Deciding whether to have children is one of the biggest choices you make in life. You can always change careers, go back to school, or get a divorce. But children are one of those decisions you can’t undo, so you have to put a serious amount of consideration into the question. That’s why, when you finally get to a point when having children feels right, it can be devastating to have trouble conceiving one. Moreover, planning a trip to the doctor to check your fertility can be nerve-wracking and emotional. That’s why there are positive things to tell yourself before you check your fertility, because this is one diagnosis that requires some preparation and perspective.
According to the National Institutes of Health, “infertility is defined clinically in women and men who cannot achieve pregnancy after one year of having intercourse without using birth control.” Of course every couple will have variable reasons for this to occur. One pair may have medical conditions that limit their ability to conceive, while another may simply miss the ovulation window every month.
Then there is the correlation between age and fertility. According to Everyday Family, a woman is considered of “advanced maternal age” once she is 35 or older. (Side note: I realize this is medical terminology, but is there a kinder way to phrase that?) It’s a conundrum faced by couples everywhere: if you wait until your careers and finances are stable enough to support a family, then your biology might start working against you. There is a lot to be said about responsibility, financial preparedness, and difficult adult decisions, but suffice it to say: age-related fertility decline is a sucky situation for many people.
Getting your fertility checked is not just another trip to the doctor. It can bring your life choices, future plans, and even your sense of self into question. That’s why it’s crucial to keep these things in mind before you even get it checked.