I'm 5 years older than the author of this article and I don't feel as old and decrepit as it sounds she does! I do regret that my youngest will not know what it is like to have doting grandparents, and I hope I live long enough and am in good health for my grandchildren.
Why didn’t I meet anyone in my 20s? And why did so many of my beautiful and clever friends follow a similar path? I used to think it was just that good men were thin on the ground, but the older I get, the more unconvincing I find this theory.
I suspect the real reason we stayed single for so long is because, at least in part, our generation of forty-somethings was the first generation of girls ‘bred to work’.
Fertility in your 40s is a lottery, one which some people win, like my two friends who had third children at 45, while others don’t, such as my friend who nearly died during unsuccessful IVF.
Studies indicate that 90 per cent of us are infertile by the age of 44, while IVF success rates for women over 43 are pitiful — less than two per cent, with miscarriage rates around 50 per cent.
Just as we were told, falsely, that we could put off having babies for ever, we were never told just how wonderful motherhood would be.
Church teaching about such interventions is clear — those that replace the marital act instead of merely assisting the marital act to achieve pregnancy are immoral.
But what are faithful Catholics who struggle with infertility to do?
Natural Procreative (NaPro) technology is a specialized field of fertility medicine developed by Dr. Thomas Hilgers at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction in Lincoln, Neb. He and his colleagues also developed the Creighton Model of fertility awareness that many couples use for family planning.
These physicians know that infertility is not necessarily a final diagnosis, but is often a symptom of an underlying condition that can be treated. Couples who are having trouble getting pregnant should seek out a fertility specialist who is committed to looking for and correcting the cause of infertility instead of just trying to circumvent the problem with IVF.
For some conditions, the use of NaPro Technology methods is more successful than standard infertility treatments in achieving pregnancy. For example, IVF has a 27.2 percent success rate for women with occluded fallopian tubes, while NaPro Technology has a 38.4 percent success rate in achieving pregnancy. Even more striking, women with anovulatory infertility had an 81 percent pregnancy success rate with NaPro technology, compared to a less than 30 percent success rate with IVF.