Infertility Awareness: What Younger Women Should Know

When you’re in your 20s and early 30s and family planning feels like a distant future concern, fertility isn’t going to be a priority. In fact, you’re probably spending more time trying to prevent pregnancy than you are thinking about the state of your fertility. Of course, this is perfectly understandable – women have different goals for growing their families, including how and when. However, even if family-building isn’t going to be on your horizon any time soon, it’s worth noting that, for those who plan on getting pregnant and having children one day, fertility is worth considering now.

Many young women will make the understandable assumption that, when they’re finally ready to get pregnant, they will be able to do so easily. This is especially true for healthy women who don’t have any underlying conditions that typically affect fertility, such as PCOS or endometriosis. However, one in four couples in the United States experience infertility. By the time you’re in your 30s, it’s very likely that you’ll know someone struggling to grow their family, even if they have not disclosed this publicly. Infertility is more prevalent than many expect, and some women feel as if they took the assumption of an easy conception for granted without knowing.

Here are some basic pieces of information that can be helpful for younger women who know they’ll want to try for a pregnancy down the road.

  • It can take time to get pregnant. Fertility doctors often advise that those under the age of 35 wait up to one year before booking a consultation and those over 35 wait six months. Many women expect to get pregnant after a month or two, but it can take time. This is especially true if you are coming off of birth control as your body will need to re-learn how to regulate your cycle.
  • Your sexual health matters. STDs, especially if untreated, can negatively impact a person’s fertility. It’s very important to protect yourself from STD transmission as well as pregnancy prevention until you’re ready to get pregnant. Many birth control options do not protect against STDs, so a condom will be needed.
  • Yes, your age is relevant. There is a reason why at age 35, fertility doctors, OBs, and your gynecologist will begin to address fertility more directly – this is the age when the quantity and quality of your eggs begin to decrease at a more rapid pace. Because of this, it can become more difficult to get pregnant on your own.

With April being National Infertility Awareness Month {NIAW}, now is the perfect time to take a moment and consider your options. There is no need to rush or change plans that best suit your needs, and we’d never want anyone to feel panicked over fertility. Our goal is always to keep patients as informed as possible so they can make their own choices and move forward with whatever help they might need.

If you have any questions about fertility, including those conditions that impact the reproductive system, please contact your PWOG provider.

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