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Fertility warning to women

(70 Posts)
Bumperslucious Sun 09-Aug-09 19:49:33

Thought this article was interesting give the very long debate we had on here a while ago.

Petsville Sun 09-Aug-09 21:05:39

I agree it was interesting, but am I the only person to be fuming that the Observer wrote a whole (generally sensible) leading article about women and babies, without once mentioning men? They didn't mention the role men might have in women postponing having babies till their thirties, and they also didn't mention our wildly unequal rules about paternity / maternity leave and the difficulties couples have if, for whatever reason, they want the man to be the main carer.

(Can you tell I'm seething that if we have a baby, I can stay at home with it for a year, in spite of being totally unsuited to being at home with a small child, whereas my husband, who would cope wonderfully well, gets two measly weeks?)

edam Sun 09-Aug-09 21:08:14

It is interesting but completely neglects to address why men aren't into having babies earlier.

And lots of people I know waited for the right relationship - are the experts really saying we should all have babies with any passing tosser in our 20s?

beanieb Sun 09-Aug-09 21:13:24

it is interesting but at the same time, as an older woman who is having difficulty because of her age, this kind of headline just makes me ranty. Infact I did have a bloody big rant about it along the lines of 'why the fuck is this front-page news for fucks sake? I don't need to be told that I have ancient Ovaries, I know I have ancient Ovaries and I don't particularly need to be told I am a bit shit for not having kids in the shitty relationship I was in when I was 30...' etc

Absolutely agree with Petsville about the lack of mention of men, though they were gracious enough to have someone acknowledge that the reasons women leave kids late are many layered and complicated.

Just annoying that women's biology is just so shitty. Also, we all know that while IVF success rates are very low it is still possible to get pregnant into your 40's naturally - for some women at least - and it's not totally unreasonable that women would leave it late for various reasons.

They should do something about the stupid post-code lottery. I read this week that some women in England are lucky enough to get three free cycles right up until they are 39. THREE!! Here where I live in Wales that's just not offered and you're lucky to get just one.

expatinscotland Sun 09-Aug-09 21:13:42

Amen, edam! Then come in for schtick for being feckless, irresponsible single mums, of course.

pofacedandproud Sun 09-Aug-09 21:14:11

quite edam. I am so, so glad I didn't have children with the boyfriend of my twenties - God that would have ended horribly.

beanieb Sun 09-Aug-09 21:18:04

maybe that's what they (they'!?) want us to do, so we're tied to some fucktard before we have a chance to actually live a life.

edam Sun 09-Aug-09 21:20:23

quite, expat. You know that 'women - know your place' schtick? Should be 'women - you can't win'.

Beanie, English Dept of Health is urging PCTs to comply with the NICE guidance on infertility provision - I think NICE covers Wales too, have you asked your local health board (apols. if I've got that wrong) why they are mucking about?

I wrote a feature about this a while back. Seems to make economic sense for the NHS to fund IVF as then they can pursue a 'one embryo at a time' policy, bringing down the multiple birth rate (freezing any good quality embryos available from the first IVF cycle - NHS funding should cover using fresh and frozen embryos). Forcing people to go private or go overseas where they are more likely to have two or three embryos implanted cost the NHS far more than funding IVF with single embryos.

Upwind Sun 09-Aug-09 21:20:39

Most men I know, who have no children, long for them.

There was something to be said for an era, when you came under social pressure to make the commitment of marriage before shacking up with someone. And when you got married, you couldn't avoid discussion of children.

I know there were also lots of disadvantages to that, and I'm grateful for the freedom that I've enjoyed. But this way too many people spend years and years dancing around the subject. It has become a taboo of sorts and it shouldn't be.

MrsTittleMouse Sun 09-Aug-09 21:25:48

<shudders at the thought of having children with any boyfriend pre-DH>

To be honest, I reckon that any woman who is clued up enough to get a fertility check-up is also clued up enough to know that her fertility is declining. And clued up enough to know that she's going to need a DP/DH who wants children too, and pretty quickly.

What we really need is a campaign to target nice-but-unaware men in their twenties, who stay in not-quite-right relationships with women who ultimately want children because they don't want to be the bastard that dumped her.

I know of lots of men who have been in this position, and can't find the "right time" to leave, especially if the woman is having a rough time of it in some way. Even my DH did it (but eventually found the motivation to finish it when he met me blush).

Petsville Sun 09-Aug-09 21:27:37

I'm afraid you might be right, beanieb - there's a distressing whiff of trying to put women back in their boxes about a lot of the newspaper coverage of fertility issues. How dare those uppity women think they could reasonably hope for a job, a baby and a good relationship?

Portofino Sun 09-Aug-09 21:41:05

One half of me thinks that it is REALITY that our fertility goes down hill over time and that if we feck about looking for mr perfect, (and hell we get fussier as we get older) it is an occupational hazard. I have a friend who has been out with loads and loads of men, but not one of them is suitable to settle down with, for example.

On the other hand, I read here on MN about all the fuckwits that are out there, who HAVE fathered dcs, and think that we SHOULD be really fussy about who we havea family with. It's a lottery I swear!

Salme101 Sun 09-Aug-09 21:44:45

Some of what was said in the Observer article is certainly true - there's so much pressure on people to do well at work, acquire material possessions, go on foreign holidays and generally have a 'lifestyle', it's a wonder anyone gets round to having babies. Let's face it, looking after children is not exactly a socially valued occupation. Until we manage to change society's priorities, it's always going to be low-status and poorly-supported.

beanieb Sun 09-Aug-09 21:46:00

I didn't want MR perfect, I just wanted someone who didn't keep saying 'next year, next year'. I suppose I could have had an 'accident' but not really my style to trick someone into having a baby, I have some morals.

I was with one man for 12 years, I've only had sex with 2 men. Must be doing something wrong with my search for a father grin

Am happy now though old and seemingly paying for it.

you're right, it's a lottery.

MaggieBelleVirgo Sun 09-Aug-09 21:50:06

"And lots of people I know waited for the right relationship - are the experts really saying we should all have babies with any passing tosser in our 20s? "

Yeah, that would have been the only option available to ME in my 20s if I was to have had kids in my 20s.. And I wasn't a career woman. I had a job that's all. I was happy enough, but I would have liked children younger than when I had them. Could find a dad..........

Sheeta Sun 09-Aug-09 21:51:23

oh good, another scary unsubstantiated article. Woo.

MaggieBelleVirgo Sun 09-Aug-09 21:56:03

upwind, you're right, I've thoguht that. I know there are downsides too (like women being financially dependent and/or afraid of stigma of divorce) but yes, imo, that era did have somthing going for it in that respect, that it was not on to mess a woman abou tlike that.

mrstittlemouse, a man I know kept going out with women for about 2 yrs and then as soon as they mentioned getting married and having kids he'd dump her, move on to somebody (2,4,6,8 years younger). Eventually his sister had a strong word with him and said that he was not allowed to waste more than 3 months of a woman's time ever again. It worked. He married the next one. Men just don't THINK. he has his children now. lovely for him. I think there are a couple of women amongst his exes who didn't get to have kids.

MrsTittleMouse Sun 09-Aug-09 21:58:06

Thank goodness for that guy's sister talking some sense into him. More men need someone to lay it on the line like that.

Horton Sun 09-Aug-09 21:58:16

Beanie, I was the same as you. I would never have tricked a man into becoming a father, although god knows I was tempted!

I had my first child at 37 with my partner, now husband, who is seven years younger than me, and understandably didn't feel ready for kids much earlier. We'd tried for two years. I would have LOVED to have kids in my early thirties or late twenties but no fucker wanted to have them with me. I expect I could have shagged around, contraception-free, but that would be as likely to have ended in a nasty infection as a baby, given the pool of men available to me.

I'm currently trying to have baby number two with zero success (have been trying for nearly three years). I have no fertility issues. If I had had a fertility check at 30, presumably it would have thrown up the same results. I have had just about every investigation, blood test and examination known to man. There is nothing wrong with me. I'm just rubbish at getting pregnant.

I honestly don't see what a fertility check at thirty would have done for me, apart from pointing out that I wasn't pregnant yet. Which I had noticed.

beanieb Sun 09-Aug-09 22:02:49

You and me both horton, have been trying for almost 2 years with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. Am so happy to have found someone I love and who wants a family but it's just not happening. Good luck to you.

No way would I have shagged around either.

MaggieBelleVirgo Sun 09-Aug-09 22:04:45

Mrstittle, I agree. back in the day, wickham types were cads and bounders and it was shameful to have let somebody down with a broken promise. Now I do not want to go back to the days when we had to defend our honour!!! but I would like men to have their eyes opened to the fact that their vacilating around could directly lead to a woman not having the children she really wants to have. Be brave and let her go and find another man buddy. Can that be worded up better and put into a campaign to go alongside t he one to frighten women about their declinign fertility????

Bumperslucious Sun 09-Aug-09 22:11:11

Sorry, I posted it without really thinking about the article, just thought it was an interesting article given the long thread not long back. You are right though, not very well thought out.

Sorry to make you ranty Beanie, and I am sorry to hear about your difficulties conceiving.

beanieb Sun 09-Aug-09 22:13:38

oh - Lol - it wasn't you who made me ranty. I am massively oversensitive about infertility and take it all so personally! grin

I love a good rant.
It IS an interesting debate, and I do know that fertility is age related, I just like a piss and moan wink

Horton Sun 09-Aug-09 22:14:01

beanie, really hope it works out for you. I got pregnant with my daughter after two years of unwanted periods arriving, just when I least expected it. Really hope something similar happens for you. and big unmumsnetty hugs. I know exactly how crap it is.

hellymelly Sun 09-Aug-09 22:14:32

Yes I would have loved babies in my late twenties, (after I ditched my first boyfriend who was a monster) But ha ha ha how many men now want babies then? Most panic at the thought of any sort of commitment-why is that? My dad had babies at 25, like everyone else in the 1960's.I have ended up having two (very easily actually) in my forties, which I am very grateful to my old ovaries for,but it puts paid to the 4 or more I would like to have.Many of my friends would say the same.Unless you date men a decade or more older you are unlikely to find men keen to be dads until 35 or so.

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