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Tick Tock: Your Biological Clock

By now you’ve probably heard all about the controversial article in the July/August issue of The Atlantic assuring women that they have PLENTY of time to conceive in their later years, right?
Well if you missed it, here are the main reasons this article is misleading:

Article Myth 1:The author claims women do not suffer a significant decline in their fertility until the age of 40.

Fact: Female fertility begins to decline while we are still in our mother’s womb! The most significant drop (though not akin to skydiving without a parachute) occurs around the age of 35. How can you stay on top of your fertility? Have your ovarian reserve tested starting early in your 30s.

Article Myth 2: The author claims that there is only a four percentage point difference in the fertility of a 28-year-old woman compared to a 37-year-old. She also states that 89% of 38-year-old women are fertile.

Fact: The studies cited were conducted on healthy, normal weight women (excluding women with infertility, and including only women with proven fertility). In fact, a healthy, 30-year-old woman has just 20% chance of conceiving each month. That number drops down to just 5% by the time she reaches 40 years of age and is further confounded by the increased risk of miscarriage that comes with age.

Article Myth 3: Most women understand that their fertility declines with age and they shouldn’t be concerned unless they are having trouble trying to conceive in their later years.

Fact: According to an EMD Serono study, women grossly overestimate their fertility. Those surveyed believed women had has much as an 80% chance of conceiving per month at age 30, and 40% chance at age 40.

To read more about this article, check out How Loud is Your Biological Clock, Really?.

Learn more about your timeframe to conceive on Fertility Authority’s Age and Fertility Channel and watch as Margaret Graf Garrisi, M.D. explains what you can learn from your biological clock:

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