What Sex Education Gets Right About Older Motherhood

“Turns out you’re right. You’re perimenopausal. You’re also pregnant.”

When Jean Milburn’s doctor delivered the news of her pregnancy during the final episode of Sex Education’s second season, she had the same reaction as many viewers: “But that’s impossible.”

The thing is though, it’s not. It’s entirely possible for a woman to get pregnant, even as her levels of oestrogen begin to decline – we just don’t see it on TV very often. In reality, women only reach “the menopause” when they’ve had a full year without periods. And if you’re under 50, it’s advised you have two bleed-free years before stopping contraception.

Season three of the hit Netflix show sees Jean, played by Gillian Anderson, navigate pregnancy as a 48-year-old. She does so while continuing to work as a sex therapist, promoting her new book, parenting her teenage son, figuring out her on/off relationship with Jakob – and wearing a wardrobe to die for.



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