By Bea Mahmood@BEA91XX
If you listen carefully, above the sound of babies' intermittent gurgling and wailing, you can hear the nonchalant tick tock of biological clocks, gently encouraging their owners to procreate before it's too late.
According to a recent study conducted by the Harley Street Fertility Clinic, Asian females are sitting on a 'fertility time-bomb'. It is a little known fact that the fertility of Asian women lowers several years earlier than their Caucasian counterparts. With the age at which it declines being 32 rather than the respectable 35, the pressure is definitely on for many South Asians to start their families before it becomes too difficult.
In light of National Infertility Awareness Week (which began Monday and ends today), Dr. Venkat, Director of The Harley Street Fertility Clinic, released a statement claiming that many Asian couples are in fact 'ignorant' of their 'fertility time-bomb'. This is due to cultural concerns and a lack of awareness of various potential medical issues.
Unexpectedly, it seems South Asian females seem to have inadvertently picked the prone-to-ill-health short straw. According to Dr. Venkat, Asian women are predisposed to peak in fertility at a younger age. Dr. Venkat also suggests that they are also susceptible to several medical conditions which can often severely affect their ability to conceive a child. Medical ailments such as obesity, vaginismus and polycystic ovary syndrome, which affects nearly half of Asian women worldwide (as opposed to a small 22% of Caucasian women), contribute to the reasons why South Asian women may find it difficult to conceive.
Because these conditions are - for the most part - treatable, the primary concern actually becomes the typified South Asian mentality to forgo exploring the reasons behind the inability to conceive. In many cases, culture takes precedence. In highly traditional sectors of the Asian community, there is a gross tendency for women and families to blame the failure to conceive on 'God's will' and sometimes rather unconvincingly, bad luck.
Spreading awareness about infertility and attempting to battle the fatalistic cultural issue, Dr Venkat comments;
I want to use Infertility Awareness Week to help raise awareness of the issue of infertility amongst both Asian men and women – accepting that you might have a problem is the first step in helping to solve it. There are so many options now available to help couples who are struggling to conceive.'
Considering Dr. Venkat's warnings, this is really a call to action to all men sitting at home perusing the internet to lay their laptops down and prepare themselves for a war they definitely don't need protection for. It's time to start trying for a family before it's too late. Perhaps it's time that men take matters into their own hands, insist on having children before it becomes difficult for their partners to conceive.
You might be young but now is a good a time as any to trade in your Coupé for the more sensible Estate. Put down the PS3 and pick up a lukewarm milk bottle. It's time to rid yourself of your carefree young adult life and enter the world of real responsibility. You're about to become responsible for another life, so you can't possibly be still drinking directly from the orange juice carton.
Look forward to the day that you find yourself rocking back and forth in front of your computer comparing how many 'likes' your child's picture, got on Facebook in comparison to so-and-so's kid. Or even the day when you start looking at childless couples in quiet scrutiny, silently judging their seemingly unfulfilled lives. And for each time you realise you no longer smell of Ralph Lauren but of sour, milky sick and for each day you feel as though you've spent half of it changing dirty nappies, just remind yourself; it's better to be confused as the parents at your grandkids' graduation rather than grandparents at your kids' graduation.
And while the bags under every new parent's eyes suggest otherwise, raising a child must be pretty rewarding. You get to shape the mind of another human being, and you get to enjoy parking right outside the supermarket whilst you're at it. Surely that privilege is enough to convince anyone to start churning out kids early?
Really, it's never a bad time to put down the Top Gear mag and exchange it for What to Expect When You're Expecting (you know, the book every pregnant person reads on television). It might even be high time to switch over from the football to Cbeebies to brush up on your Peppa Pig (not the delicious candy - that's Percy pig). I think maybe, just maybe, it's time to become a dad.