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As a 24-year-old woman who hasn’t yet hit the dreaded Fertility Death Zone of life after 30, perhaps I’m not in the position to be amused by this Washington Post headline:
. . . But allow me to ignore the cries of my soon-to-be decrepit ladyparts for a moment in order to re-write this headline to reflect a few possibilities that reporter Carolyn Butler omits from the accompanying story. But first: What’s with these ovaries anyway, and why are they so darned stubborn?
Butler’s story is a tale of modern career woman v. nature. In it, women who are busy pursuing their professional dreams in their 20’s may be dangerously ignoring the silent extermination occurring within their own bodies—-according to Butler, “women lose 90 percent of their eggs by age 30″—-until it’s too late. But don’t “start freaking out,” Butler tells her readers, who, being women and all, are almost certainly doing just that.
Onto the science: “Society has changed,” fertility doctor Robert Stillman of Rockville’s Shady Grove Fertility tells Butler, “but the ovaries will take another million years or two to catch up to that.”
Stillman’s evolutionary perspective prompts this strange analysis from Butler:
Since we don’t have another million years to wait, many women thinking of having children are left with the predicament of balancing the personal, primal urge to partner up and procreate with worthwhile social goals such as pursuing higher education and a successful career—-not to mention economic stability.
As someone whose personal, primal urges have always been telling her to learn stuff and use her brain for stuff, not to make babies, I am left confused by the idea that my impulse to start a career is seen exclusively as a “worthwhile social goal” that is somehow at odds with my “personal” interests. But then again, there’s a lot I don’t identify with here. Possible alternate headlines for this story that I would be more likely to get down with:
Adoption agencies have adjusted to many women’s decision to delay having children. [Seriously, Butler does even mention this possibility].
* Robert Stillman of Rockville’s Shady Grove Fertility has adjusted to raking in tons of cash from many women’s decision to delay having children.
* Ovaries indifferent to what you do with eggs after they pass off responsibility to fallopian tubes, uterus
* Ovaries privately concerned that women will end this whole society v. nature charade by just delaying having children until death
* Ovaries confused as to why the decision to have children is presented exclusively as a concern of women in this article
* Ovaries going through particularly rough time right now, could use a couple million years to adjust