The Celeb Impact on Infertility
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Being a mom wasn't something Mint Hill resident Katherine Farriott-Smith always dreamed about. She says, "I didn't have time for kids," until she met her husband. At age 36, she decided it was time to start their family. She says, "We tried and tried and tried."
Age wasn't on Farriott-Smith's side. In your early 20s, doctors say most couples have a 1 in 12 chance of infertility. Between 25 - 35, 1 in 8, and in your late 30s or 40s, 1 in 4.
But that reality can be overshadowed by high profile pregnancies: celebrities who may, inadvertently, lead other women to believe it's easy to get pregnant later in life. "I think they have to recognize that they're not seeing the whole story, that people have a right to keep their personal business private and they need to go and ask questions. They can't assume anything about their fertility," says Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte (REACH) Dr. Nancy Teaff.
She says scientifically, pregnancy is unlikely after the age of 43. But that reality hasn't sunken in for some Charlotte women. "I would say every doctor in this practice sees, every week, 1 or 2 women above the age of 40 who just kind of come in and think, I'm ready to have my baby now," says Teaff.
Farriott-Smith says seeing media coverage of older pregnant celebs was discouraging as she battled for her own baby, but in the end, "It was very invasive, it's not easy, but it's so worth it," she says.
This is National Infertility Awareness Week. For more information, go to http://www.resolve.org/about/fast-facts-about-fertility.html, http://www.asrm.org/ or http://www.theafa.org/