Feminism gets the last laugh on fertility

From Barbara Kay at National Post:

This just in from blogger Mollie Hemingway:  “Why do we lie about female fertility?” Hemingway is a wife and mother of two children. She’s now 37 and would like a third child, but realized that at her age easy conception is the exception, no longer the rule.

She goes on to decry the fact that women in our society are lied to about fertility. They are led to believe that they can take years and years to devote to their education and career, deferring marriage and children until they are “ready” – and if they are only “ready” in their mid-thirties or later – no big deal….

Hemingway cites a new fertility awareness study – “Fertility IQ Survey 2011 – sponsored by biopharmaceutical firm EMD Serono Inc with investigators from RESOLVE, the U.S. National Infertility Association, which reveals that women are woefully ignorant on the this existentially gendered subject.

In the poll of 1000 women aged 25-35 who had discussed fertility with doctors, seven out of ten basic questions about fertility were answered correctly less than half the time. A surprising number of women didn’t know how long it takes to get pregnant or even the fact that fertility declines with age.

Here are some facts about fertility: Fertility for women peaks between 15 and 25. At 30, a healthy woman has about a 20% chance of conceiving per month. The average is five months. By 35, first-time motherhood is already statistically jeopardized. By 40, the chances of conception and a healthy baby are substantially diminished, down to about a 5% chance of conceiving per month.

But many of those surveyed thought a 30-year old woman had a 70% chance of conceiving every month and a 40-year old had a 60% chance – both wildly off the mark.

Click HERE to read the entire piece.

4 thoughts on “Feminism gets the last laugh on fertility

    1. “Comprehensive sex education” is not designed to be comprehensive — it is designed to leave things out to give students a particular worldview–one that is espoused by pharmaceutical companies who stand to make scads of money from hormonal/chemical contraceptives and abortion. I recommend clicking “birth control” and “Planned Parenthood” in the tag cloud to read more on this topic. As a parent, I am teaching my children that sex is a wonderful gift to be enjoyed within the context of marriage — not a game to be played like Russian roulette where the stakes are STDs and out-of-wedlock births. Yes, they will know about STDs and contraceptives, because my husband and I are teaching them about these things as we help shape their moral worldview. My parents did the same for me. I knew what contraceptives could do to my overall health. I knew what abortion does to women (and their children). I knew that having multiple partners meant a very high risk of STDs and emotional devastation. As a result, I chose abstinence until marriage (as did my husband), and the result has been happiness and a total absence of worry. Teaching children that they cannot control themselves and have to have some kind of “backup” is hardly “comprehensive.” Failing to teach girls that putting off childbearing could mean they never get pregnant is not “comprehensive,” either. But show me a single government school sex ed curriculum that discusses these worldview issues from a balanced, thoughtful viewpoint. Kids can be taught to control themselves. Running them through a catalog of birth control methods isn’t the cure for “ignorance.” Instead, it creates a new kind of ignorance — ignorance of the ability of a young person to wait, to treat others with dignity, and to commit to faithfulness in marriage.


  1. Sorry but I think the root of so many problems in this whole area is contraception

    Contraception encourages and facilitates promiscuity and it persuades women that they has a “choice” they can be sexually active before or within marriage and ” decide” when they want to conceive. When our bodies were designed to be fertile (or not) whenever we have sex, and as a result for thousands of years women waited for marriage and then accepted children as they arrived.

    Of corse it had it’s own problems (particularly in those days Of non existent medical care) but It’s no surprise that pretending that sex is a recreational activity and that conception is a matter of choice causes such problems.


    1. That’s exactly the point, Susanne. You are correct. The root problems are much bigger than what this article gets at, but it’s still interesting to see that women are beginning to acknowledge that “timing” our fertility does not work.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s