29-year-old Amanda Seyfried’s biological clock is tickin’ like this, and she wants a child “badly.” In an interview with Marie Claire UK, she discussed her desire to be a mother, but referenced some questionable studies about pregnancy in the process.

“I keep feeling like my eggs are dying off...Once you’ve turned 30, you might only have a 20 percent [chance] of getting pregnant [each cycle]. And that’s if everything is working well. Isn’t that crazy?”

OK, Amanda. You want to have a baby but you’re worried it’s getting too late. I get it. Actually, I’m a man who will never possibly understand what it means to have eggs and want to get pregnant, so maybe I don’t get it at all, but I think you should stop worrying so much! Again, who the hell am I - but, anxious person to anxious person, I think you should read something!

In this oft-cited 2013 piece in The Atlantic, Jean Twenge writes:

The first page of the ASRM’s 2003 guide for patients noted that women in their late 30s had a 30 percent 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 5 percent by age 40.

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That must be what Amanda was quoting, but there’s one tiny little problem: those statistics are based on birth records from the 17th and 18th centuries.

The chance of remaining childless—30 percent—was also calculated based on historical populations.

In other words, millions of women are being told when to get pregnant based on statistics from a time before electricity, antibiotics, or fertility treatment.

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“In short,” Twenge writes, “the ‘baby panic’—which has by no means abated since it hit me personally—is based largely on questionable data.” She goes on to mention that she gave birth to three children after the age of 35.

So don’t worry about your eggs, Amanda! Worry about the possibility of having to be in Ted 3!


Contact the author at bobby@jezebel.com.

Image via Getty.

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