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.
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.
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