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Common to see woman in her 50's with baby in arms

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Sunday, December 06, 2009 | 0 comments

100 years ago, it relatively common for people to see a woman in her 50's with a baby in her arms, and every now and then you would see a woman in her mid 60's with her own baby in her arms.

In the last 50 years or so, there has been a frightening drop in fertility. In 2006, 35 year old women are less fertile than women age 45-50, were 100 years ago. Women are designed to have children from the start of menstruation to a year or two before the menopause. And if menopause isn't till 65, then 100 years ago, a woman would still be getting pregnant, age 63, and giving birth age 64. But the massive drop in fertility means that it is becoming increasingly uncommon for women over 35 to get pregnant without assistance. And no one seems to be interested, in investigating this loss of fertility.

And it is not just women who are becoming more, and more infertile. 100 years ago, sperm counts were typically 100 million sperm per sample, but now they are 30 million sperm per sample, and falling.

So 100 years ago, although it would have been unusual for a 62 year old women to give birth, every large community had a woman in her 60's with her own babe in her arms. So what has gone so terribly with women's/men's fertility, that, now, makes us think that Patricia Rashbrook is unusual?

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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