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Quiverfull Megafertility Question


SamuraiKatz

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I found this bit of info on cnn

 

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According to the Southern California Center for Reproductive Medicine, a woman in her 20s has a 20-25% chance of conceiving naturally per menstrual cycle. In her early 30s, the chance of pregnancy is 15% per cycle. After 35, the odds of pregnancy without medical intervention are at 10%. After 40, that number falls to 5%, and women over 45 have a 1% chance of conception.

 

Exactly how much modern medicine intervention have Michelle Duggar and Kelly Bates received to achieve their "19 Kids and Counting" full quivers?

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/22/living/pr ... regnancy3p

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Kelly has used hormones to maintain pregnancies. But that article doesn't delve into the fact that some women are just more naturally fertile than others. The average woman in her 20s might have a 20-25% chance of conceiving each month, but some are going to have an 80% chance and some are going to have a 10% chance. Some women also have sex on a much more regular basis than others. A 42-year-old woman who has unprotected sex with her husband every day is going to have a much better chance at getting pregnant than a 42-year-old woman who has sex once or twice a month. Also, it doesn't only depend on the woman, it depends on the man, the quality and number of his sperm, whether he's having problems with sexual dysfunction, etc. Michelle and Jim Bob clearly have above average fertility, and have actively been trying to conceive for years and years.

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Most of us have no idea how fertile we could be since we never tried to have huge families ad were only trying to maximize the chances we would get pg until we had our relatively few children.

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I know from my own genealogical research that it was not unusual for women who married young and had large families to continue having babies into their mid 40s. So yes, fertility does decline with age, but a 45-year-old woman having a baby is not, and has never been, an anomaly.

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One reason women had larger families in the past was that infant and childhood mortality was higher than it is, as many of the diseases that killed are now prevented through vaccines or easily treated with antibiotics. Another thing is that reliable birth control methods became available, and more acceptable in society, so most women tend to delay having children, or limit the number of children they do have.

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But that shouldn't effect the natural likelihood of conceiving. I wonder if women who start having babies when they're in their 20s and just keep going are for some reason more likely to conceive in their 40s. Does your body get into baby-making mode or something, whereas if you wait and don't even start trying until you're 38, your body's not, I don't know... geared up for it? I have absolutely no idea but maybe someone else does.

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That's the average. People with proven fertility are not the average. It's like saying that 1% of all shots at the goal miss. But among people who have gotten a goal, the odds of getting another are way higher than 1%.

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But that shouldn't effect the natural likelihood of conceiving. I wonder if women who start having babies when they're in their 20s and just keep going are for some reason more likely to conceive in their 40s. Does your body get into baby-making mode or something, whereas if you wait and don't even start trying until you're 38, your body's not, I don't know... geared up for it? I have absolutely no idea but maybe someone else does.

It does seem as if women who've been having babies all along have an easier time conceiving at older ages--almost every QF fundie women I can think of who is in her 40s or older has had at least one baby in her 40s, and I doubt most of these women had any medical intervention to become pregnant. But maybe they are just more fertile than average and would have been able to conceive easily at 40+ even if they hadn't had that preceding long streak of baby-making. So in short, I don't know. (I'm so helpful.)

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Just because the odds of conceiving/cycle decrease with age does not mean that it is not possible to conceive without reproductive technology assistance at any premenopausal age. The Duggars and Bates are probably just outliers on the fertility scale. This being said,I hope both women are finished with their reproductive careers and are now focused on looking after the children they already have.

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Kelly has used hormones to maintain pregnancies. But that article doesn't delve into the fact that some women are just more naturally fertile than others. The average woman in her 20s might have a 20-25% chance of conceiving each month, but some are going to have an 80% chance and some are going to have a 10% chance. Some women also have sex on a much more regular basis than others. A 42-year-old woman who has unprotected sex with her husband every day is going to have a much better chance at getting pregnant than a 42-year-old woman who has sex once or twice a month. Also, it doesn't only depend on the woman, it depends on the man, the quality and number of his sperm, whether he's having problems with sexual dysfunction, etc. Michelle and Jim Bob clearly have above average fertility, and have actively been trying to conceive for years and years.

Thank you for understanding statistics. It's a rare gift in the virtual world :D

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It does seem as if women who've been having babies all along have an easier time conceiving at older ages--almost every QF fundie women I can think of who is in her 40s or older has had at least one baby in her 40s, and I doubt most of these women had any medical intervention to become pregnant. But maybe they are just more fertile than average and would have been able to conceive easily at 40+ even if they hadn't had that preceding long streak of baby-making. So in short, I don't know. (I'm so helpful.)

Quick answer cos my phone hates me. I think the main factor is the fecundity (hope that's the right word) not when you start. We started late, both mine were conceived naturally I got pregnant within 6 months with my son when I was 39 and it took 10 months with my daughter who was born shortly after my 42nd birthday. 3/4 of my grandparents came from big families 7/8/10 kids. I'm guessing I'm a (very lucky) outlier in fertility terms.

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I see so many variables possible, that I don't know how they figure these statistics to be accurate. For example, some women have a longer window of fertility each month (better cervical fluid, or produce it more days, etc. making a pregnancy more likely); some women have sex more often, thus increasing their chances; and some women's partners are more or less fertile, thus affecting their chances of becoming pregnant. So maybe these statistics are averages?

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Quick answer cos my phone hates me. I think the main factor is the fecundity (hope that's the right word) not when you start. We started late, both mine were conceived naturally I got pregnant within 6 months with my son when I was 39 and it took 10 months with my daughter who was born shortly after my 42nd birthday. 3/4 of my grandparents came from big families 7/8/10 kids. I'm guessing I'm a (very lucky) outlier in fertility terms.

I like hearing stories like yours that counteract the media drumbeat about how it's IMPOSSIBLE!!11!! for "older" women to become pregnant without assistance. These stories always seem to center around the struggles of women who actually are infertile, not around the much more common stories of those who may take a little longer to conceive just because they're older.

Not that an anecdote is data, but Media, here I sit, 36 and pregnant for the first time, without intervention or even trying. It happens.

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I'm wondering what the average amount of time is between pregnancies for women not using birth control? I got pregnant again when my first was 10 mo. old. (but we only had 2 and I've never been fundie).

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My husband's grandmother was in her late forties when she had her last baby. She only had three children and those were spaced very far apart. I realize that it is statistically less likely to have a child later in life but there are still women who manage to do so.

We had a scare last year but it looks like I was just starting menopause. :dance: No complaints from me. :D

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The statistics quote is not absolute, it's an average. Therefore the majority of people are going to have a greater OR lesser chance than that number.

Most of the kids seem to be about a year or two apart in these giant families. If you don't breastfeed you get your cycle back almost right away. Even if you do, some people (like me) are "lucky" in that we get our cycles back right away too. My eldest (singleton) and my twins are 17 months apart, and I had a miscarriage inbetween. I had a miscarriage thinking that my cycle had started back up again, but no--I got knocked up right away, like a couple weeks after my postpartum appt. And yeah, I was non-scheduling/exclusively breastfeeding, all the stuff that LLL tells you will give you the benefits of staying off the rag for awhile. No dice for me. My cycle returned at 16 weeks after I gave birth to my twins--while I was exclusively nursing them and a toddler.

We used barrier methods for all these years, started to get a little sloppy because my cycles seemed to be getting longer and I thought I might be heading into perimenopause and BAM, got pregnant at 39.

So, had I become QF, I bet I probably could have popped out a ton of kids in theory, but who knows.

Meanwhile I know people who got married young (like at 20) and could never have children until medical intervention OR who had long periods of secondary infertility, ect.

So I don't know that all people HAVE to have intervention to have a crapload of kids. And honestly, just because you required fertility treatment once doesn't mean that you need to forevermore. I have a friend that I met through my mother's of twins club that tried for 10 years to get pregnant, finally IVF took. Then surprise! She got knocked up--with another set of twins (MZ this time). Our kids have the same amount of spacing (17 months apart). Then like a year later she had a singleton, w/o intervention. I'm going to guess she in particular is an outlier though. Bitch LOLed at me on FB when she heard I got knocked up this year. :P

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I think I read that once you have been on fertitlity meds,it changes the ovaries.thus that might be the reason (like kate g. and her sextuplets and bobbi Mccaughy, who had septuplets) have so many multiples the 2nd time around.

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I think people like Michelle and Kelly are a rarity even in the QF movement. I have several women in my family tree who were having children well into their 40s (my great grandmother was in her late 40s) without any medical intervention. I think that it seems surprising to see these women having babies well into their 40s, but if everyone stopped using contraception and actively tried to get pregnant the way these women do, we'd see a lot of 40+ women having babies.

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I'm wondering what the average amount of time is between pregnancies for women not using birth control? I got pregnant again when my first was 10 mo. old. (but we only had 2 and I've never been fundie).

I don't know the average, but I know a handful of women who had children 11-13 months apart (unplanned). And I bled for five weeks after having my son, and then got my period four weeks later. It's been regular since and I breastfed exclusively for six months. The nurses in the hospital after I had my son told me about how exclusive breastfeeding is great birth control and would stop my period for months or over a year, but it didn't apply to me. A lot of my friends have told me the same thing so I think back to back babies would be pretty common if people didn't do anything to try to prevent that.

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I think people like Michelle and Kelly are a rarity even in the QF movement. I have several women in my family tree who were having children well into their 40s (my great grandmother was in her late 40s) without any medical intervention. I think that it seems surprising to see these women having babies well into their 40s, but if everyone stopped using contraception and actively tried to get pregnant the way these women do, we'd see a lot of 40+ women having babies.

Even without quiver full and mega families you still get the mid to late forties/ fiftyish oops baby born to women who thought they were entering menopause and didn't need to worry about birth control anymore, or were using natural family planning but their cycles became irregular.

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Fertility is not only a women issue. Fertility is a COUPLE issue. A woman can be very fertile, but if her husband has "bad" sperm, babies won't come. Saying fertility is a women thing is a way to blame women if they cannot get pregnant... so it's important to remind that women need good sperm to procreate.

Kelly or Michelle are very fertile? yes, they are. But they're having so many children because they're married to very fertile men. And not only they are fertile couples, they are trying to hve the most children the better, so they track cycles, take fertility drugs...it's not exaclty natural fertility.

On the other side, the reason they have 19 children is that they have very good doctors around. Both of them had had dangerous pregnancies and sick babies. In the past, Michelle could have died in her second pregnancy (she had preeclamsia and needed a C-section). Some of little Duggars and little Bates have been in the NICU, so in the past they would have died as babies. And of course the 3 littlest Bates wouldn't be born if her mother hadn't taken progesterone shoots.

I mean, maybe a lot of us could have 10 or 15 children. But we will never know because we are not trying!

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Even without quiver full and mega families you still get the mid to late forties/ fiftyish oops baby born to women who thought they were entering menopause and didn't need to worry about birth control anymore, or were using natural family planning but their cycles became irregular.

That was my great grand mother. She had 17 kids and her last one when she was 50! The family story goes that she thought she was menopausal. But no, it was another pregnancy. I don't know how she managed. They lived in a two up two down house and were very poor. I wonder how many kids she would have had if contraception had been an option for her. Anyway, sadly she died of breast cancer just two years after the youngest was born.

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Also, something to remember is that these studies don't take into account the couple's knowledge of the woman's cycle. This data is for people who just have sex when they feel like it, but don't use contraception, and this is counted as trying to get pregnant. If a woman is really bent on getting pregnant, she can chart and time intercourse precisely, and her chances of getting pregnant then increase drastically.

Despite their claiming they leave everything up to God, I am pretty sure at least some of these fundies chart and time intercourse accordingly in order to maximise their chances of getting pregnant. So I think the numbers would definitely be higher for them.

(My aunt got pregnant without medical intervention and gave birth at 44. She had quite a few early miscarriages and suspected ectopic pregnancies beforehand, but she was definitely still able to conceive naturally and carry a child with no complications.)

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Not every QF woman gets a show on TLC. As pointed out by others, the statistics are on average, not a rule for all women, and the media attention goes to the outliers with better-than-average fertility.

Unassisted conception of babies for moms in their 40s is not new. There are plenty of examples in my family, from a time prior to modern assisted reproduction. The stats just mean that a woman in her 20s is more likely to conceive during a given cycle than a woman in her 40s.

Having 19 kids was not unheard of in the days prior to modern assisted reproduction either. Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien (in office 1993-2003) was the 18th of 19 children - but only 9 survived.

Fertility is highly individual. You get women like me, who ended up with 3 years between my first 2 kids despite actively trying to conceive, and you get woman like my friend, who realized that breastfeeding is not foolproof birth control when she had her kids 11 months apart.

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It seems that the women of the flds, who would be considered quiverfull, have on average 8-12 kids. 19 is definitely above average even for women who don't ever use birth control.

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