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Everything I Know About Fertility, I Learned from My Sex-Ed Teacher
Back in high school, your sex-ed teacher made it her sole purpose in life to make sure you were not another teen pregnancy scenario. Scare tactics, statistics on teen moms, and carrying around that crying doll (or sack of flour for the budget-challenged schools). We were petrified to even think about sex!
Fast forward to today as you wait for a follow-up call from your fertility doctor on why you’re still not pregnant. Surely you’re thinking your sex-ed teacher had it ALL wrong. Here are some of the things our sex-ed teachers said and the things we wish they had said.
- They said: “Women ovulate on day 14 of their menstrual cycle.” Should have said: "Every woman’s cycle is different, but for women with regular cycles, she will ovulate on average around day 14.”
- They said: “Don’t have sex now. You will have plenty of time to have sex and have a baby later.” Should have said: “Be cautious and prepare for consequences. Once you are ready to be responsible for a baby, you should mentally note that 35 is a turning point for female fertility. If you’re under the age of 35 and trying to conceive for 1 year unsuccessfully or over the age of 35 and trying for 6 months unsuccessfully, you should consult a fertility doctor or reproductive endocrinologist.”
- They said: “Boys, wear a condom so you don’t end up with lots of babies before you’re ready.” Should have said: “Boys, wear a condom so you don’t end up with lots of babies before you’re ready (and an STD), BUT remember that male infertility is responsible for up to half of all infertility cases. If you and your partner are not conceiving despite well-timed intercourse, offer to have a fertility workup. Suggest she does the same.”
- They said: “If you have sex, you are very likely to get pregnant.” Should have said: “You’re at your peak fertility now, so be extremely cautious if you do have sex. A healthy woman’s chance of conceiving each month is about 20-25% and fertility decreases with age. By the time she reaches 40, it drops to about 5%.
You may have all the facts about male and female fertility now, but even in your adult years it is important to listen to your biological clock. If you suspect a fertility condition, talk to a fertility doctor sooner than later. If you’ve been diagnosed with a fertility condition and haven’t conceived despite fertility treatment, consider a second opinion for diagnosis confirmation and more treatment options. For information on fertility doctors in your area, fill out the Contact Fertility Doctors Near Me Form and our Patient Care Advocate team will be happy to assist you in finding the right fertility doctor for you. Or give them a call at 855-955-2229.