Can We Change How We Talk About Fertility?June 17, 2019
Over the past decade, important changes in how we talk about fertility have taken place, but continued progress is still needed. Many of us still hold preconceptions about female fertility, male fertility, and how families are built.
Assumptions about who is pregnant or trying to conceive can be hurtful, and insensitivity about third-party reproduction, fertility preservation, and single parenthood remain prevalent in our culture. Continuing to change how we talk about fertility and building families for those who choose to do so is important, and it’s up to all of us to take part.
Understanding age and fertility
Women are aware of the connection between their age and their fertility potential from their teenage years. The so-called tick of your biological clock is society’s reminder that you need to be aware of your fertility and keep family-planning goals (if you have them) as a priority. In truth, a woman’s age does impact her fertility, and yes, women should be proactive if they wish to conceive, but it doesn’t need to rule your life. Fertility education is a sorely needed part of women’s healthcare. Women should be informed about their fertility potential, but also about options like fertility preservation/egg freezing.
The same can also be said for men, who are rarely (if ever) informed about the connection between their age and fertility. It’s true that the issue is generally less of a concern for male partners, but the idea that men needn’t be concerned is false. Age does impact male fertility, as the quality of a man’s sperm, including shape and motility, decreases around age 40, when their testosterone levels begin to decline.
Fertility education for both men and women is an important part of evolving conversations about fertility. The better we, as a culture, understand how fertility really works, the better prepared we will be to address family planning at any appropriate age.
For more information
Our blog is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning about fertility care and treatment, third-party reproduction (egg donation, sperm donation, and surrogacy), LGBTQ family building, egg freezing, and more. We invite you to visit our blog.