feeling properly fucked.

wharrgarbl

@no way Oh, come on. Eventually life of grinding poverty and despair over your children's future would numb you to the point that you didn't care that you were dressing them in old newspapers and CPS was constantly threatening to take them away, but also constantly unable to find you most of the time due to your inability to afford the rent anywhere beside the backseats of opportunistically unlocked cars. And that's what parenting is all about!

Ophelia

@gfrancie While I totally agree with your point in general, the women in this article specifically didn't seem to have any economic need re: waiting to have kids, or any economic issue with covering the cost of full-time child care. That doesn't diminish their choice to put career first, but I just don't know that this is the right sample of people who are facing some of these issues the way the rest of us might.

noReally

I would really like to know why the New York Times does all these articles on infertility and reproductive technology, and props up some despicable rich woman for everyone to hate. They ALWAYS lead with some "I have it all, and now I need a baby to go with it" woman, and paint her as INCREDIBLY superficial. What is with that?

shannonmkennedy@twitter

tl;dr I'm getting myself knocked up at the first sign of a willing (non-criminal?) gent.

Ellie

I feel like a lot of people didn't read the article very well. The women in the article don't literally believe that being attractive and young-looking makes them more fertile. It is about the feeling of dissonance between being attractive, being considered "young" and capable in today's culture, and yet being infertile, which is one of the trappings of age. It's not about women who don't understand biology, it's about conflicting social pressures. (It's a pretty shallow article, but I still think that a lot of you are mis-perceiving the beliefs of the women described in it.)

Flies in my eyes

Ugh....I often just want to yell 'shut-up' to those who remind me of my aging ovaries. Yeah I get it, by the time I finish my PhD and finally will make more than a kid working part time at Starbucks, unfortunately not as much more as 10+ yrs of post-secondary education should provide, my ovaries will be old...pumping out unproperly methylated DNA. So I say f you biology. F U.
Sorry I had a bitter moment. Done now, carry on.

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