OB/Gyn's Should Tell You That Getting Pregnant at 28 is Easier Than at 38 or 46
Maybe I've told this story here before. If I have and you've read it, please forgive me. It bears repeating. A good friend of mine, my running partner at the time, was furious at her Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/Gyn). She had been in for a routine visit, her yearly exam, and everything was going very well. At least for an OB/Gyn visit, which traditionally is not hugely fun. Nothing was wrong, all the regular tests were run. Questions were asked regarding menstrual cycle, birth control being used, fatigue level, etc.
Etc, though, ended with a few questions that upset my friend. The questions were "Are you planning to have a family? And if so, when were you thinking of starting?" My friend was pissed. Indignant. She thought he had a lot of nerve. That he was nosy. In her business. And she wanted me to agree with her. She expected that I would agree with her.
I didn't. In fact, I believe that my response surprised her even more than her physician asking her those questions did. My response? "The only thing I think horrible about his questions is that he hadn't asked you them twelve years earlier." She had been a patient of his for twelve years. At thirty eight, she had been seeing him since she was twenty six years old. Why on earth had he waited so long?
Just as her doctor had a responsibility to make sure that she was healthy and making good decisions about her reproductive health in other regards, so did he have a responsibility to ensure that she understood the time table about conceiving and creating her family.
The Simple Truth About Infertility
And the simplest truth out there, when it comes to infertility, is that it's far easier to become pregnant in your twenties, early thirties, middle thirties and even upper thirties than it is after that. It's not easy to become pregnant in your forties. It's even harder to become pregnant, on your own, with your own eggs, with a healthy embryo. So, yeah, I was also upset with her doctor. Not because he had asked her about her plans about creating her family. But because he had waited so long to do it.
And please understand something. Not every woman wants to have a baby. Or is planning on having a baby. This isn't about forcing a woman who is not ready or who may never desire a child to have one. This is about being educated. And in this situation, education equaling power.
The power of choice. Wanting to have a family or not. When we wait too long, we have very different choices. Much more difficult ones. And sometimes completely impossible ones. Our doctors should be talking to us about our choices. And if you have a doctor who is doing so, say thank you. Education is power and choice.