Halle Berry and Dusty Ole Eggs

Halle Berry is showing off her new baby bump.  And she’s telling the press that this was a ‘surprise’ because she’s 47 years old.

English: Actress Halle Berry at the 83rd Acade...

English: Actress Halle Berry at the 83rd Academy Awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does anyone else see a problem with this?

For one thing, maybe she’s 47.  But how many actresses are honest about their age?

For another thing, maybe it was a surprise.  But more likely, it was donor egg.

My next post will be about the ins and outs of donor egg. But the statistics of fertility in women show that the odds of Halle being pregnant with her own eggs are even lower than they were for her to become a major movie star, which we all know are literally one in millions.  The fact is that women begin to lose their fertility starting at age 35.  Prior to that, 15% of couples experience infertility.  After 35, the rate doubles to 30%.  After 40, 60% have difficulty conceiving and the rate drops every year after that.  By the time a woman is 45, her odds of getting pregnant, with fertility treatment or on her own, are less than 1%.  After 45, only the most fertile might have a shot of conceiving with their own eggs.

A famous study of Mennonite women looked at what happened with unrestricted fertility.  The Mennonites marry young, breast feed, have a healthy lifestyle, and use no contraception.  They typically have children every 1-2 years from their late teens until they are no longer fertile.  In the study, the average age of last baby was 41.  The average age of last pregnancy (usually a miscarriage) was 43.  Infertility was low, primarily because of early age of first pregnancy and low rates of STIs.  This is the best case scenario for fertility.

summer mennonites

Mennonite women (Photo credit: atomicity)

Celebrities have been doing the average woman a disservice for many years.  They look great as they age and deny they have had plastic surgery.  They remain thin and claim they eat whatever they like.  The baby bumps on middle-aged actresses are just more of the same schtick. I don’t have personal knowledge of Halle Berry’s medical history.  And if she did use donor egg, it’s nobody’s business but hers. If the average woman does an incredible amount of soul-searching before trying donor egg, I would think someone as genetically blessed as Ms. Berry would have just a difficult a time making the decision to forgo a genetic link to her baby.  But it’s important to remember that celebrities like Halle Berry need to appear young and vibrant because that’s their career.  Fostering the myth that they are having children with their own eggs in menopause is as much a part of celebrity as media-generated love affairs and plastic surgery denial.

Even more importantly, celebrities are not you.  They live their lives. You live yours. Don’t base your medical decisions on what someone says they did in People magazine.  The myth of the aging baby mama is just that, and it’s time for that myth to be debunked.


About womanmdsguide

My name is Dr. Kristen Cain and I'm an infertility doctor with a passion for women's wellness and having the time to live life to its fullest. I write about women's health issues and time management secrets for young professional women because a good life means having the health and time to enjoy it!
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One Response to Halle Berry and Dusty Ole Eggs

  1. Lynne Spreen says:

    I shared this on Twitter and G+. We need to be a bit more realistic about, and at peace with, aging and mortality. For a very good read on the subject, check out Chasing God and Squirrels in Brooklyn by Carol Orsborn. Great post as always, Doc. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/596443107

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