The Misleading Promise of IVF for Women Over 40
Click this link for the article
The New York Times published an article on In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) on October 17, 2016, and it discusses the difficult situations many potential parents find when thinking about their fertility. As a practitioner who works with clients struggling with their fertility every day, I think this article brings up a good topic that all people, male or female, should keep in mind when thinking about their fertility, especially as they age.
This topic is so difficult because it not only touches on the issue of fertility, but it also highlights the difficult situations women and their partners and families face in our society. How can women in particular further the equality in work advancement opportunities, wages and their general success in the workplace, when the workplace doesn’t support the natural and universal right to having children (and nurture them) when women are most likely to conceive naturally? How can partners expect to help support these women in their family and work goals?
The topic of fertility should be seriously discussed with young men and women starting in high school, or beginning with sex education courses in middle school. Starting early will help women be as informed as possible about their fertility changes as they age, and help men understand the issues at the same time. The New York Times article on IVF makes it more clear that not all patients going through the IVF process will be successful, so I think more and earlier discussion would help women see both sides of the fertility coin- should childbirth be put off and risk being unable to conceive naturally or otherwise, or start a family when fertility is at its peak?
There are no judgements to be made here, only an attempt to more openly educate the public on the realities of starting families in an era where IVF is a useful tool, but not the definitive answer to putting it off until later in life.
What has your path been? What would you suggest to others trying to decide this issue for themselves? Read the article and leave a comment so I can highlight it for others going through the same process- you may help someone else decide for themselves!