Jewish Women Giving Birth Later Than Others

Many Delay Motherhood Into Late 30s Despite Risks

thinkstock

By Talia Lavin

Published October 31, 2013, issue of November 08, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(JTA) — American Jewish women are giving birth later than other women, sometimes delaying childbearing into their late 30s or even 40s.

The much-discussed Pew Research Center survey of American Jews released this month found that Jews aged 40 to 59 have an average of 1.9 children, compared to 2.2 children per adult among the same-age cohort of the general public. According to the most recent National Jewish Population Survey, in 2000, Jewish women are substantially more likely to remain childless into their 30s and 40s than American women generally.

“The fertility gap between Jewish and all U.S. women narrows but is not eliminated in later childbearing age groups, indicating that Jewish women delay having children until later years, and then come close to, but do not match, fertility levels of all U.S. women,” the NJPS reported.

So how late can a woman get pregnant?

According to Lawrence Grunfeld, a reproductive endocrinologist and professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, recent studies by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine show that with donor eggs and a healthy mother, pregnancies can be viable through age 55.

“Fertility treatments have improved tremendously year by year,” Grunberg said.

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Pregnancy and childbirth after 35 — what doctors term “advanced maternal age” — can present a number of complications, foremost among them the difficulty of conception. After age 35, fertility in women decreases precipitously.

“In patients of advanced maternal age, many women have a decreased ovarian reserve,” said Ilana Ressler, a reproductive endocrinologist at New York Fertility Services.

“That means that the ovaries are producing fewer eggs. Women are born with a set number of eggs, and we have the most eggs we’ll ever have before we’re born. After a certain age, reserves are much lower.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.