|Questions about menstrual cycles, ovulation, conception and pregnancy.|
When Did I Get Pregnant? Lack of Knowledge about Menstrual Cycles, Ovulation, Conception, and Pregnancy
I’m really starting to become upset and saddened. I do some side work on another website where people ask questions and you provide answers, plus I receive quite a few comments on my pregnancy articles every day, and it seems to me that there is a general lack of knowledge about how menstrual cycles, ovulation cycles, conception, and pregnancy all work.
How can this be?
I mean, for the much younger crowd, I can see how all of these things related to a woman’s reproductive cycle can be confusing, especially when young girls are experiencing the effects of puberty for the first time. Heck, I was majorly confused about it all when I got my first period at 10 years of age (sorry, TMI)!
But who is ironing out the confusion? Luckily for me, my mother answered all questions and helped me understand what was going on and what could go on in my body as I got older. When I became older, I turned to trusted sources like medical books or my doctor to answer my questions (thank you, pregnancy books!).
I feel though, in answering all of these questions and comments online, that there are thousands of women out there who do not have a clue when it comes to all of this. Who failed to teach them the basics, such as charting a period, knowing the difference between regular and irregular cycles, understanding ovulation and conception, and knowing the signs and symptoms of pregnancy? Was it their parents, the school system, the government….?
Point is, there was a failure somewhere. And I am afraid now, as these young women start to have questions, they are seeking out their answers in the wrong places, especially when they Google their questions. When their questions send them to open forums or question/answer sites, they cannot possibly be getting all accurate information that will help rather than impede. Many of the people who are in the forums especially are not professionals who do not do their research and just use what they have heard from others around them or read from other inaccurate sites.
For example, there are women who ask when they conceived so that they can determine the paternity of their babies. They want a solid concrete answer, not knowing that these dates are all estimates since even science has not found a way, other than IVF, to determine when sperm meet egg. When they find out that two (or more!!! ) men could be the potential father to their baby, they go into a panic and ask the same question over and over again expecting a different answer. There is no other answer. Conception is estimated based on the first day of your last period and counting forward 10-14 days OR by the measurements of the baby and uterus in an ultrasound.
(Wow. Is this turning into a rant? My apologies…)
Why are so many women asking these questions, especially pertaining to paternity? Who is not explaining the necessity for birth control or contraceptives if you’re not ready for a baby?
It saddens me. It saddens me for those women who are in a state of confusion and fear, but mostly it scares me for those children who may face parental issues in the future. Don’t get me wrong; there are many happy stories and things turn out well, but what about all of the unhappy endings?
And for the other basic questions, how can women not know? A menstrual cycle is a pretty consistent monthly event for most females 13 years of age and up (or older, of course). Wouldn’t you want to know more about it from an educated source, like a parent, a book, or a doctor?
I guess it can be scary to ask these things of parents or doctors, and it’s probably much easier to ask anonymously on the web. It’s also probably reassuring to ask peers online who may be experiencing the same issues, even though the answers may not be accurate.
I don’t know. If I needed to know about my health, I would look for a trusted source rather than random information.
Maybe that’s the thing: for these women, there is no known trusted source. There is no one who says “Here is professional, scientific, medical, documented information you should look into” nor does any one necessarily trust education, the medical community, nor parents.
I truly feel sorry and sad for these women. I want to help them so bad, but there’s only so much I can do to help them understand when they are confused.
What is the solution? Should sex education be taught more in schools? Could there be free classes for parents who want to give accurate information to their kids? Could we all just talk more openly about the female reproductive system and how it works (not just about who should pay for birth control, but the whole system in general)?
In saying all of this, you can be certain that when my daughter reaches puberty or maybe even before, I’ll be explaining all of it to her. I want to be her trusted source, one of whom she can ask anything or be directed to someone or something that can answer her questions. I want her to know about her body and how to understand what happens and what could happen. It may not be easy to talk about it to my own daughter, but I’m determined to keep the discussions as open as possible so that she always feels comfortable speaking to me about anything.
What do you think? Is there a solution to this? I’d love to hear from you.