More OB-GYNs are reportedly talking with patients about fertility

Asking people about their desire to build a family can be a sensitive topic – one that even doctors may broach with caution. However, more OB-GYNs are reportedly making it routine practice to bring up the “fertility issue” with their female patients to ensure that they are adequately informed about their fertility options and the realities of age-related fertility declines.

According to guidelines put forward by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, doctors “should encourage women to formulate a reproductive-health plan and should discuss it in a nondirective way at each visit.” OB-GYNs are encouraged to discuss their patient’s desire to pursue parenthood now or in the future, including how many children they may want, how they would like to space out their children, as well as addressing age-related fertility declines. OB-GYNs may also educate their patients about the risks of having a child in their 40s (e.g., higher rates of miscarriage, maternal and fetal health risks, etc.). Says OB-GYN Laurie Green, “Fertility is absolutely a wild card…At 30 I start talking to patients. I always tell them that we don’t have a crystal ball, we don’t know who is going to be fertile and who is not. 

Kaly Erwin credits her OB-GYN, Marc Jostes, with giving her the “kick in the pants” she needed to start seriously considering her fertility options. At the age of 34 Erwin knew she wanted to have kids  “someday”. During a routine consultation, Jostes told Erwin that “someday” was approaching and talked with her about the realities of age-related fertility decline. Erwin and her husband decided to start trying for a family and were pregnant within six months. At the age of 37 she is now grateful to be pregnant with her second child.

If you are think you may want to become a parent one day, you should speak with your doctor about your options, including fertility testing and preservation if you’re not yet ready to become a parent.

To read more about this issue, click here:

More doctors broach delicate topic of women’s age and fertility rate [The Wall Street Journal]

To read more about age-related fertility decline, click here and here.

To read more about fertility testing, click here and here.


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