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Women warned of infertility trap

Recent Census data found childlessness had doubled in the past 20 years
Recent Census data found childlessness had doubled in the past 20 years  

LONDON, England -- Women who postpone having babies to focus on their careers are running the risk of remaining childless, a survey has found.

The research, published in TIME magazine, found that more than half of female professionals aged 35 it surveyed, and 42 percent of 40-year-olds, were childless.

"The biological clock is not a myth," said Sylvia Ann Hewlett, who carried out the survey and wrote the book "Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children."

Hewlett, a mother of four with a PhD in economics from Harvard University, told the magazine: "Many women are embracing a "male model" of single-mindedness career focus, and the result is "an epidemic of childlessness" among professional women.

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Pamela Madsen, executive director of the American Infertility Association (A.I.A.) added that by the time a woman is married and settled enough in her career to think of starting a family, it is often too late.

"They are shocked, devastated and angry. Women generally know their fertility declines with age, they just don't realise how much and how fast," Madsen told TIME.

Hewlett, who surveyed 1,647 "high-achieving" women in America, said even as more couples than ever sought infertility treatment, the number of procedures performed jumped 27 percent between 1996 and 1998, there was only so much doctors could do.

Michael Soules, a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said: "There's no promising therapy for age-related infertility. There's certainly nothing on the horizon."

But Kim Gandy, president of the U.S.-based National Organization for Women warns that all the responsibility should not be put on women alone.

"There are two people involved [in baby making] and yet we're putting all the responsibility on women and implying that women are being selfish if they don't choose to have children early," she told TIME.


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