Academician Qiao Jie of Peking University Medical Center: How do you think about not marrying and having children to ensure safety?

Contemporary young people always feel troubled when they talk about the experience of being “urged to marry” and “give birth”. In recent years, there has been a saying on the Internet that “no marriage and no childbearing will ensure peace”. Some people think that this statement is too extreme; It has also been argued that this mindset reflects a deeper change at the societal level.

As an expert in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive health, Qiao Jie, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and director of Peking University Health Science Center, can be described as the “patron saint of reproductive health” in people’s hearts. She has devoted her whole life to “escorting” the child-seeking family, how does she view the marriage and childbirth problems in the new era?
On the afternoon of November 6, Qiao Jie gave a keynote speech as one of the representatives of female scientists at the 6th World Laureates “She” Forum held at the permanent site of Shanghai Lingang Dingke Forum. After the meeting, Qiao Jie was interviewed by the media, including China Science News, and answered many questions that everyone was concerned about.

Qiao Jie spoke at the “She” forum
Here are the highlights of the interview:
reporter:What kind of research are you currently working on?
Joeje: I’m an obstetrician and gynaecologist, mainly in the field of reproductive medicine. My main goal is to help infertility patients conceive healthy babies, so I include a variety of treatments for infertility as well as the prevention and treatment of genetic diseases.
In addition to clinical work, I also lead a team to do basic research. At present, China’s research in the field of human reproduction has come to the forefront of the world, which has also made great improvements in diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
reporter: You mentioned PGT technology on the forum, can you educate the public about it?
Joeje😛 GT, the full name is Preimplantation Genetic Testing, which is a preimplantation genetic test to determine whether the “seed” is normal at the earliest stage of development, so as to block the genetic disease at the earliest stage.
PGT technology began to be applied in the world in 1990, and has gradually developed from diagnosing only a few genetic diseases to hundreds of monogenic genetic diseases today. This technology also brings together monogenic and chromosomal disorders, and has led to some new linkage analysis methods. These innovations have made it possible to diagnose previously undiagnosed genetic diseases on preimplantation embryos, and to provide a way for families who could not be treated in the past to select a child who does not carry the disease-causing gene to protect the health of the next generation.
reporterWill 😛 GT technology be more meaningful for certain groups, such as senior couples?
Joeje😛 GT is mainly for families with genetic diseases. In fact, there is no particularly good way for elderly couples, so I have always called for trying to have children at the best age, preferably naturally.
The best age for women to have children is from 21 to 35 years old. After the age of 35, the fertility rate of women will decline in a steep slope, and it will be more obvious after the age of 40, and the number of children after the age of 45 will be very small, less than 1%.
Although men have a longer reproductive age, as men get older, there will be problems such as decreased sperm count and poor quality, and the probability of having children with autism and other diseases will also increase.
In terms of treatment, the younger you are, the fewer diseases you have. At the same time, the risks that women have to bear during pregnancy, such as gestational hypertension, diabetes, premature birth, etc., are also related to age. If you want your life to be smooth, especially for the health of the next generation, it is very important to have a new life at the right time.
Human reproduction is a very important thing, especially as we get older, we will find that it is as important to have the next generation as it is to develop a career. We call on both men and women to understand human physiology as soon as possible and improve their life plans as soon as possible.
reporter: Can you talk about the pros and cons of childbearing for female scientists?
Joeje: When it comes to reproduction, there is no difference between scientists and ordinary women. Becoming a mother will allow you to see the birth of a new life, accompany the growth of a new life, and in the process you will get a lot of fun and let yourself have a better understanding of life.

reporter: As an obstetrician and gynecologist, what do you think of the saying “no marriage and no childbearing to keep you safe”? How do you think women’s conception of fertility has changed in the new era?
JoejeFor women, the process of pregnancy, production, breastfeeding and other processes must take a lot of hard work, but from a physiological point of view, this process also allows a reintegration of women’s whole body organs, and there will be a higher tolerance after tempering, so although women are very hard, the average life expectancy is still longer for women. Fertility has a more positive effect on women overall.
How should each individual face the challenges of life? You have to have a positive mindset and see that in everything, even if it takes some hard work, you can gain a lot. What I remember most is that I was very busy after giving birth, and I was unkempt and focused more on my children. My students asked me, “Teacher, do you think it’s worth it for you to be like this?” I thought about it for a moment and replied to them: “The teacher thinks it is especially worthwhile, because the hard work now is countable—I haven’t slept for a few days, or I have bought two sets of beautiful clothes, but the happiness gained is incalculable and enormous.” ”
reporter: You are part of the world’s largest reproductive medicine team, and 80% of the scientists are women. Is there a preference for women in recruitment, or do women have a unique advantage in this field?
JoejeIn fact, we Chinese women are very happy, because the country provides fair opportunities for study and employment, more women have the opportunity to receive higher education, and there are more opportunities to become professors and even subject leaders, and even do international cutting-edge work. Relatively speaking, medicine is a favorite choice (discipline) for women, and it may be suitable for this profession because of women’s tenacity and tolerance.
reporter: What do you think needs to be done to nurture top female scientists?
JoejeIn our cultural background, men and women are equally educated, but in the birth of a fetus, as well as in the growth of newborns and children, it requires more commitment from the mother, which is difficult to avoid the impact on the career.
The report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China proposed to optimize the population development strategy and establish a fertility support policy system. At present, the government has introduced some policies, such as extending maternity leave and maternity leave, issuing maternity allowances or subsidies, and carrying out inclusive childcare services. In terms of scientific research, the National Natural Science Foundation of China’s Outstanding Youth Fund and Outstanding Youth Fund have relaxed the age limit for women to apply. In the process of implementing these policies, more cooperation from different departments is needed.
Women also need to be self-reliant, and of course, they should also seek more support and help. For example, the husband must have maternity leave, and this leave cannot be added to the wife, the husband should also watch the children at home for a month, he will know more about how to share the housework, take care of the children, and be more involved in the future.
reporter: Many foreign scientific research institutions advocate diversity, and will require a certain proportion of female personnel, and relax some admission conditions accordingly, do you think such tolerance is good or bad for the development of women’s careers?
Joeje: I think there are some women who don’t need to be lenient and will demand the same standards. But for some different kinds of work, it is also appropriate to give women a relative care. Until now, it has been very unrealistic for men to conceive in October (laughs), and women have a lot of responsibilities as mothers, and their children’s dependence on their mothers is also very strong. Therefore, the society should give more support and help. This kind of care is the care of the family, the care of social development, not the care of women alone.

Group photo of female scientists at the “She” Forum, the second from the left is Qiao Jie
reporter: What advice or encouragement do you have for women who are about to enter the field of research, or who are already working in the field of research?
Joeje: I have a lot of girls among my students, and I’ve always encouraged them to be self-reliant if they want to live a happy life. You have to choose a job that you love and continue to invest in it; The same is true for families. All our efforts will actually pay off.
reporter: Do you have a female scientist you admire, and what qualities do you admire about her?
Joeje: There is a clinical scientist around me who I particularly admire, Professor Zhang Lizhu. I came to her side as soon as I graduated, and I was deeply impressed by her rigor, persistence, and strictness; Her wit, humor, her attention to her family and her nurturing of her children have also benefited me a lot in my life.
Her husband is Tang Youqi, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the husband and wife have always supported each other. At the celebration of Ms. Zhang Lizhu’s 60 years of medical practice, Mr. Tang was completely a supporting role. Whether it is Mr. Zhang’s students and friends, or Mr. Tang’s students and friends, when we get together, we are talking about how many people Ms. Zhang has helped, her contribution to the establishment of assisted reproductive technology, the change in the society’s understanding of reproductive medicine, and the patients she surgically treated when she was an obstetrician and gynecologist. These make us feel that as long as we persevere, we can also do important work for the society like Mr. Zhang.
Image source: World Laureates Forum

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