One of the funnier topics I saw the other day on facebook was that some of the older millennial women were complaining and offended about when their doctors used the term “geriatric pregnancy” when they went in to get checkups.
The definition of geriatric pregnancy is having a pregnancy at or anytime you are 35 or older. Of course, this is most of these women’ 1st or 2nd kid (and probably last), and a bunch of them are more at risk for birth defects because of their age as well as various complications.
But they’re “soooo offended” by the term they can’t look to see past the fact that delaying children is indeed not normal and increases risks for everything. Some of the same women were posting about their difficulties conceiving as well in prior posts.
It really just doesn’t register with people that all actions have consequences.
Oh, forgot to add the IFS discussion on this topic.
I (Dr. McIlhaney) wrote in a 1998 book, “Gonorrhea and chlamydia are spreading like wildfire among young people in the United States. They are the most rapidly increasing cause of infertility in the United States.” I also noted, “Of women who are infertile, one-third have that problem because of damage to their fallopian tubes from one of these two sexually transmitted diseases.” (Damage to the fallopian tubes may prevent sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg, or it may prevent a fertilized egg from traveling to the uterus and being implanted there.) Back then, statistics clearly showed that if the woman was experiencing infertility, such damage, caused by STDs, was the most likely reason.
The CDC confirms that the risk of STD-caused fallopian tube damage remains today—but now, it is only the second most common cause for a woman’s fertility problems. Problems of ovulation have taken over the top spot among reasons women struggle to become pregnant. Such problems can be caused by a fairly common disease called Polycystic Ovarian Disease (or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).
However, the social trends already noted also have biological implications. Today the median age of first marriage for women is over 28 years of age. The “median” age of first marriage means that half of all women marry for the first time when even older—with many not attempting pregnancy until well after age 30. Though we were concerned 20 years ago about delayed attempts at conception, those delays generally were not as long as they are today.
Delays in marriage until later in life do not simply reduce the number of years available for (marital) childbearing. They may make it more difficult to conceive in the first place.
Studies show that fertility begins dropping from age 30 on. More significant decline sets in later in the 30s. Many women’s ovarian responsiveness moves into the zone of what is now called POI (primary ovarian insufficiency), or “premature ovarian failure.” As POI develops, women have less chance of becoming pregnant without new reproductive technologies (which may be expensive, if they are even available for her). If her ovaries have become even more unresponsive, she will often not have an ovum (egg) that is fertile, or at times, she may have no ovum at all—and therefore, no chance of becoming pregnant without assistance.
So, STD-damaged fallopian tubes are no longer the number one cause of female infertility today. Among women, the number one issue preventing pregnancy is ovulation related. These problems of ovulation are overwhelmingly due to the delayed age at which women are attempting to become pregnant.
Sexual promiscuity promoted via feminism and delayed marriages for improving your career have consequences. Often disastrous ones in terms of infertility. No shortage of women struggling with it on my FB friends as well. Some have gone the route of IVF to varying success.
Can’t buck God without paying the consequences.