Dr John Waterstone
Medical Director of Waterstone Clinic, Consultant Gynaecologist
Whether you’re years away, or thinking of trying for a family soon, knowing your reproductive health information gives you options. Know your numbers. Don’t ‘wait and see’ with something as important as fertility.
Modern life is demanding longer timescales for family planning than biology is sometimes able to provide. Young people deserve information about their reproductive health and the scientific evidence to inform their decisions about family planning.
Fertility is a medical issue, and we must destigmatise it: there is no ‘failure’ in infertility or sub-fertility, and it affects men and women equally. We must also not take it for granted, as up to one in six couples will have difficulties conceiving.
What can we do to protect our fertility?
We know that female age is the most predictive factor of the ability to conceive, and this ability declines rapidly with age. We also know, however, that fertility is individual, and averages are not one-size-fits-all: we need fertility health checks.
Accessing your reproductive health information will empower you to make decisions about your future and take out the guesswork.
Get a health check
Semen analysis testing for men, and Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) testing, alongside a fertility-focused ultrasound scan for women, give valuable insights.
For women, the number of eggs in the ovaries provides information they can use to consider proactive steps – such as egg freezing – to preserve their fertility before their mid-30s. The younger you are, the more likely your eggs are healthy and normal. As you age, however, the quantity of those eggs decreases, and so does the number of eggs that are normal and could produce a pregnancy.
Protecting your fertility – by having health checks at a fertility clinic – must become as routine as general health checks. Even if you don’t want a family right now, being proactive about your fertility can make all the difference when you are ready.
Accessing your reproductive health information will empower you to make decisions about your future and take out the guesswork: if you don’t ‘wait and see’ in other areas of your life, why would you with something as important as fertility?