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Why Are Women So Hesitant About Having the Fertility Conversation?

Women should start the discussion with their doctors sooner when it comes to their fertility options.

February 7, 2020

The conversation about fertility between an OB-GYN and a patient is crucial in understanding the woman’s body and what is ultimately right for her. Even if women are delaying pregnancy, or if they don’t want to have children, it’s important for the OB-GYN to discuss their options in fertility counseling.

This article covers:

  • The importance of fertility counseling
  • Why many OB-GYNs are nervous to start the conversation 
  • How to start the fertility conversation

The Importance of Fertility Counseling

Fertility counseling is an essential part in knowing what a woman’s options are if they wish to one day start a family of their own. Many OB-GYNs don’t start the conversation about fertility because of the belief that the patient would bring the topic up if they wished to pursue it. The planning and process of having a child is very strenuous and it’s more important than what most think.

Many physicians stated that they discussed their patients options on contraceptives compared to discussing and going through fertility options. While the conversation of contraceptives is important, women should know their fertility options early on to discuss what is right for their bodies. Fertility counseling can help a patient know their chances of getting pregnant no matter what their sexuality is, or even their relationship status. 

child and mother at dawn

Talk to your OB-GYN about your fertility and what options you have.

Many women are led to believe that they will not experience any complications when it comes to their pregnancy with both conceiving and delivering. This is why many women postpone their pregnancies until later in life when they are ready to have children. The problem with this assumption is that women can more than definitely experience problems just because they didn’t talk to their OB-GYN about their fertility. 

Many women can experience complications before their pregnancy, such as struggling to conceive, or infertility and many other women can have problems during their pregnancy that can range from high blood pressure or infections, to serious issues like miscarriages. Knowing the chances of these issues can easily be solved by just having a conversation with an OB-GYN, or asking for a referral to a fertility specialist to run tests to see the probability that a woman can have of becoming pregnant along with any other complications. 

Why Many OB-GYNs are Nervous to Start the Conversation of Fertility

Many OB-GYNs prefer not to start the fertility conversation with their patient unless they pursue it themselves. There is a lot of conflicting information when it comes to fertility that many women are unaware of and this can be easily discussed with the help of an OB-GYN. 

A study shows that most OB-GYNs discuss the topic of fertility with married women ranging from the ages of 27-40 and single women, but lesbian women are less likely to receive any information involving fertility and their options. Women who are prolonging pregnancy, or even women that say that they don’t want to have children, are not having this discussion with their OB-GYNs, when it is a necessary and important conversation to have. 

baby and mother

The fertility conversation is important to have if you plan on starting a family. Talk to your OB-GYN or ask for a referral to a fertility specialist.

It is a known fact that no one seems to like having the fertility conversation. This could be due to possible genetic problems within either the man or the woman, the fear of infertility, or due to how old the woman is. Once women reach their 40s, the probability of having children rapidly decreases and by having the fertility conversation, they can understand why they shouldn’t wait too long to have children-- due to the complications that could occur to not only them, but their child as well.

Many OB-GYNs don’t want to feel overbearing by having this conversation with their patients. They want to make sure that the patient is ready to have the conversation and ready for what results they may receive.

How to Start the Fertility Conversation

Given how uncomfortable this conversation can be for not only the patient, but the OB-GYN as well, it is still an important one to discuss. Women are able to get more insight to the numerous options that they have with conceiving, surrogacy, or even the option of IVF. Along with that, they can get more information pertaining to genetic history of themselves and their partner to figure out what can be passed down to their future children.

Women are urged to talk to their OB-GYNs about fertility at their next well-woman exam, or possibly ask for a referral to a fertility specialist. Having this discussion can greatly improve their understanding of their own fertility. No matter what age, sexuality, or relationship status, women are advised to have the fertility conversation to inform them on what is best for them and their future plans.


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