Recently my husband -to -be and I started discussing our plans for when we would like to start a family. Do we want to start right away? do we want to wait a year? maybe two? after discussing it for a while we came to the conclusion we would like to wait for a while and simply enjoy being a married couple. Then, a fear came over me. . . . What if I cannot have children?!?! Maybe this is a completely irrational fear since I have not missed an annual appointment since I begin being sexually active and have never had any issues that would prevent fertility but I've never TRIED to become pregnant. I've been on birth control pretty much all of my adult life and have never been pregnant or had any desire to be pregnant until now.
What I found interesting after speaking to a group of women is that a lot of us have the same fears but it was something that is hardly discussed. Fertility issues or having fears of conceiving is like the elephant in the room. It simply walks around and people pretend it isn't there as if all women will simply be able to have children whenever they wish. Women with fertility issues often suffer in silence especially among Black Women (WebMD). Black women are more likely to experience fertility issues than any other race and fertility treatment like IVF tend to be half as likely to be effective for for Black Women (WebMD). Sometimes fertility issues just happen without any real reason as to why, however sometimes we are just blissfully unaware of signs or symptoms that we should be bringing to our Gynecologist attention. Its super important to go see you gynecologist just as often as you visit the doctor or the dentist for an annual visit. Also, use this time to discuss anything that may seem a bit off, even if it seems like something minor it's important to have it mentioned so it can be checked JUST to be sure. Often times even changes that may seem insignificant can be a sign of something that can be prevented due to early detection.
What can affect your ability to conceive? Here are a few things that may affect your baby making abilities. (WebMD)
Weight: Whether you're overweight or underweight, not being at a healthy weight can affect your ability to conceive. If you are having issues due to being overweight losing 10% of your weight can make a big difference. What you eat and not having proper nutrition can hugely affect your fertility.
Smoking: Besides the fact it's gross! (Sorry Vixens!) We all know by now smoking is really bad for your health and smokers can sometimes have issues trying to conceive. If having a child is something you want in the future it is something you should consider working on now.
STD/STI: Another reason why getting an annual check up is so important, some STIs have no signs or symptoms and if left untreated can cause fertility issues.
Most of the psychical symptoms of infertility can often times be addressed. Its equally important to deal with any emotional issues that may come up. You should have a space to express yourself whether it be a online forum, or a close friend or family member you truly trust to confide in. No one should have to suffer in silence.
Have you ever experienced issues trying to conceive? How did you cope? Let us know in the comment section below, lets start a discussion!!