We were delighted to read in an article in the education section of a national newspaper recently, about a doctor advocating that fertility should form part of teenagers’ sex education. We couldn’t agree more! At last, it would appear that doctors who are used to treating ‘infertility’ are beginning to advocate talking about ‘fertility’ at an age when currently the sole message is about contraception and sexually transmitted infections.
Sex education programmes have done a great job in reducing the number of teenage pregnancies, and some are concerned that adding in a ‘fertility’ message to the mix, could muddy the waters. We disagree: we think that as girls come into puberty, start having periods and becoming sexually aware, they need as much information about how their body works.
Most women, even women who have a high level of education, are largely ignorant about their cycle and fertility issues until they decide that they want to have a baby. As we know, the age at which the average women is having her first child is getting higher and higher: The mean age of childbearing has risen over the last 40 years from 23 in 1968 to 29.3 in 2008. At the age of 25 just 5% of women take longer than a year to conceive and this rises to 30% in women aged 35.
We feel that far too many women are sleepwalking into a potential infertility situation because of lack of information about fertility issues as a whole, and specific information about their own body.
We would love all girls to become more knowledgeable about their bodies so that they have more control over when they have children, and for all women to know about their fertility, just as we take care to have ongoing treatment of our teeth, eyes, blood pressure and cholesterol.
We are at the forefront of fertility testing and new techniques are becoming available all the time – register here to go on our mailing list to be the first to hear about new announcements or and you can call us to discuss any aspect of your fertility issues on 0203 816 0395