Did you know that the first IVF cycle was actually performed in rabbits in the year 1891! Here's an excerpt from the online article: "In 1891, Walter Heape (1855-1929), a professor and physician at the University of Cambridge, England, who had been conducting research on reproduction in numerous animal species, reported the first known case of embryo transplantation. Working with two species of rabbits, he flushed embryos from the oviducts (rabbit fallopian tubes) of one breed (Angora) and placed them into the uterus of a recently mated Belgian hare. In the resulting litter, there were 4 Belgians and 2 Angoras. Heape proved that it was possible to take preimplantation embryos and transfer them to a gestational carrier without affecting their development."
This TIME article brings up a subject I talk to my patients about all the time: the fact that they may never be grandparents because of the age at which they are starting parenthood. But this is the thing, there are SO many benefits to being an older parent. The benefits of having children at an older age are the wisdom, maturity and patience that come with being older. If my patients choosing parenthood over the age of 40 considered themselves old, they wouldn't step through my office doors in the first place. They are young, healthy, energetic and make wonderful parents. This TIME article brings up something that is so real for many of my patients but the benefits of being an older parent far outweigh worrying about whether you'll be a grandparent yourself one day. I could be biased :) Read the TIME article here: The Grandparent Deficit: Fertility isn't the Only Biological Clock and listen to the NPR interview here: NPR
It really doesn't matter how many kids you have, you will inevitably be asked at some point, "are you going to have another?" According to a 2013 CDC report, 3 million women suffer from secondary infertility. My prediction is that the numbers will continue to rise as women become moms later in life. The Census Bureau Fertility data released today suggests that as well. The report showed that number of women age 40 to 44 who had only one child roughly doubled between 1976 and 2014. Our society has a tendency to shame parents who have "only one" child. Let's do what we can to stop "only child" shaming. If you have one child, and you're asked if you're going to have another, answer a question with a question. Simply ask, "Did you know how many benefits there are to having one kid?" Many of my patients who come to me with secondary infertility are worried their child is going to get mad at them or blame them for not having a sibling when they are older. My patients don't know what to say when their child asks for a sister or a brother. This is how this author answered her...
I think women are generally unaware of their natural conception rates based on their age. Most 30 year olds think they can wait until they're 35 to get pregnant because they are under the impression that bad things happen after age 35. Conception rates based on age tell a different story. Most of my patients are surprised when I share natural conception rates with them. Fertility peaks at age 30 and declines from there. Be sure to know what your fertility indicators say about you so you can figure out the best plan for you and your future family. This CDC website has a lot of helpful FAQs.