Maricel Soriano, a talented Philippine actress says she doesn't miss sex and hasn't actually been intimate with a man for 10 years now. She is now 40 years old.
Wow. I have nothing against that. But I wonder how women like her do it. How does one effectively defy one's biologic nature?
Dr Susan Bewley, consultant obstetrician at St Thomas Hospital in London, along with colleagues, wrote a thought-provoking editorial in the current issue of the British Medical Journal which said that women who wait until their late 30s and well into their 40s to have children are defying their biologic nature and risking heartbreak by facing possible health problems for both future mother and baby. I urge you to read the full text of Dr Bewley's editorial aptly titled Which Career First? if you have time.
The editorial observes that the number of pregnancies in women over 35 years old are increasing in Western countries. These women take comfort in the fact that having children can be postponed to a later age since the medical field now has available fertility treatments should there be any problems.
The London fertility experts however, warn that in vitro fertilisation (IVF) --- which is the possible medical option to solve infertility problems --- continues to be an expensive, invasive treatment with high failure rates. How high? The editorial quotes as high as 70 percent of women undergoing a cycle of IVF do not achieve a live birth, and more than 90 percent when women are older than 40.
The experts maintain that the best age for childbirth remains at 20 to 35.
I do not worry for Ms Maricel Soriano, for she seems contented with her life. I think she already had a child 11 years ago when she was 29. What I worry about is the way she can decide not to be interested in sex, which, while it may be okay for her since she has already a kid, may not be okay with other women who are likewise disinterested in sex, but has no children yet.
Of course, of course, I understand. I know what you're thinking, ladies. But I agree with the experts. Here's what they said: "Maybe instead of waiting for Mr Right, they ought to wait for Mr Good-Enough, if they want children."
For couples who decided not to have children yet, because they are busy with their work and careers, the editorial also mentioned possible problems with men, whose sperm cell counts also decline with age, and can be another contributing factor to future problems of having kids. Do you know that children of older men have an increased risk of schizophrenia and other mutations like achondroplasia and Marfan syndrome?
So, which will it be? Which career would you like to prioritize? The mother-career or still the work-career? Your choice. Choose while there's time.
Sometimes you can't have it all.