Women still don’t know much about baby-making… That’s the conclusion I get from an otherwise very long and tediously non-judgmental article on egg freezing.
Women are born with a finite number of eggs. At birth a woman’s ovaries contain approximately one to two million oocytes — immature eggs; by puberty, the count drops to 400,000. During each menstrual cycle, about 1,000 oocytes begin to develop but only one becomes a mature egg. The others left behind die. Not only does the supply shrink but egg quality decreases over time as well, since the best eggs are used up when young, so that each egg now offers less chance of pregnancy and a higher risk of miscarriage.
By the time a woman reaches age 39, “there aren’t many (follicles) left that have got enough strength to raise their hand,” says Dr. Al Yuzpe, co-founder and co-director of the Genesis Fertility Centre of Vancouver.
“My usual response is, ‘You may not look 40, you may not feel 40 but your ovaries don’t know it,’ ” Yuzpe says. He frequently encounters women who had no idea of the limits of their fertility. “They’re not only shocked, they’re tearful, they’re angry. ‘Nobody told me that I wasn’t going to be able to get pregnant at 48.’ ”
I don’t expect everyone to know every detail about the production of eggs in female humans. And I speak as someone who knows fairly little, beyond the basics. But I always knew that if I waited too long, I wouldn’t be able to have children. What do you mean, nobody told you that you weren’t going to be able to get pregnant at 48? There’s not much point “educating” people who just won’t listen.by