Postponing childbearing… Ιt has definately become a phenomenon nowadays. The reasons? Are plenty… Social, economic or health reasons, educational goals, career goals, vocational rehabilitation, obligations, personal autonomy, life beliefs and even the choice of a suitable partner, lead many women to the decision to postpone having a family. The modern woman claims her space and time as she pleases. And only when things do not go as she wishes, she then looks for ways out and alternatives.
This is the exact point, where the experts must help, in her endeavor by informing her and providing her with possible options. As far as fertility is concerned, her gynecologist as an expert in the field, should be able to understand and listen to what she is looking for at the time of her visit. Her doctor should be the person who will explain, in medical terms, that the common misconception that pregnancy occurs relatively easily or whenever one chooses, simply does not apply.
It is a fact that a woman’s fertility is at its best between the ages of 20 and 25, after which it gradually declines … little did she know, near the age of forty, while she is in the most beautiful and creative phase of her life, reproductively, she faces a “downward trend”. The multidimensional role of a medical doctor in modern societies, is not only to cure and alleviate human pain, but also “preventing” it.
The goal is not only to rid someone of an excruciating illness but also to educate them with the preventive methods, as far as possible. In the context of preventive medicine, the gynecologist can inform young women or even couples about the limits of their fertility. An instantly available proposal is egg harvesting and freezing for a couple of years, which enables women to “freeze” the dramatic consequences that nature itself brings along in our reproductive timeline. By this means, people can make a choice that suits them at that time, and renegotiate it later when she decides to make a family along with her partner. It is indeed a “smart” move for women who do not want compromises, but at the same time do understand the natural changes that may occur in the future.
The process is relatively simple, and no wonder why there are already giant companies who offer it as a free employer benefit to employed women. Apple and Facebook started out as the first companies who offered women the opportunity to delay motherhood in order to achieve their professional and other goals, but without the consequences that could frustrate it. Gynecological and andrological data on the function and physiology of the reproductive system and, of course, fertility, can be included in the educational material to provide knowledge to young people, even in schools, in only simple words. It is a fact that with age, natural fertility barriers rise.
Therefore, if anyone out there is scared to think about rushing a pregnancy due to age, or have doubts about what it is the might want in the future, they should consider this alternative. We, as doctors have an obligation to prepare the new generation for an “informed future”, a future where conscious choices are made about whether and when to start a family.