About 10 years ago I had lunch with an acquaintance, a yoga instructor, who was in her early 40s and trying get pregnant. She found out from her ob/gyn that she had less than a 5 percent chance of conceiving without fertility treatments, and even then, her odds would only increase to about 25 percent.
This woman was in a health-related career, yet she didn’t know this basic information about her biological time clock. The truth is that most women don’t learn about their fertility time horizon until it is too late. This woman felt there was a motivation for doctors to not warn women about the facts of fertility – because doctors benefit in the long run when women delay pregnancy and require expensive fertility treatments.
I don’t think there is anything that sinister going on, though I do think that male doctors are less in tune and sympathetic, and they don’t think to ask if a woman has plans for childbearing and to advise them about their fertility cycle as they approach their mid to late 30s when fertility declines.
Many women end up going through IVF, or giving up on conceiving and using an donor egg bank, a surrogate or adoption. All of these options leads to the beautiful gift of a child, but they all must be considered along with the costs and consequences, some of which are financial, some of which are emotional.
A woman should consult with her doctor, partner or spouse, family members, a mental health professional and others before embarking on such a journey. I for one believe that children resulting from these paths are often better off than many naturally conceived children, because they are so wanted, and their coming into the world and into their chosen family has been so intentional and thoughtful.