Do you think it is easy to crank out these stunning, insightful and often politically charged entries everyday? It’s not always easy being The Fertility Advocate – finding stories and issues in the world of reproductive health worth commentary five days a week! But I can take comfort in the fact that I am not the only fertility sleuth that often has to search high and low for something noteworthy to write about.. after all ABC News just did a big story to report that Courtney Cox is “revving up her engines” to have another baby. That’s right folks – it’s news that Courtney Cox is THINKING about having another baby! Now that is something worth writing about….
Okay. Okay. This entry could go both ways now. I could get all snotty – and start to say things like “Courtney Cox better do more than just think about “revving up” her engines at age 45″. That is if she is thinking about using her own eggs. And I could dismiss this story as simply a celebrity puff piece – but really there is something worth writing about here – if you just look a little deeper at this story.
It’s the continuation of the myth that if you have enough money you can get anything you want. The fact of the matter is when it comes to our health and the possibilities of our bodies including our reproductive potential – money is often not enough. I am happy for Courtney that money is not an issue for affording her fertility care as it is for many Americans – it is true that is one stumbling block. But even those that are not rich and famous can often find grants or infertility financing programs.
The issue that is facing Courtney and many women like her is the infamous biological clock. Several years ago when I was the Executive Director of The American Fertility Association, I had this idea to do a study about what women knew about their reproductive potential. You can still take the fertility quiz that landed me on Oprah and countless other media outlets around the world. It’s pretty sad – but most women thought that their fertility BEGAN to decline in their early forties! And to make matters worse – way too many thought that they should also wait two years before consulting a reproductive specialist! If these women really waited until their early forties to try to conceive and then if unsuccessful waited two more years to seek help – they might find out that they were in peri-menopause by the time that they got the opportunity to “rev up their engines”!
The fact is that the first measurable decline of a woman’s fertility is age 27. At age 45 – the likelihood of Courtney of any other woman conceiving with her own eggs is very, very, low. The issue with celebrities and their miracle conceptions is that many of these high profile women are using donor eggs and not talking about it. Cheryl Tiggs is still holding to her story that at age fifty-something that her doctor found the “one perfect embryo”. It’s kind of hard to get her doctor, Dr. Richard Marrs to comment on that…..
Good luck and best wishes to Courtney. Whether it is her own eggs – or those of a donor that eventually help her conceive her second child – I wish her all the happiness in the world. But let’s be clear here folks – at age 45 – any woman that is wanting a child better do more than just think about it.