Should women think about fertility before they start thinking about having children?

Monday 31 October, marks the start of Fertility Awareness Week 2016. The week aims to raise awareness of fertility issues, overturn common misconceptions about fertility, and promote education of the options available to would-be parents.

Dr Hani Daabis, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecology at BMI The Chaucer Hospital in Canterbury, has 25 years’ of experience in women’s health. Speaking in time with the national event, Dr Hani Daabis is encouraging women to learn more about their current and future fertility potential and their chances of conception. He advises women to think of fertility before they start to think about having children.

Dr Daabis argues that the discussion around fertility needs to change drastically saying, “You don’t start thinking about your general health when you reach old-age, you start thinking of your health much earlier in life – for most people, in their young adulthood. People are aware of so many physiological symptoms, including allergies, skin problems, their weight, body mass index, perhaps their blood pressure. But very few women think about fertility health before they have decided ‘now is the time to start a family”’.

“We don’t assume our health is flawless – we aren’t surprised by health niggles or concerns and many of us have semi-regular visits to the GP for various symptoms – so why isn’t fertility in the same category? Why aren’t men and women thinking about fertility before they make a plan to have children? Thoughts and questions about fertility need to start earlier – as early as when individuals are still ‘I’ and not ‘we’.”

He argues that one of the key difficulties with fertility today is the disparity between modern life and biological fertility. He believes women who are keen to have children, but are not in the right position yet, should consider taking advantage of the technology available. He encourages women to check their ovarian reserve, (an estimate of how many eggs left in the ovaries) and to be aware of the methods available to preserve their fertility. 

Dr Daabis went on to say, “there will never be any negative consequences of thinking about fertility too early. Men and women both need to take advantage of the time before they are ready to be parents. Fertility needs to start being on the agenda earlier.”

Dr Daabis continues, “Female fertility is very personal and a woman's age, family and medical history and lifestyle can all impact the chances of conception. Should a woman find she has a low egg count, this does not rule out conception. Successful conception requires fertilisation of a healthy egg by a healthy sperm. Third party fertility treatments (donated eggs and sperm) are now available helping to make absolute infertility very rare.”

Fertility Services and Laboratory Manager at BMI Healthcare, Jane Skelton also added that, “time lapsing imaging is one example of modern technology that can really boost a couple’s chances of conceiving through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and IVF combined with intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).”

At BMI Healthcare, we offer other modern techniques at our fertility centres across the country such as:
  • Embryo glue - to increase the chances of implantation of an embryo to a uterus
  • Vitrification -  a high tech method used to fast freeze eggs and embryos for storage
  • Anti-mullerian hormone test (AMH) – a simple blood test to estimate how many eggs a woman has left and to predict the response of the ovary to fertility stimulating drugs
We have fertility services across the country provide a number of services including assessment, treatments and fertility preservation using modern technology including time lapsing imaging. 

We also have a large network of fertility centres in the UK including:

You can find out more about BMI Healthcare’s fertility services here and you can also download our fertility guide to keep. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us on 0808 101 0337 or make an online enquiry.

Sources

http://www.infertilitynetworkuk.com/nfaw/downloads/

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