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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:22 PM

What If You Knew Exactly When Your Biological Clock Would Stop?

When Mira Kaddoura, an artist and freelance art and creative director who lives in Portland, Oregon, was in her early 30s, she visited her doctor for an annual physical. During her examination, he asked if she was thinking about having children, and warned her, "If you really want to do this someday, you should start thinking seriously about it." Caught off guard, Kaddoura began to think. Not only did she find herself thinking about whether she wanted to have kids, but also about what his question meant in general for women, for men, and for how we talk about that still taboo subject of our biological clocks—whether we want kids, how we want to have them, and what we might do if it turns out it's too late for us to have them naturally.

One of the most inflexible differences between men and women is the looming (yet abstract) end-date after which women can no longer conceive, and because of that, the issue of a "biological clock" comes up again and again. Sometimes it's almost used as an insult, or a point of mockery, as in: "I can hear the ticking of her biological clock across the room." On the other side of that are women who don't really know if they want kids, but who don't want to eliminate the possibility, even as they focus on careers and what appear to be more pressing realities. And another extreme, of course, are women who are "shunned" or must provide excuses for never wanting kids at all.

At the time of that doctor visit, Kaddoura told The Atlantic Wire, "I was just out of my 20s thinking, I'm just building this life, building a career, working. It caught me off guard." The fact that this was her first real moment of realizing after years focused on trying not to get pregnant that there was a new side to this coin struck her—as did the fact that this was not something she heard talked about much in broader circles.

Much more at link

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Reply What If You Knew Exactly When Your Biological Clock Would Stop? (Original post)
Neoma Jun 2012 OP
One_Life_To_Give Jun 2012 #1
TBF Jun 2012 #3
One_Life_To_Give Jun 2012 #5
TBF Jun 2012 #6
REP Jun 2012 #2
yardwork Jun 2012 #4

Response to Neoma (Original post)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 04:51 PM

1. Stopping is the end of a long process

In both men and women our ability to produce healthy offspring degrades as we age. Which is what I think the doctor was referring too.
My recollection was either parent over 35 was a high risk factor. And I also caution that as we age other health conditions and/or injuries can also have a significant impact upon ones abilities. Even if everything still works childbearing can become unbearable due to a variety of health issues.

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Response to One_Life_To_Give (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 22, 2012, 06:29 PM

3. It can but honestly I think a lot of that is just

based on years of folks having babies in their teens & twenties. Individual women in their 30s and even early 40s do just fine. I was in excellent physical shape after years of running (including marathons) when I was in my mid 30s and got pregnant for the first time. My OB stated that he had folks in their 20s with bad habits and were much worse risks. So, I had the first baby at 36 and then got pregnant again at 39. I went through all the testing for a second time and came through with flying colors - and another perfectly healthy baby. I was 40 at the time of that birth, and that OB's oldest patient at that time was a woman of 44 who got pregnant just like I did - with no help from any artificial anything. Frankly I think there is a lot of literature out there meant to persuade women to do things that they may not want to do (and that includes reproducing at all).

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Response to TBF (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:40 AM

5. Glad it worked out for you

For many coupes it does. Then there are the rest of us.
Might not have changed a thing had I known the stats. But wish I had known them before rather than later.

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Response to One_Life_To_Give (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 11:22 AM

6. The problem with these "studies" is that they

are used by right-wingers to "prove" that women should be having babies earlier (ie not participating in the workplace or any other activities they might enjoy). At least that is my problem with them. As a woman I knew that waiting until my 30s meant there was less chance of conception. If that it not being taught everywhere in health classes it probably should be, with the caveat that it should be presented as knowledge rather than used to limit women's options. I agree that at least having the knowledge helps folks plan, and I guess I wasn't aware that folks weren't learning these types of things.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2012, 04:05 PM

2. Wow - an article that acknowledges I exist and have been given crap for it

And another extreme, of course, are women who are "shunned" or must provide excuses for never wanting kids at all.


Except I don't provide an excuse; it's nobody's business.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2012, 09:16 PM

4. The question of childbearing is so fraught for women, in all ways.

Women who choose not to have children are discriminated against. Women who have children are also discriminated against in different ways. It is now illegal to ask job candidates if they have children, because answers in the affirmative are often used as excuses not to hire women, in particular.

In the industrial world women are expected to work outside the home, yet also expected to have children and somehow effortlessly meld both these full-time responsibilities.

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