Fertility Care Versus Family Planning in Your 20s and Early 30s
For women in their 20s and early 30s, family planning may seem like a distant goal. With travel, education, and career plans in motion, seriously considering fertility and having a baby can seem completely out of place.
Of course, everyone is different, and there are a lot of reasons why family planning may be a far-off goal versus something you expect to occur within the next few years. Regardless of timing, all women interested in having a baby in the future need to consider fertility. Fertility is easily taken for granted, as many women who spend years and decades actively working to prevent pregnancy assume that getting pregnant will come easy once they decide to conceive.
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In fact, conceiving quickly and carrying a healthy pregnancy shouldn’t be assumed. Taking care of your fertility should factor into a normal, healthy lifestyle. There are simple steps that women can take in order to help ensure that their fertility will be as ideal as possible for when you are ready to try to conceive.
Poor lifestyle habits: Obesity, tobacco use, and heavy alcohol consumption are well-known causes of fertility issues, for both women and men. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and normal BMI (body mass index) range is important for long-term health, as well as for those wishing to conceive. If you have concerns about your diet or your exercise regimen, please speak with your provider.
Sexual health: One side effect of certain STDs that may surprise you is infertility, especially if the STD is left untreated. STDs can make conception and maintaining a healthy pregnancy difficult. Common sense steps to protect yourself during intercourse are always important, but men and women should also consider their future family planning before engaging in risky sexual activity.
Tracking menstruation: Have you ever tracked your period? Tracking your monthly cycle while on birth control may be straightforward, but for those not on birth control, you should begin to track your cycle. Tracking your period helps you learn about the length of your cycle, your specific PMS symptoms, heaviness of flow, and other factors related to your period. It will be easier to determine any irregularities when you track your period. Learning that you have an irregular menstrual cycle can be indicative of issues like endometriosis or PCOS, which can cause infertility.
Everyone’s family planning goals are different. Even if you don’t see yourself wanting to have a baby for a decade or more, it’s still very important to take care of your fertility now.