Study and report says 'Many women underestimate fertility clock's clang' - what I thought when I read it

‘Many women underestimate fertility clock’s clang’ – a recent USA National Public Radio story reports. npr.org/2011/12/01/14272554...

Increasingly, every year there seems to be a study or story along these lines - one which reports that there is a big disconnect when it comes to fertility. The age women think they can conceive a baby is very different from what their bodies are actually capable of. But it also reinforces the other disconnect that exists between what men and women know about fertility versus the reality of it – it isn’t as easy as people make out to get pregnant.

The report says: what's the chance a 30-year-old can get pregnant in one try? Apparently in a recent poll, many thought up to 80 percent, while in reality it's less than 30 percent. For a 40-year-old, many assumed up to a 40 percent success rate. It's actually less than 10 percent. And when you keep trying? The survey finds many think you can get pregnant more quickly than it actually happens. It also shows many women underestimate how successful fertility treatments are.

In the report Barbara Collura who co-authored the survey and heads up Resolve, a US National Infertility Association tells, “The first thing women say is, 'why didn't anybody tell me this?’” She is saddened that the government doesn’t push this issue, and neither women nor their OB-GYNs tend to bring it up.

Those words could not have resonated with me more – that was exactly what I had said. Why do doctors or nurses never educate you about fertility issues when you go for a pap smear or a pill check? It feels that they continue to treat you like a teenage pregnancy waiting to happen even when you are in your twenties and thirties. Why does the school curriculum only teach you about pregnancy prevention and fail to educate us about family planning and building in our later years – shouldn’t we educate for the years beyond 16 too?

It makes me so sad to keep seeing the same headline and story being run year on year. There are avoidable cases of infertility and people struggling more than they need to, because of a lack of education. And there are people who aren’t as kind and supportive as they could be to those suffering from infertility because of a lack of education and awareness. My hope is that the day will come when we don’t need to keep reading headlines like this.

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