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Is your Biological Clock Ticking? | Biological Clock

Is your Biological Clock Ticking? | Biological Clock - An important part of educating yourself is figuring out how to spot misinformation. For starters, don’t believe everything you read in the tabloids. Over the course of the past five to 10 years, late-in-life miracle babies have been a major feature of popular celebrity magazines. Taken together, these stories leave women with the impression that modern science has conquered the biological clock, that all they have to do is go in for some in vitro and they can have a baby (or two!) after 40, without any problems. “I cringe every time I see those articles,” says Dr. Rebecca Sokol, professor of medicine, clinical obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Southern California. “People think it’s easy; they don’t understand that those are donor eggs.”

That’s right, donor eggs. According to both Sokol and Birritteri, anytime you see an article about a woman over the age of 40 who’s having twins, you can pretty much assume the eggs used to make the babies weren’t hers. “Egg donation is a wonderful thing,” Birritteri says. “There’s thousands of babies born that way every year. But you can’t think that just happens naturally.” The problem is that eggs, like most of the cells in your body, degrade over time. In many women, that degradation can be so extensive that the eggs are no longer capable of creating a healthy baby. So your fertility could effectively be at an end long before your first hot flash.

That might sound like a reason to panic, but Sokol and Birritteri insist that it’s not. Or, rather, it’s not if you know about it soon enough. The key is to decide whether and when you want to have children, not based on menopause, but based on your personal biology. Birritteri suggests getting a blood test of your follicle-stimulating hormone levels around age 35. Yearly tests thereafter will track the levels of the hormone in your bloodstream. As those levels go up, your fertility goes down. Although this measures egg quantity rather than quality, it’ll help you and your doctor get a better idea of how much time you have left to naturally conceive.

Is your Biological Clock Ticking? | Biological Clock

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