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Why I Wish I'd Known More About Fertility Before TTC

I was always a good student. I paid attention in class, took notes and retained information quite well. I rarely thought to ask, What aren’t they teaching us? What are they leaving out? A whole lot about fertility, apparently.

Recently I read an article by Amy Klein in Aeon Magazine called "Fertility Fog." She discussed studies that show women often overestimate their fertility knowledge and the various reasons why many women don’t know much about their fertility. Thinking back, I recall being taught the basic science of how babies are made and things like body changes during puberty. Menstruation cycles were kind of explained, as well as pregnancy and STD prevention, but I didn’t really learn about fertility.

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I didn’t really start learning about fertility until we were struggling to have a baby. Even then I didn’t learn much. As I sit here right now, I hate to admit it, but my fertility is still somewhat of a mystery to me. You would think I know how it all works, considering I’ve conceived two children naturally—but getting pregnant with them was more like blind luck.

Why don’t women know more about their fertility? It’s an excellent question. Waiting until you’re unsuccessful when trying to conceive makes you late to the game.

I would have been better prepared on how to time baby-making sex and wouldn’t have felt so broken when we didn’t get pregnant right away

I would have appreciated learning more about fertility when I was in high school. Although I wasn’t truly thinking about my future babies at that time, it would have helped to be better educated and informed when I began family planning.

Maybe I would have worked with my doctor to discover the cause of my irregular cycles instead of relying on birth control pills to make me regular. If I would have known what I know now, I would have had a more realistic expectation about my cycle length. I could have learned the signs of each phase of my menstrual cycle earlier instead of feeling so clueless about when I’m ovulating.

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Maybe conversations with my husband about starting our family would have happened sooner. Besides thinking I had plenty of time before having babies, I also thought I needed to get the Pill out of my system before trying to get pregnant. I didn’t even really know what that meant, but I’d heard this. I would have been better prepared on how to time baby-making sex and wouldn’t have felt so broken when we didn’t get pregnant right away … or within the first year we tried. Heck, if I’d known more about my fertility I could have sought out better help with more knowledgeable doctors.

My baby timeline could have been different. Being armed with fertility knowledge would have helped immensely. I’m still learning, but at least I can impart my knowledge to my children when they’re older.

Photo via Twenty20/photoart_4u_lg

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