Sunday, June 30, 2013

How Low Testosterone Affects Health, Mood, and Sex

Researchers are unlocking the mysteries of how low testosterone is related to men's overall health. Along the way, they're uncovering connections between low testosterone and other health conditions.
Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and high blood pressure have all been linked to testosterone deficiency. Low testosterone isn't known to cause these health problems, and replacing testosterone isn't the cure. Still, the associations between low testosterone and other medical conditions are interesting and worth a look.

Does Low Testosterone Indicate Poor Health?

In recent years, researchers have noticed general links between low testosterone and other medical conditions. One showed that in 2,100 men over age 45, the odds of having low testosterone were:
  • 2.4 times higher for obese men
  • 2.1 times higher for men with diabetes
  • 1.8 times higher for men with high blood pressure
Experts don't suggest that low testosterone causes these conditions. In fact, it might be the other way around. That is, men with medical problems or who are in poor general health might then develop low testosterone.
Research into the relationship between low testosterone and several other health conditions is ongoing.

Diabetes and Low Testosterone

A link between diabetes and low testosterone is well established. Men with diabetes are more likely to have low testosterone. And men with low testosterone are more likely to later develop diabetes. Testosterone helps the body's tissues take up more blood sugar in response to insulin. Men with low testosterone more often have insulin resistance: they need to produce more insulin to keep blood sugar normal.
As many as half of men with diabetes have low testosterone, when randomly tested. Scientists aren't sure whether diabetes causes low testosterone, or the other way around. More research is needed, but short-term studies show testosterone replacement may improve blood sugar levels and obesity in men with low testosterone.

Obesity and Low Testosterone

Obesity and low testosterone are tightly linked. Obese men are more likely to have low testosterone. Men with very low testosterone are also more likely to become obese.
Fat cells metabolize testosterone to estrogen, lowering testosterone levels. Also, obesity reduces levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that carries testosterone in the blood. Less SHBG means less testosterone.
Losing weight through exercise can increase testosterone levels. Testosterone supplements in men with low testosterone can also reduce obesity slightly.

Metabolic Syndrome and Low Testosterone

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a condition that includes the presence of abnormal cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, waistline obesity, and high blood sugar. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk for heart attacks and strokes.
Studies show that men with low testosterone are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome. In short-term studies, testosterone replacement improved blood sugar levels and obesity in men with low testosterone. The long-range benefits and risks are still unknown.
Testosterone has mixed effects on the arteries. Many experts believe testosterone contributes to the higher rates of heart disease and high blood pressure that tend to affect men at younger ages. By this reasoning, high testosterone might be bad for the heart.
But testosterone deficiency is connected to insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes. Each of these problems increases cardiovascular risk. Men with diabetes and low testosterone also have higher rates of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
A certain amount of testosterone may be necessary for healthy arteries because it's converted into estrogen, which protects arteries from damage. As yet, no studies show that testosterone replacement protects the heart or prevents heart attacks.

Testosterone and Other Conditions

Low testosterone often exists with other medical conditions:
  • Depression: In a study of almost 4,000 men older than 70, those with the lowest testosterone levels were more than twice as likely to be depressed. This link remained even after allowing for age, general health, obesity, and other variables.
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED): Problems with erections are one of the most common symptoms of low testosterone. Most ED is caused by atherosclerosis. Men with risk factors for atherosclerosis -- diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or obesity -- often have low testosterone, too.
  • High blood pressure: The effects of testosterone on blood pressure are many and complex. Men with high blood pressure may be almost twice as likely to have low testosterone as men with normal blood pressure. On the other hand, too much testosterone can increase blood pressure. Testosterone acts in multiple ways on blood vessels, so this may account for the varying effects.

Testosterone Replacement Treatment Options

The question that remains is, does low testosterone cause or worsen medical problems like diabetes? Or are people who develop diabetes, or other health problems, simply more likely to also have low testosterone?
Studies to answer these questions are under way, but it will be years before we know the results. In the meantime, remember that testosterone replacement hasn't been conclusively shown to improve any health condition other than testosterone deficiency and its symptoms. For men with low testosterone levels as measured by a blood test who also have symptoms of low testosterone, the decision to take testosterone replacement is one to make with your doctor.

Myths About Sex After 40---Learn why good sex can come with age

Forty may be the new 30, but considering the misconceptions about women's sexuality and desirability after a "certain age," you'd think 40 was the new 80! Whether you blame advertising portrayals of what's "sexy" (Victoria's Secret models, anyone?), or the fact that leading TV and movie roles turn more to the matronly than the hot as actresses age, myths about a more mature women's sexuality abound. "We silently believe that only young people have sex," says Maureen McGrath, RN, a sex-health educator and radio host. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Here, eight myths we're happy to dispel for you.

Myth 1: You don't need sex as you get older.

Truth: It's hard to redefine what the need for sex is after you're done baby-making. And sure, you won't die without sex; it's not food or water. But that doesn't mean you need it any less than other things that bring joy, satisfaction and better emotional and physical health. "Sex gets blood flowing, which brings nutrients to all parts of your body and eliminates waste. Heart pumping, deep breathing—it's all good for you," says Carmella Sebastian, MD, a women's wellness and sexuality expert.

Myth 2: Those extra pounds make you undesirable.

Truth: Repeat after us: Enjoying sex isn't about how you look, but how you feel. "You can have inner confidence at any weight," says McGrath. That said, if you're not feeling your best, go for a brisk, 30-minute walk with your partner rather than have another helping of pasta at dinner. And try to quash that inner monologue that's telling you men don't find less-than-perfect bodies sexy. Ask any guy: If the woman who shares his bed gets naked, he's not seeing a muffin top and cellulite. He's seeing naked. If you're single now and worried that a new lover won't find you desirable, forget that too. "Your lumps, bumps and wrinkles mean nothing to 99% of men over 40," says Bobbi Palmer, founder and CEO of Date Like a Grownup. "What you lack in firmness you more than make up in humor, compassion and experience. Plus, you know your body better than you ever did in your 20s." All those years living in your skin has taught you what turns you on that you just didn't know two decades ago. And what's sexier to a man than a woman who knows what she wants in bed?

Myth 3: Your body isn't sexual once you enter perimenopause.

Truth: The changes that occur in the (sometimes) years before menopause, such as irregular periods, mood changes and lack of vaginal lubrication will affect your sex life. But a changing body is still a sexual body, says Dr. Sebastian, and recognizing that is important. Avoiding sexual activity may only worsen things. Take dryness: Using a lubricant such as KY Jelly helps, but so does the act of having sex: "When blood goes to the genitals, the tissues remain healthy," encouraging natural lubrication. Hot flashes and fatigue associated with perimenopause can wreak havoc on your energy levels, says McGrath, so talk to your doctor about possible hormonal remedies. And look on the bright side: This can be a time of experimentation and freedom with sex that you didn't have when young kids were underfoot. "Introduce a vibrator, experiment with self-stimulation, try new positions," suggests McGrath.

Myth 4: You're too tired for sex.

Truth: This one persists for good reason—it makes sense that you'd be more worn-out now than you were 20 years ago. But it's more likely that "I'm too tired" is an excuse to avoid sex. Being chronically out of energy can trigger a sex drive dip, so ask your doctor to check your thyroid levels and test you for anemia, says McGrath. And look at your lifestyle: Maybe you need to pare down your commitments and get better sleep by regulating your bedtime and removing un-sexy (and rest-interfering) TVs and computers from your bedroom. Other than that, "don't wait to have sex until the end of the day when you're exhausted," says Dr. Sebastian. If you're a morning person, try a little wake-up nookie, or if possible, a bit of afternoon delight.  

Myth 5: You don't have to worry about birth control.

Truth: Tell that to the legion of late-life moms toting their beloved "oops" babies! "It's hard to know exactly when you'll stop ovulating, even if you're in the middle of perimenopause," says Dr. Sebastian. "To check when you can skip protection, your doctor can do a blood test." The level of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in your blood can reveal whether you're still fertile, but levels fluctuate during perimenopause, so even a low FSH level may be misleading. That's why it's better to be safe than sorry. Menopause isn't official until you've gone a full year without a period, says McGrath. In a new relationship? You still have to protect against sexually transmitted diseases, so use condoms until you're sure about your partner's past.

Myth 6: It's normal for sex drive to drop as you age.

Truth: Actually, it may be the opposite. "It's more likely for younger women to experience dips in libido," says McGrath, probably thanks to the hormonal upheavals of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and dealing with young children. So if you have little or no desire for any kind of sex—even with George Clooney in your fantasies—see your doctor to be sure you don't have a medical condition, such as thyroid issues or certain cancers, says Dr. Sebastian. Beyond that, libido has a lot to do with how easily you can talk to your partner, and how bothered either of you is by how often you have sex. For one couple, once a month feels fine, whereas for others three times a week is practically nothing. "Figure out how much sex is enough before you decide you have a libido problem," says McGrath.

Myth 7: Things that once turned you on no longer work because of your age.

Truth: "This is more a fact of a long relationship than aging," says McGrath. You might be bored or in a rut (and so might your man), so address it as soon as possible, advises Dr. Sebastian. Get a video, buy a book, shake things up. Have a whole range of moves in your sexual arsenal because different things turn you on not just in different stages of life but on different days!

Myth 8: If I've never had great orgasms, it's too late now.

Truth: This is easy to debunk, says Dr. Sebastian, who admits, "I was never multi-orgasmic until after I had my second child." She attributes the change to a newfound sense of self-confidence, an ability to start asking for what she wanted in bed. Are you stressed? Did you have a fight with your spouse? Did you recently get a promotion at work and are feeling good about yourself? These all can affect your ability to climax. It's never too late to explore what turns you on, says McGrath. "People think they're born knowing how to be a great lover, but it has to be learned."

Saturday, June 29, 2013

After three failed IVF attempts, at 41 she turned to a surrogate. Now she's pregnant... So, Caprice, will you love the baby you'll give birth to more than your surrogate's?

Expectant mother Caprice Bourret is ticking off the days until she can welcome her two unborn sons into the world. At 41, the former model can’t wait to become a first-time mum. After a miscarriage and three failed rounds of IVF she’d almost given up hope of ever having children. 
With not long to go, she can already visualise her two little boys. Scans reveal both have ‘very long legs and massive feet’ like their 6ft 3in Dad, millionaire financier Ty Comfort. 
Freshly decorated nurseries await the brothers at the West London home Caprice shares with Comfort, 47, and their names have already been put down for exclusive London pre-prep schools.
Caprice was told she could not have children, but when she turned to a surrogate she found out she was pregnant just one month later
Caprice was told she could not have children, but when she turned to a surrogate she found out she was pregnant just one month later
‘I can’t wait to hold my two little boys in my arms. After everything I’ve been through, I couldn’t be more excited and feel incredibly lucky,’ she says. 
‘I’ve gone from the sheer despair of being told I couldn’t have any children to this blessed position of having two healthy sons. I call them my miracle babies.’ 
The boys’ welcome into the world will be somewhat staggered, however. Extraordinarily, Caprice’s firstborn is due on August 28, while her second son is expected on September 28.

Told by fertility doctors she’d never carry a baby of her own after three failed IVF attempts, Caprice and Ty decided to use an American ‘gestational carrier’ — or surrogate — to give birth to their biological child.
Remarkably, exactly one month after discovering their surrogate was pregnant, Caprice — against all odds — conceived her second son completely naturally.
So she will be eight months’ pregnant with her second son when she brings their first son home from hospital. Come the end of September, she will be juggling two babies — one slightly more newborn than the other.
It sounds a challenge to say the least, especially as Caprice may be delivering her second son by Caesarean section (her scans show she is carrying a very big baby), but she is nothing if not totally prepared for this potential logistical nightmare.
Caprice and her husband Ty Comfort were delighted when they found that Caprice was pregnant and healthy
Caprice and her husband Ty Comfort were delighted when they found that Caprice was pregnant and healthy
‘I don’t feel daunted at all, I’m positively embracing it. I’ve been to hell and back to become a mum. If I had seven children I’d be over the moon,’ says Caprice, who will fly out to the U.S. on August 1, when she’s 32 weeks’ pregnant, in readiness for her first son’s birth. 
‘Of course I’ll need help, but I’ve worked hard all my life to prepare for this event.’
She has already hired a maternity nurse and two nannies to help her through the challenging first few months of motherhood.
‘I don’t want my sons to be brought up by nannies, but the reality is that I’ll be in that last difficult month of my pregnancy when my first son arrives. I need to know there’s help if I need it, but I’m hoping I’ll be the one going to them at night.’
So now that she knows she can conceive naturally, does she have any regrets about turning to surrogacy, still viewed by some as controversial?
On the contrary. Caprice believes it was her only rational choice after being left with fertilised embryos from IVF that doctors insisted she would be unable to carry to full term. 
‘My mum told me: “You’re blessed to have this option. You have a biological child and someone willing to carry it for you. You’ve met the man of your dreams, you’ve waited 39 years for this, why are you even questioning it?” ’
The couple decided to proceed and were put in touch with a specialist agency in the U.S. by their fertility doctor. In Britain, commercial surrogacy is illegal, but some American states permit it.
Caprice is unable to talk about the terms of the agreement with her ‘gestational carrier’ under the terms of the contract, but says she never regarded it as a purely business transaction.  
‘Some women may be motivated by money, but there are some really amazing ladies — like our gestational carrier — who genuinely want to help couples have a family,’ says Caprice, who has never met her surrogate but speaks to her regularly on the phone.
Quirky maternity style: Caprice Bourret shows off her neat bump in an orange, bug-print dress at the Serpentine Summer Party on Wednesday night
Caprice Bourret shows off her neat bump in an orange, bug-print dress at the Serpentine Summer Party on Wednesday night
‘This particular woman really stood out for us. She was very calm and such a good mum to her own kids. She already had children and didn’t want any more, but loved being pregnant. Family was important to her and she wanted to be able to help other people achieve that.
‘We chose her because we wanted someone who didn’t drink, had never done drugs, who didn’t smoke and who was quite religious, because that would say something about a person’s morals and values. It was a very anxious time because you’re entrusting your child to someone else, but she was wonderful.’
Pregnancy certainly suits her, and she somehow manages to look effortlessly glamorous while sporting a growing baby bump. For a former top model, she seems remarkably relaxed about the changes to her body.
‘I love being pregnant. I couldn’t care less for my figure,’ she laughs. 
‘I don’t care if I put on 5st or 10st.  I just want to have healthy children.’
As it is, there is absolutely no risk of Caprice putting on 10st. Apart from craving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ‘jalapeno peppers on everything’, her diet is religiously healthy and totally organic.

 'I've been to hell and back to become a mum'
Likewise, Caprice’s gestational carrier had to agree — as part of their contract — to eat an exclusively organic diet to ensure the health of the son she calls ‘Junior One’ (she and Ty have yet to agree on names).
But as Caprice feels the kicks of Junior Two growing inside her, isn’t there a risk she will bond more with the child she gives birth to than her older son?
‘Absolutely not,’ she replies. ‘I feel so connected to both of them. In fact, at the moment, I feel a little bit closer to my first child, for some reason. I can’t explain it. I think the son I’m carrying will be a Daddy’s boy.’
Born in California to an American mother and French-Canadian father, Caprice became a household name after moving to the UK in 1996 to work as a model. She appeared on more than 250 magazine covers and now runs her own company By Caprice Lingerie Ltd. Most recently she was one of the celebrities coached by Olympic diver Tom Daley for the ITV show Splash.
Caprice says she always wanted a family, but like many career women, she put it off until it was almost too late.
‘When my modelling career took off in my mid-20s, I started making a lot of money. I was a wild child and embraced it,’ says Caprice.
‘I was a little bit irresponsible and it took a long time for me to mature. Heaven knows I’ve had a lot of boyfriends. It wouldn’t have been right to have children when I was younger because I hadn’t yet met the right man and couldn’t provide stability.
Caprice could hardly contain her excitement discussing her two miracle babies
Caprice welled up discussing her earlier miscarriage
Caprice was overcome with emotion and broke down in tears as she discussed her two baby sons, expected this summer, and also the traumatic miscarriage she went through in December 2011
‘But at 35, I thought: “OK Cap, if you want to have a family, it’s time to get serious and pick the right man”, but that didn’t happen overnight.’ 
She was 39 when she met Ty Comfort through mutual friends. He was the handsome former chairman of a private equity firm. Smitten, within two months of meeting, they were already talking long-term plans and envisaging a lifetime together. 
Caprice was thrilled when she fell pregnant the first month they started trying to conceive and assumed she would sail through the next nine months without complications.
‘I had no idea what was in store for me and I was destroyed when I went for a scan after a positive pregnancy test and there was no heartbeat,’ says Caprice. 
‘The sonographer said “Are you sure you’re pregnant?” She told me to go home and come back in a week. Four days later I started to miscarry and spent two days in hospital. It was terrible, both physically and emotionally.’ 
Caprice and Ty decided to consult a fertility specialist in America, fearful that a genetic or chromosomal abnormality might have caused her to miscarry. 
Although tests revealed the couple were both healthy, they decided to embark on IVF to increase their chances of having a healthy baby, as the embryos would be tested for abnormalities before implantation.
Fertility treatment was, Caprice admits, an ordeal physically and emotionally. She had to inject herself with drugs every day to stimulate her ovaries so that her eggs could be harvested for in vitro fertilisation with Ty’s sperm, and her moods were all over the place.
Caprice and Ty Comfort are expecting their two baby boys in August and September
Caprice and Ty Comfort are expecting their two baby boys in August and September
Instructed by her doctor to be bed-ridden for ten days, she says: ‘You lie there thinking: “Oh my God, I feel nauseous, could I be pregnant?” Then, after ten days of living hell, you go to the doctor’s office for a blood test praying for it to be good news,’ she says. 
‘I went through that three times and each time the doctor phoned to say it had failed it was worse than the last. He didn’t have to tell me, I knew from the tone of his voice.’ 
Caprice was told her womb lining was too thin to support a pregnancy and the couple’s best option for having a family was to use a surrogate. The good news, they were told, was that their fertilised embryos were healthy.
‘At first I was reluctant because I was desperate to carry my own child. I wanted to be able to bond with my baby for the nine months before birth,’ says Caprice.
‘But I had to accept that just wasn’t going to happen. I could either go away and sulk, or — if I wanted a baby — look at the next best option,’ says Caprice.
When her embryos were implanted, Caprice’s surrogate fell pregnant with twins — a boy and a girl — on the first attempt. ‘When she called to tell me, we were both screaming with joy. We felt so grateful to her for giving us this remarkable gift,’ says Caprice.

 'Miscarriage was terrible, physically and emotionally'
It was at this time Caprice agreed to take part in the ITV show Splash, learning to dive off 10m boards under the guidance of Olympic diver Tom Daley.
‘I didn’t think I could conceive, so I threw myself into that show. The training was gruelling and my body was black and blue from slamming into the water,’ says Caprice, who believes she conceived two days before appearing on the live TV shows. 
‘It was Ty who noticed my period was two months late. I told him “Honey, it’s just stress at work, trust me it’s nothing.” I didn’t feel sick, or tired.’
It was only when Caprice noticed her breasts were feeling tender that she took a pregnancy test. 
When it showed positive she was convinced it was faulty. ‘I was shouting at the pregnancy test: “How dare you give me false hope!” I asked my assistant to go out and buy every brand of pregnancy test. 
‘When they all showed positive, I was stunned. I immediately called Ty and said: “You’re not going to believe this. We’re pregnant!” He was as shocked and overjoyed as I was.’
But the following day, says Caprice, was the worst of her life. Her surrogate called her to say a scan revealed she’d lost one of the twins — a daughter. Shortly afterwards, Caprice started to bleed and thought she was miscarrying again. 
‘I was in a terrible state. I called my GP and he arranged an emergency scan at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where I had miscarried before,’ says Caprice.
Caprice and her partner Ty Comfort are expecting their children in August and SeptemberCaprice in London today after the appearance on ITV's This Morning
Caprice spoke about her struggle with fertility, about going through several rounds of IVF treatment, and how she suffered a painful miscarriage in her attempt to get pregnant with her millionaire partner Ty Comfort
‘I remember lying on the examination couch, preparing for the worst, when the sonographer turned the screen towards me. I said: “Oh my God, my baby has a heartbeat.” Then I started to cry.
‘They told me everything was normal and the bleeding was just the embryo embedding into the lining, but I was incredibly worried. It wasn’t until blood tests showed there was no chromosomal abnormalities that I felt I could start to enjoy my pregnancy.’
Yet even when Caprice relaxed into her pregnancy, there was more stress to come. Last week she was rushed to hospital suffering from low blood pressure and a high temperature. It was yet another anxious moment and although she and baby were given a clean bill of health, she admits she will not stop worrying until both her sons are safely delivered.
And Caprice admits she also felt anxious at the prospect of breaking the news of her pregnancy to her gestational carrier. 
‘I was worried she’d be terribly upset about having given us this gift — thinking I couldn’t carry my own baby — only for me to fall pregnant,’ says Caprice.
‘It’s not easy being pregnant, especially when the baby is not your own. I didn’t know how she’d react.
She was silent for a moment and then said: “This is so amazing.” She was so happy and excited for us.’
Caprice and Ty will both be present for the birth of their first son. They will be the first to hold him, just as they will be the first to hold their second son one month later when he is born.
‘They’re both our sons and we’ll love them equally. It makes no difference that I carried just one of them,’ says Caprice, whose surrogate is receiving counselling to prepare her for relinquishing the baby she has carried to his biological parents.
‘We regard our gestational carrier as part of our family now. She’ll be the boys’ auntie and when they’re old enough to understand we’ll explain the incredible journey we took in order to have them.’
Now, that’ll be quite some bedtime story.

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Women are just as fertile at 39 as they are at 27: Professor dismisses theory that it's harder to get pregnant in your thirties

  • Psychologist Jean Twenge claims that there is a just a 'marginal difference' between falling pregnant at 27 and 39
  • Warns that some statistics widely touted today are actually based on data from French birth records from 1670 to 1830

  • Many women who juggle career and travel plans fear 'leaving it too late' to have a baby.
    But one professor has dismissed the theory that once women pass 30 they will immediately begin to suffer fertility problems.
    Psychologist Jean Twenge has controversially claimed that there's not really a difference between trying to get pregnant in your late twenties and your late thirties.
    Psychologist Jean Twenge has controversially claimed that there's not really a difference between trying to get pregnant in your late twenties and your late thirties
    Psychologist Jean Twenge has controversially claimed that there's not really a difference between trying to get pregnant in your late twenties and your late thirties
    The San Diego State University professor has refuted statistics that claim there is a significant difference in the odds of getting pregnant in your late twenties.

    Prof Twenge claims that many women are reading statistics based on outdated records, taken from a time before antibiotics, electricity and advanced medical treatment were in use and the quality of life was much lower.
    The professor has dismissed statistics that claim there is a significant difference in the odds of getting pregnant in your late twenties
    The professor has dismissed statistics that claim there is a significant difference in the odds of getting pregnant in your late twenties
    Writing in The Atlantic, the author - who has written the book 'The Impatient Women's Guide to Getting Pregnant' - says that she too feared she would be left childless as she had not tried for a baby and had passed 30.
    She said: 'Most books and websites I read said that one in three women ages 35 to 39 would not get pregnant within a year of starting to try. 
    'The first page of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's (ASRM) 2003 guide for patients noted that women in their late 30s had a 30 per cent chance of remaining childless altogether. 
    'The guide also included statistics that I’d seen repeated in many other places: a woman’s chance of pregnancy was 20 percent each month at age 30, dwindling to five per cent by age 40.
    'Every time I read these statistics, my stomach dropped like a stone, heavy and foreboding.'
    She counsels that there is a just a marginal difference between falling pregnant at 27 and 39 - despite what the majority of websites and books say.
    Instead, she says that some statistics widely touted today are actually based on data from French birth records from 1670 to 1830.
    She also rubbishes the widely cited statistic that one in three women ages 35 to 39 will not be pregnant after a year of trying, which is based on a 2004 article in the Human Reproduction journal, which used the historical record as its source.
    She says that women are now basing their pregnancy plans on these antiquated reports, and should focus on modern studies, that show a more encouraging outlook when it comes to getting pregnant.
    She rubbished the widely cited statistic that one in three women ages 35 to 39 will not be pregnant after a year of trying
    She rubbished the widely cited statistic that one in three women ages 35 to 39 will not be pregnant after a year of trying
    She said a 2004 study in Obstetrics & Gynecology studied the chances of pregnancy among 770 European women, and found positive results.
    The study, led by David Dunson, discovered that of the subjects who had sex at least twice a week, 82 per cent of 35-to-39-year-old women conceived within a year, compared with 86 per cent of 27-to-34-year-olds.
    This showed that the fertility rates of women in their late 20s and early 30s was almost identical - which will bring considerable relief to worried women who fear that their chasing other priorities has wiped their chances of motherhood.
    The author seeks to calm the panic many women feel, using herself as an example - she had three children and all after the age of 35.
    She says fertility problems are not solely based on a woman's age, and points to endometriosis and blocked fallopian tubes for causing difficulties in conceiving.
    But her comments have been met with criticism from other experts, who insist that age does significantly affect fertility.
    Lord Winston, The Times reports, claims that medical data collated over 20 years shows a definite decline in fertility with age and, while warning doctors from urging women to have children at a young age, says that there is good evidence of a decline with age.
    The newspaper also reported that consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Valentine Akende said that generally, women's fertility rates began to slip at 31, dropped at age 37 and sharply fell after age 41.
    But despite Prof Twenge's reassurances, it would seem that the statistics have had a lasting impact on women's views of motherhood.
    According to a new survey, nearly 70 per cent of British women think a woman having a baby in her forties is too old - with the most critical being the older generation. 
    Of those surveyed, over three quarters aged 55 and over were against woman having a baby in their fifth decade. 
    The survey, undertaken by YouGov on behalf of First Response Early Pregnancy test, appears to show a deep-rooted discomfort with women who delay motherhood until their fifth decade.

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