Don’t ask me why, but today in the car it struck me that as a woman over 30, I’m now officially a pregnancy risk factor.
No, friends, I’m not pregnant.
In fact, we still feel very blessed that we have two happy, healthy little ones in our house when I was never supposed to be able to get pregnant in the first place. But when we were at my niece’s wedding last weekend and had a lot of drive-time in the car to talk, we contemplated whether or not we should enlarge our family.
Ultimately, it’s all in God’s hands. We know that. I think it was just something about seeing all the kids run around on the farm that made us think about what life would be like with more little Cone kiddos running around. And then in the next instant, I realized I would actually be considered an at-risk pregnancy now that I’m 35.
The truth is, I have a lot of friends with fertility issues. As women, many of us have our entire lives planned out by the age of 10: what job we want, when we’ll get married, when we’ll have kids, how many kids we’ll have…..and the list goes on. With the stress of society these days, not only are fertility issues more common, but so are miscarriages. What’s even more unfortunate is that no-one talks about these statistics, so it comes as an even bigger shock when an otherwise healthy woman tries to get pregnant and can’t. This only adds to her stress and makes getting pregnant that much more difficult.
I wasn’t looking to turn this into a PSA, but since my overflow onto the computer is turning out that way, let me share just a few ways of how age affects fertility:
- The number and health of the eggs to be ovulate decreases
- Changes in the hormones resulting in altered ovulation.
- Fewer number of eggs
- A decrease in sperm counts
- The presence of other medical and gynecologic conditions, such as endometriosis, which may interfere with conception. (stats adapted from www.webmd.com)
So all that goes to say, don’t be so hard on yourself. Do I know if I’ll have more kids? No.
Can you control whether or not you get pregnant (besides the obvious)? To an extent.
What I’m saying is that infertility and pregnancy issues are more common than any of us care to admit. So just be aware. A question that may seem harmless, like asking your newly-married friends when they’re having a baby could actually be a very touchy subject for someone who’s been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant.
I hope this little ditty sparks some conversation.