Two new techniques to preserve and transplant ovaries might give women a better chance to fight their biological clocks and have children when they are older, doctors announced Monday. In the past, scientists have performed ovarian transplants in women with cancer, since chemotherapy often causes infertility. Doctors typically take out patients' ovaries before the toxic treatment begins and then reimplant them later.
Now, recent advances to preserve ovaries and surgically implant them could make the procedure more widely available, helping women avoid fertility problems as they age. Many women are now delaying having a family until their 30s or 40s, when fertility problems become more common. Women in their 20s or 30s could theoretically have an ovary removed and frozen, and then have it reimplanted years later when they are ready to have children.
Sometimes when I mention the ol' biological clock, people say, "But you still look young!" Thanks for the compliment, but how I look on the outside doesn't mean anything for the eggs. I found these statistics, from Dr. Kevin Lederer, president of Fertility Centers of Illinois:
Until age 34, women have a 20 percent chance of conceiving in a given month and 20 percent of those pregnancies will end in a miscarriage.
After 35, a woman’s likelihood of conceiving in a given month drops to 10 percent and her miscarriage risk goes up to 30 percent.
After 40, she has a 5 percent chance of getting pregnant and a 40 percent chance of having a miscarriage. After 42, “99 percent of fertility is over,” Lederer said.I know some women purposely delay having children, whether to focus on their career or be more financially secure or other reasons. But for me, it's just been a happenstance occurrence. I definitely feel like the window of opportunity is closing, but I don't want to rush into something just to have children of my own. I'm trying to be okay with the idea that it may not happen for me. (I'm mostly okay with it.) I feel very blessed to have other children in my life, especially my beautiful and wonderful nieces and nephews. Still, there is a sense of "there's no time to waste" when I think of potential suitors.