06/25/2013 05:38 EDT | Updated 08/25/2013 05:12 EDT

Having a Baby After 35 Is Not as Scary as it Used to Be

Ever since I was a young adult, old enough to know and care about the birds and the bees, I have known that as you get older, the chances of having a baby decreases. And 35 has always been the golden age I have heard about, after which time, the chances of conceiving decrease dramatically.

A new study, however, says that 35 isn't the scary age once thought, that women in fact have at least five more decent childbearing years before they need to be concerned that their fertile days are dwindling.

Not only that, this recent study let out the little known secret that we have been basing our perceptions of fertility on studies that are older our great-grandparent's great-grandparents.

As reported in New York Magazine's The Cut:

"Someone more qualified to parse fertility studies than your average journalist (and who happened to have three children after 35) went back to look at the data and found the baby panic 'is based largely on questionable data.' Writing in the Atlantic, San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge says the widely cited figure that one in three women ages 35 to 39 will not be pregnant after a year of trying is based on French birth records from 1670 to 1830. '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,' she writes."

Related: 10 Surprising Facts About Pregnancy

So, in other words, it's not that there has been some Earth-shattering breakthrough. Apparently we just heard the stats from hundreds of years ago and have been unknowingly referring back to them for generations upon generations.

The bad news is that we have been feeling that biological tick faster than necessary for centuries. The good news is that now we can fend off nagging would-be grandmothers that putting our career first for a bit longer won't be the risk to my future family that we once thought.

Written by Leslie Kennedy for

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