Pregnancy averages: from deed to baby

Back in the ol country, with its extremely conservative -well, hypocritical- attitudes, getting pregnant is way too easy, with the joke being that some women get pregnant from looking at a guy’s underwear hanging on the washline. I assure you I have 3 cousins who got pregnant virgin, and I know of at least 6 people who got pregnant the one and only time they did the deed. And don’t get me started on the over 45, should name the baby menopause bunch.

Fast forward to last night, when I was talking to the vet and showing her my sister’s pic. Sis got pregnant after trying for almost two years -naturally, as most additional help available in most civilized places is illegal there. This delay was unheard of in the family and caused a conmotion. The vet told me that was absolutely normal here, with her waiting two and a half years and having two miscarriages, also considered normal, before succeeding in producing a healthy baby. A small survey done today at the local beauty parlor also confirms this timeline is considered average.

It got me thinking as I have been working on a piece related to measures to aliviate the problem of low birth rate in Taiwan, and recent statistics of women remaining single longer. Plus I also recalled my coworkers from Taiwan in the ol country also having to take extra time and devotion to get their bundles of joy.

I am starting to suspect that aside from overwork and little sleep, there must be something in the water reducing the population, a la my dear Communist schoolmate rants. Or worse. Maybe it is us in the ol country that have excess whatever. Am I thinking too much?

There’s probably a lot of contributing factors. I definitely throw in poor health (lack of exercise), long hours, males drinking from plastic bottles (which contain estrogenic chemicals), males (again) consuming a large amount of soy products and many women choosing to have kids later on.

Throw in a high abortion rate too (look at the male:female ratio to get an idea).

Many want the deed but not sure they want the title. They only want to practice at baby making :slight_smile:

Your experience in the ol’ country is normal (apart from the virgin thing, which seems a bit unlikely!). Most animals conceive pretty much on demand.

As Dr Jellyfish said, it’s probably no one single thing, most likely a few dozen. it’s a well-known fact that all animals reduce their birth rate as a response to population pressure, but nobody (AFAIK) is quite sure precisely how this occurs. So that’s probably one driving factor. Then there are all the global problems that affect Taiwan as much as (or worse than) anywhere else: toxic and estrogenic compounds in the food and water, poor diet, stress, etc etc.

Anyways, the last thing Taiwan actually needs is more babies. The place is already overpopulated.

A lot of people are more concerned about their quality of life and don’t want babies, which is as good as decision as any, with over population and so on. Then there’s the parents who give their kids to a nanny from Monday to Friday and see their kids for a few hours over the weekend so they can take a few Facebook pics and then send their kids back off to their nanny. I’m not just talking about nannies watching kids during work hours, I literally mean packing the kids off and not seeing them at all for at least 5 days. I know one couple (wife’s friends) who are planning to do this with their child who hasn’t even been born yet. Again, the reason they give is “quality of life”. I asked them who’s quality of life, yours or your unborn child’s? I just feel sorry for the kids of these weekend parents, who choose to have kids then not see them.

By virgin I mean hymen intact -medically speaking and by reasons I’d leave to the imagination…

Mmm, I like that theory of natural reduction. Will the estrogenic compounds also reduce fertility in women?

Tommy, I’d call that a buying option, or a lease!

HHII: that would be the end result numbers/statistics. What I mean is people actually trying as a couple to obtain rugrats.

Dr.Jelly: apparently, this situation of taking a long time to conceive is not seen as a problem, and seems from what I gathered well known and accepted, from a long time ago, young or old.

As to the remote parenting, well, that is still a choice. Again, I am focusing on achieving a goal beyond your choice: impregnating or getting impregnated.

Don’t know whether this is helpful or not, but I remember being told in the UK that a healthy couple with high fertility should be able to conceive within a year, but even taking two years to naturally conceive is quite normal.

Historically, Taiwanese like to have a lot of children due to lock of birth control methods, agriculture society and the elderly are supported by their children. In the late 60’s and the beginning of the 70’s. The government was concerned about over population, started family planning program with the slogan of “Two are perfect” to encouraged people to have only 2 children per family. Local clinics were providing free gynecological examines and birth control. … CtNode=103

Education of women is the best population reduction method. Due to the exam systems in Asia, girls are doing quite well with obtaining higher education (once the prejudice against education females were removed). This is why you see low birth rate throughout Asia. I believe, more and more women chooses not to marry on top of low birth rate.

I think it is a sociological phenomenon throughout Asia. … 05/?no-ist

Only Urban lifestyles talk about stress and pollutants as a source of infertility. In rural or even slum dwellers who live in the most toxic environments with dirty water, crappy food, the stress of being beaten up, providing for a family blah blah, you don’t see any fall in fertility. Go into any slum in India and each household has like 5-7 kids despite being offered free contraception of EVERY kind and health checks and what nots. Men are abusive drunks, women take care of the kids and then also go work as house helps in 5-6 homes, wash clothes by hand, carry water to their huts, I mean do everything and still get pregnant with their 6th child. Each woman has also had 3-4 abortions. The man is mostly abusing any and every substance, gambles, drinks like crazy, looks starved and then manages to impregnate like a stud.

I don’t know how all these Urban theories go Kaput in rural or poverty rich environments. Look at any poor country and they definitely don’t have a zero birth rate.

True, there needs to be more research done on this. I’ve also heard of many infertility problems here as has my wife. I wonder if marrying later is the main contributor? Undoubtedly there are a few reasons.

I’m just guessing, but I suspect:

  1. The choice aspect, as per jcmd’s post. A lot of Taiwan’s “infertility” is voluntary.
  2. People who live in slums have pretty much nothing else to do except make babies. If slums work anything like British council estates, life revolves around humping. It’ll be a bit different because there’s no social welfare payments propping things up, but the substitute for that is to raise one kid who goes off to the big city and supports a bunch of layabouts “back home”.
  3. Education. There must be plenty of uneducated people who genuinely don’t know what causes babies, or at any rate don’t know enough details to reduce their chances of getting kid #6.
  4. Evolutionary pressure. Governments like to credit themselves with reducing birth rate, but (except in draconian cases) birth rate falls naturally when a certain level of affluence and security is reached. Conversely, people have a more kids when there’s a big chance some of them won’t survive. This seems to be true regardless of social pressure or public education - for example, I remember a study somewhere that showed Korean birthrate fell to replacement level before the government started a population-control campaign.

No.2 is dead wrong. I think the only sex that happens in slums is the kind where everyone is dead tired, there are 5 children and 2 other relatives under the same roof and the slum is a one room wonder, the man is drunk, the woman bored, bones aching both have put in 12 -14 hours of work and they’ve probably hit each other or someone else a couple of hours earlier.

The rest is all true. I was just saying that all the plastic bottle theories don’t work in these surroundings. Besides the point here was why do people have to ‘try’ to have babies in certain places whilst in others you don’t even have to do the deed flawlessly!

This is quite annoying, if males have too much testosterone from an external source, lowered chances. Too much estrogen, lowered chances. It’s too finely tuned… :/…

Ah, one more factor to consider: blood types

[quote]A woman’s blood group could influence her chances of getting pregnant, scientists have found.

Those with blood type O may struggle to conceive due to a lower egg count and poorer egg quality, while those with blood group A seem to be more fertile.
Ovarian reserve tends to decline significantly as a woman reaches her middle and late 30s and faster in the early 40s.

The study found that women who were blood type O were twice as likely to have an FSH level greater than 10 as those in any other blood group. The findings held true even when a woman’s age was taken into account and the fact the women came from two different clinics.

Meanwhile, those with blood group A were “significantly less likely” to have an FSH level greater than 10 than those who were blood group O.

People with blood group A carry the A antigen, which is a protein on the surface of the cell, but this is absent in people with O type.

Dr Edward Nejat, from the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at Albert Einstein College, is presenting his findings at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) conference in Denver.

He said: "In both groups of women that were seeking fertility treatment, those with blood type O were twice as likely to have an FSH level over 10 than those with blood types other than O.

"We found that women with A and AB – women with the A blood group gene – were protected from this effect of diminished ovarian reserve.

"From the population we studied, and the fact it was two different centres and there was a good mix of patients ethnically and racially, we can say that blood type O was associated with an FSH level greater than 10 in women seeking infertility evaluation and/or treatment.

Ironically, most people in the ol country seem to be O. Back to the drawing board…

Maybe Taiwan’s like Japan, where people simply don’t have enough sex (as several studies have indicated). I wouldn’t be too surprised; people get off work late and exhausted, and go home to uninviting urban caves where they live with a gaggle of relatives and semi-relatives and nearly no privacy. That’s got to put a damper on the mood, not to mention the ready availability of condoms and other types of birth control. So people may be trying for two years, but over those two years its possible they have a lot less sex than their counterparts in other parts of the world.

Maybe, just maybe, a contributing factor is the government campaign in the late 70s or early 80s to limit birth rates (hilariously ironic in today’s context): 一個不嫌少,兩個恰恰好 I think was the slogan. To some extent, that has influenced people’s opinions on having children. A generation ago, it was normal to have 8 or 9 siblings. Today, it’s rare to have more than one.

Perhaps it’s the subconscious at work. Economic growth is accompanied by baby booms; economic stagnation maybe by infertility.

Hello, I have 2 questions:
1- What is the “ol’ country” ?
2- What can I do about the estrogenic materials in plastic bottles while in taiwan?

Don’t drink from plastic bottles. What’s inside them usually won’t do you much good either.

Apart from that, pretty much nothing. The human estrogen receptor is somewhat … promiscuous and will accept a wide range of synthetic chemicals, which may act as either agonists (they bind and activate) or antagonists (they bind and block). These are in your water and your food, mostly as industrial pollutants and pesticides. Absolutely buggerall you can do about it except write to your local representative, who will :roflmao: and pass your letter around to his mates at the pub.

[quote=“trak”]Hello, I have 2 questions:
1- What is the “ol’ country” ?
2- What can I do about the estrogenic materials in plastic bottles while in Taiwan?[/quote]

The ol country is a banana republic that I avoid to mention as other people who also come from there may be upset about me calling it many things, among them banana republic- which actually it was ,and the most serious mass infertility cases do come from, the use of banned pesticides on banana crops there, not to mention birth defects, cancer rates above average, destruction of local flora and fauna, etc. etc. etc.

Talking about bananas and chemicals, I was looking at some nice looking bananas at our local grocer and I asked if they were organic -as they often sell organic produce. They laughed like crazy and assured me bananas are the fruits with less pesticides so it did not matter if they were not organic. A lady shopping there also laughed and told me everyone knew that. sigh :noway:

As to plastic, I only take bottled water or what my Dad calls “sewers waters of yankee imperialism”. The first is a slight improvement over water from our pipes/our water filter machine, which I do not trust at all. At least bottled water has better flavor. Did I mention we had 3 cases of brain cancer in the past year at the office? The second one is not good for anything but dissolving clots in your pipes and degreasing bolts.

As to reproduction, here is a tidbit with TMI, which I will add in spoiler for those of squeamish tendencies. You’ve been warned:

So, my brother Doctor Peng was telling me that he managed to impregnate his wife even though there is only one ball working. The left one was lost in a recent bout with a hernia that ruptured into the sac with liquid and yuck yuck ensued. “I can do it even with 1/4 of one ball”, he bragged. TMI. :hand: Interesting data, but not very comforting for my wallet. Too many Christmas presents.

Technically this is true. Mom-and-pop farmers like you have in Taiwan might be growing on a quarter-acre or less, with plenty of other plants. I read somewhere that the Cavendish variety is discouraged here because they’re prone to fungus and parasites. Under those circumstances, banana diseases are quite rare, so people who know what they’re doing don’t bother spraying. If it does happen, it generally just results in a yield reduction. You cut down the offending plants and life carries on.

The problem is that bananas in third-world countries are grown by multinationals on massive plantations, which is pretty much guaranteed to result in disastrous fungal epidemics. They don’t really give a shit what works and what doesn’t, or whether the locals are getting cancer, as long as they’re making profits. When I was in Davao there were bananas as far as the eye can see, with an ominous sign listing the time/date of their “aerial spraying schedule”. Exactly what the locals were supposed to do while they were raining down death from the skies is a bit of a mystery. The sad part is that uneducated farmers see foreigners spraying, and assume it must be necessary, or at least “modern” and “scientific”. So they spray too.

I was messing around on my little plot the other day and a local wanders past muttering under his breath: “ai-yo, if you let your place look like that [my land intentionally looks a lot like jungle] it’ll be full of mosquitoes”. The fact that I was right there, conspicuously not being bitten by mosquitoes, was apparently irrelevant to his expert assessment. Spraying insecticides in the tropics does far more harm than good, but people do it anyway because of old wives’ tales from the 1950s.

Rainwater catchment. I’m surprised more people don’t attempt this, especially in high rainfall areas. Not enough for showering etc, but good for drinking and cooking as long as you have a proper (self-cleaning) catchment system and a filter.