Some women can choose not to have kids. Other women cannot have kids even if they want to.
“When are you going to have a baby?” is a question married women are often asked. Motherhood is deemed necessary by society to “complete” a woman once she’s married.
What people often fail to realise is that (not) being a mother is sometimes a woman’s choice that needs to be respected. At the same time, there are also a lot of women who fail to get pregnant due to fertility issues. And pestering them constantly for pregnancy can only add to their emotional and mental stress.
That’s exactly what a woman from Nairobi, Kenya, pointed out on social media. “If women on this app gave you their fertility issues, their miscarriages, their IVF heartaches, their blocked Fallopian tubes tales, the endometriosis pain, their ovarian cysts drama, their polyps woes, you would cease asking women why they don’t have children yet,” she wrote to mock those who tend to be more eager about a woman’s pregnancy than the woman herself.
if women on this app gave you their fertility issues, their miscarriages, their IVF heartaches, their blocked Fallopian tubes tales, the endometriosis pain, their ovarian cysts drama, their polyps woes, you would cease asking women why they don’t have children yet.
— pattie (@pattiewachira) August 26, 2018
Here’s how netizens responded:
We need to change the conversation and address fertility issues like other diseases. Why would people be compassionate on Kidney failure and crucify someone on fertility.
— Blessed Ben (@MbiririBen) August 27, 2018
Going through that whole process was the worst ting ever, there were times I felt like giving up but my faith in the higher being kept me going, when i held my son for the first time it was all worth it. He turned 3 last Friday, I still look at him and cry
— Lerato_Sebego (@Liratoo69) August 27, 2018
STOP PUTTIBG UNECESSARY PRESSURE ON WOMEN.
IT’S NOT A COMPETITION.
— Siyabulela Mashiyi (@26_mashiyi) August 27, 2018
As precious as childbirth may be, pregnancy can often turn out to be a challenging task for many women. Here are some of the reasons behind it:
Thanks to the unhealthy lifestyle most of us lead, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which causes a hormonal imbalance and disrupts the regular ovulation process, has become a common disorder among women. Gynecologist Dr Shweta Goswami, for instance, talks about how one in every 20 women suffer from PCOS. There is still a significant lack of awareness about the issue, which is why it often remains untreated for years, thereby leading to infertility.
Blocked fallopian tubes
A blockage in the fallopian tubes can prevent a released egg from being fertilised by the sperm. Blocked fallopian tubes are a common cause of infertility, is caused by scar tissue, infection, and pelvic adhesions.
According to a study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India in 2015, 32 percent of approximately 2,400 women between the ages of 18 and 45 experience at least one spontaneous miscarriage. The study also found that 7.46 per cent of women in the sample had experienced recurrent miscarriages. Apart from lifestyle issues, miscarriages are also caused due to physical complications such as uterine abnormalities including septum or polyps or cervical incompetency, blood clotting disorders and thyroid disorders, among other issues.
Motherhood is not just dependent on a woman’s health but also on that of her male partner. Male infertility is caused by less sperm production, blockages in the tubes that lead the sperm to the male reproductive organ, and erection and ejaculation problem, among others. While medical science has progressed, several men in the country, however, are yet to come to terms with the fact that it is not always the “woman’s fault”.
In vitro fertilisation (IVF)
If you remember the photo of a baby surrounded by syringes that went viral on social media, you will know about the challenges associated with IVF. IVF may have revolutionised pregnancy, but it doesn’t really guarantee it each time. Women have to endure a lot of physical and emotional pain to conceive through every IVF cycle and yet, it might lead to failure. Besides, IVF is an expensive affair and not many couples are able to afford it.
It is time one stops romanticising pregnancy and addressing the actual problems that hinder women from getting pregnant even if they want to. Fertility issues are for real and repeatedly nagging a woman to get pregnant isn’t exactly the solution to it.