Thursday, February 11, 2010

Perpetuating Myths

Did you happen to catch The New Adventures of Old Christine yesterday? I didn’t see the whole show, but caught enough to get the gist of the premise. Apparently, Old Christine wants to have another baby and is going to use her ex-husband’s sperm to get pregnant. Cut to the scene of her and all of her friends at the doctor’s office for her assessment of if she can still get pregnant. The doctor did an external ultrasound pronouncing her lining thick, her uterus in great shape, her tubes open and her ovaries functioning. Diagnosis: She can still get pregnant, but she’ll have to move quickly. How old is this woman – my guess is that she’s at least 45 (in the show).

I was watching tv with H. and we both sat watching this scene incredulously. H. shook his head and said something to the effect of the show being stupid. He’s been through enough of my appointments to know that most of that stuff is done through an internal ultrasound.

Now, I know the show is a comedy and it’s on in prime time and it would probably make people all squeamish if they mimed a transvaginal ultrasound. But, I can’t help but get ticked off at these shows. 45 year old women do get pregnant spontaneously; however most 45 year old women do not. Even 45 year old women who have fertility treatments have significantly reduced odds of getting pregnant with their own eggs.

It’s just one more example of “Hollywood” spreading this garbage of women in their 40’s getting pregnant easily. The fact is that we have a biological clock and while some will beat the odds, most will not unless they go with donor eggs.

When I had my IVF, my family was so expectant of a successful outcome that they were in shock that it didn’t happen. One of my aunts cancelled a party because she thought she had shingles and that I would be pregnant so she didn’t want to get me sick. I think this is due to tv and false information. For the most part, unless you have a vested interest to go look into fertility stats or read infertility blogs, society only hears about people’s successes. So, it gives this false sense that IVF = Baby.

I don’t know what the point of this post is… the only reason I know what I know is because I was forced to learn. I certainly don’t wish for anyone to have to walk in my shoes. Is it too much to hope for entertainment to be accurate as well as funny?


Spacey said...

I agree with you 100%. The view in the general population is that IVF=baby. I had a really though time educating my family about it, because they were in total denial that it might not work. Every time I would say that it's an x% chance of success, my sister or my mom would say that I don't have to be negative about it. Hello!!! It's called being realistic and knowing that IVF does not equal baby. They were in total shock when I m/c-ed after our IVF. Ignorance is bliss I suppose. Now, they had their reality check so they don't say anything anymore when it comes to stat numbers.

maxandzuzu said...

Hi! It's so funny because I usually DVR that show because we're not completely caught up with all of the episodes. Last night for some reason we just left it on and watched it. I said the same thing when they were doing the u/s outside. My DH doesn't really know the specifics because he's never come into the room with me during that part. I couldn't believe it either! I expect that she's supposed to be 45+ too. This is exactly what perpetuates the IVF myth. My husband and I were both a little stunned when the 1st IVF didn't work. And I was 39/40. We were lead to believe that it wouldn't be a problem if you use IVF. If you are someone who isn't seriously trying you're not looking at the stats. But everyone can't help but follow the media. They're always announcing someone over 39 getting pregnant. It's really sad too. That's why I always say that people view childless couples as "not wanting" children. Because I truly feel that they think that if we wanted them we would've tried IVF. Most people are clueless as to what many of us have been through. And I used to be one of them.

On a side note, we ended up getting a whopping 18" of that darn snow! My arms are killing me! Take care :)