Natalie Portman‘s dad has babies on the brain, and not just because his daughter is in the final trimester of her pregnancy. Dr. Avner Hershlag (Portman is Natalie’s stage name, FYI) just happens to be a big whig at the Center for Human Reproduction in Long Island and one of the nation’s leading reproductive specialists. But he also has a creative side, too. In fact, Avner is currently shopping his first novel to publishers. It’s called Misconception, and he has dubbed it a “fertility thriller.”
So what does that mean? Keep reading »
Some people come to New York City for work. Some people come to New York City for school. Some people are born in New York City and never end up leaving. But whatever your reason for being here, you probably ended up staying, in part, for one reason: options. On any given night there are thousands of different activities you could be doing and hundreds of them are free. If you don’t like your apartment, you can find a dozen illegal sublets on Craigslist in two hours. Want to gawk at a celebrity drinking her morning latte? Craving pizza handmade by an Italian grandpa who speaks no English? Need pot delivered to your apartment ASAP? Check, check and check. Hell, you’ll even find
two three four different Starbucks in a three-block radius.
But maybe the BIg Apple has too many options. NYC single woman Jennifer Doll argues in The Village Voice — the city’s indie newspaper — this week that when it comes to settling down and getting married, no one in the dating game will make a decision because there are too many other options to choose from. Keep reading »
There’s no question that the birth control pill has given us modern women an undeniable amount of freedom that our grandmothers didn’t have — both sexual and cultural — since its introduction to the free market 50 years ago. But what it’s costing our generation is an increased likelihood of infertility, or so says New York magazine’s cover story this week, “Waking Up From The Pill.” While it’s not news to link the birth control pill to women waiting later in life to have children, and thus infertility, because of their diminished egg supplies as they age, writer Vanessa Grigoriadis does have a new perspective on why this is so. She claims it’s because taking the Pill makes women either forget altogether about their biology until it’s too late or to think of it as something controllable by modern medicine.
“For women who have spent so much of their lives pressing the off button on their bodies while on the Pill, it’s upsetting to learn that there’s no magic pill that causes instant impregnation,” she writes. Keep reading »
It was like the post-WWII baby boom at my publishing company in Manhattan. The ladies’ room was full of women patting their stomachs, complaining about morning sickness that lasted all day and chugging Cheerios to battle nausea. I had never seen anything like it at any place I’ve ever worked. At my last job, many of the women were older and had never been married, and when I worked in sports, somehow a job was eliminated once a woman uttered, “I’m expecting.” Keep reading »
When it comes to baby-craving, I am a complete lady cliché. I remark that my own ovaries are rotting between bites of huevos rancheros at brunch. I joke about having a back-up plan that involves “accidentally” getting knocked up by someone handsome, successful, and smart. Just this morning, I got an email from a pregnant friend, who is due any day now, telling me she was having minor contractions and I got teary-eyed. So, when I read the headline “Women ‘should freeze ovaries in their twenties’,” I felt the urge to mentally flagellate myself for being nearly 31 with only Trader Joe’s mac ‘n’ cheese in my freezer. Fertility scare tactics work like a charm on me. But not this one! Keep reading »
I think about babies a lot. Big, fat tears rolled down my cheeks while watching Kourtney Kardashian give birth on Sunday’s episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” I secretly and selfishly hope my pregnant friend’s baby daddy will chicken out of being in the delivery room and I’ll get to be there with her. I’ve already offered to babysit, oh, constantly. I’ll be deep in conversation with someone and a baby will cross my path and it’s like I’ve suddenly found myself in high altitude because my hearing is muted — I’ve got baby tunnel vision. Needless to say, I am a terrible date at a family-friendly restaurant.
So every time I see a headline like this one, I get a little … discouraged: “Ovaries have not adjusted to many women’s decision to delay having children.” According to the article in yesterday’s Washington Post, a study conducted by the University of St. Andrews and Edinburgh University shows that women lose 90 percent of their eggs by age 30. I turned 30 in November. Researchers studied the “human ovarian reserve from conception through menopause” and using the data of 325 women, they did some math and concluded that the average woman is born with approximately 300,000 eggs and “steadily loses them as she ages, with just 12 percent of those eggs remaining at the age of 30, and only 3 percent left by 40.” Keep reading »
All manner of experts are asserting that the wheels have come off our already craptacular economy and no imminent signs of an upturn are apparent. Massive layoffs across all sectors are forcing even the most resourceful among us to tighten belts and come up with innovative ways to earn extra scratch. Which is why it’s not altogether shocking that in the midst of this fiscal catastrophe, there’s been a marked uptick in women signing on to donate eggs. At roughly $8,000 a throw, it certainly seems like a viable option for fertile ladies, and an act that was once relegated to cash-strapped college girls looking for ways to pay off their debt has spread to folks with more pedestrian monetary needs, like making rent. Keep reading »
According to an article in the Telegraph today, research suggests that ugly men are more likely than attractive ones to get their mates knocked up. The theory is based on behavior in the animal kingdom where “the most desirable males restrict their ‘sperm load’ with each mating to ensure enough to go around.” Scientists are researching whether the same is true for humans, and if it is, women who want a baby may be wise to avoid the hotties. “Males with the opportunity to mate with a lot of females would be likely to produce less sperm on each occasion than those making fewer sexual conquests.” The researchers’ theory that hot guys have smaller sperm loads is based on the idea they’re the ones with the highest sexual conquests. In my experience and years of gossiping with friends and observing the behavior of people around me, that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case. What do you think? Are hot guys getting laid the most? [via Telegraph] Keep reading »
British scientists have found a way to create fully mature, functioning sperm in a lab. Researcher on the project, Professor Karim Nayernia explained, “The work is a way of investigating why some people are infertile and the reasons behind it.” And the pay off is that women or couples who’ve had fertility issues not only have more hope now, a single lady can get pregnant without the aid of a real-live-man. Some scientists are skeptical over Nayernia’s project though. Prof Azim Surani, from Cambridge University, described the lab samples as “a long way from being authentic sperm cells.” Still, kind of amazing, right? [Metro.co.uk] Keep reading »
In Newsweek, Rachel Lehmann-Haupt shares how she decided to have some of her eggs frozen at 37. After a relationship ended, Rachel wanted to have kids of her own at some point in the future, but she worried her time might be running out, since doctors say 35 is the age after which fertility tends to drop. With money inherited from her grandmother, she had the procedure, and eight of her mature eggs are being stored for the day when she finds a man to fertilize them.
Lehmann-Haupt speculates freezing eggs could affect women’s lives. “I think that like birth control or abortion, egg freezing could also change society. It is a choice, another tool by which women are able to assert control over their bodies.” The prohibitive cost (around $15,000 plus $400 per year for storing the eggs) prevents the majority of us from having our eggs frozen for later use, but someday, as science progresses, this could change. Is this something you would do? Do you think freezing your eggs would help you feel like you have more control over your life? Would it take away some of the pressure we feel to find a man and make babies before a certain age? [Newsweek via Salon Broadsheet] Keep reading »