Fear of Older Women's Drop in Fertility May Be Overblown

Jean Twenge discusses research that suggests women in their late-30s can easily have children.
3:51 | 06/20/13

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Transcript for Fear of Older Women's Drop in Fertility May Be Overblown
and get reassuring news for women trying to have kids after the age of 35. A new article in"the atlantic" is coming down with something called baby panic. Women with fear about getting pregnant later in life are a little out of date and misunderstood. I want a baby now. I'm 37. Reporter: Just like tina fey's character in "baby momma," many women wait too long to get pregnant. But jean asks, what's the rush? The period between 35 and 40, is more fertile than people believe. Reporter: Much of the fear is based on old data. Modern studies suggest that those weren't as scary for older women. Reporter: A new study found among 38-year-olds and 39-year-olds, 80% of them got pregnant naturally. Despite much older research, that says one in three women age 35 to 39, will not get pregnant of a year of trying. But 33-year-old rose, who is eight months pregnant, disagrees with the article and doesn't see how waiting could be good. You hear a lot in the media, once you hit 35, you really are out of time. I'm having my first child at 33. Ideally, I'd like to have two or maybe three children. Who knows how long that will take. Reporter: Dr. Jamie grippo says the real decline in fertility is for women over 40. Every two years over 40, it's cut down again. You shouldn't count on being able to get pregnant. Reporter: Still, women in THEIR 30s SHOULD FEEL EMPOWERED, Not panicked. There's no real reason to be scared, having a baby after 35. Yes, the risk, the number of women who have these problems, thankfully, is still very low, EVEN IN A WOMAN'S LATE 30s. Reporter: For "good morning america," abbie boudreau, abc news, los angeles. Okay. Dr. Richard besser joins us now for a little more on this. I was shocked to see one of the studies was based on 19th century data. When you dive into the information, many of it is hundreds of years old. And the reason for that is, it's very hard to study. Most couples spend many, many years trying not to get pregnant. And then, they start. And it's hard to look at a population that was always trying to get pregnant. And so, they look at these isolated communities. A lot of the other data comes from infertility clinics. Fertility goes down, but not as dramatically -- 35 is not the tipping point? It's not. You shouldn't despair at 35. At 35, it may take you longer to get pregnant. But the vast majority of women who want to get pregnant. There's a clock ticking and you have to make it happen. I would think that everybody feels better about that. If you're over 35 and you've been trying for six months, you should get checked out. They can do simple tests, which can be reassuring. I keep thinking of marisa tom tomei. At the point now, being in THEIR MID-30s, SHOULD I FREEZE My eggs? In a year or two, will I be able to have a child? We went through that. WE HAD OUR KIDS IN OUR LATE 30s. It's in your head. Did we wait too long? This is good news for women in THEIR LATE 30s AND MEN. Men sperm isn't as quality as they age, as well. You just got married, linsey. I need a little bit of time. Linsey, you refer to studies where the data comes from after we found out the world wasn't flat.

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