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Dr. Oz: How Old Is Too Old to Have a Baby?

The biological clock was the subject of the Dr. Oz show last Friday, giving viewers the opportunity to hear a debate between a bioethicist and a fertility doctor on: "How Old Is Too Old to Have a Baby?" and the issues surrounding fertility after 40.

If the average life expectancy for women is around 80, it seems natural that we are waiting until the middle of our lives to start having children. Message boards lit up over the weekend — many with messages of hope from women who conceived naturally after age 40. Others thought the show portrayed women who had children later negatively and did not focus on the right issues.

Approximately 20 percent of women in the United States have their first child after age 35 (and the top reasons are NOT because of career — read "Why Women Wait to Have Babies"). "Older motherhood" and "advanced maternal age" (and really, can't we get rid of those terms?) are trends that aren't slowing down.

So, expect more public debate on this topic. In the meantime, here's a few takeaways from the show:

  • Understand that the biological clock is real.
  • Think carefully about when you want to have children.
  • Do your research (FertilityAuthority is a great place to start), ask questions and talk to your doctor about the realities of waiting to have children.

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