Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Talkin' 'bout 16

Today's HAWMC prompt for Day 10 encourages us to write a note to our 16-year-old self.  SO many things to tell our 16-year-old selves, right?

(You can start at HAWMC Day 1 here)

Interestingly, I did this very exercise on a private blog several months ago, and it was seriously cathartic.  Given that my health topic is infertility, though, I'm happy to say I wouldn't generally talk about baby-making with a 16-year-old.

What I can talk about is fertility preservation.  Hopefully there aren't too many 16-year-old girls actively attempting to conceive.  I haven't watched the show 16 and Pregnant, but I'm hoping it's not painted as sunshine and roses.

I do think it's important, however, to think about preserving fertility for when 16 becomes adult-ready-to-start-a-family.  Here are a few super important things I'll address here:

~ I'm sure you remember the whole sex ed class, right?  All of the lovely details about various sexually transmitted diseases is not anybody's favorite topic, but it is a must-know when it comes to your ability to have babies in the future.  Protect yourself!

~ For girls: If you notice that your periods are really painful or extremely irregular, get checked out by your gynecologist.  These can be indicative of endometriosis and/or polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can significantly reduce your fertility in the future.  Some people have no fertility issues at all with these conditions, so it's not an emergency, but you do want to address it as early as possible.  Sadly, there's no cure for these conditions, but you can manage them well through diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol, and/or hormone therapy.

~ Some things to avoid in excess are the obvious alcohol and drugs.  You may be surprised to learn that there are many things that are considered abuse of your body and can affect your future fertility: Low BMI, High BMI, eating disorders,  and over-exercising are a few of those things.

The Center for Disease Control has a great article on infertility that young people can read.  The point is to have FUN when you're sixteen; Just make your motto "Everything in Moderation," and it's all good.

Be well,


  1. What an interesting idea. These are great points, and I wish somebody had shared them with me when I was 16 (or even when I was 26 ... or older). I always figured everything would come together when I needed it to despite some worrying factors.

    1. Most people think the same way....and most people are right, actually. Even though the IF community is sadly growing. :(

  2. Your advice here stayed with me and, in part, inspired this post:
    Thanks for stimulating my thoughts!

    1. Too cool! Checking it out now...thanks for sharing. :)

  3. I started getting irregular periods when I was 16. At the time I was without my mum and too embarrassed to see an OBGYN. When I was 18 I finally went and was handed birth control pills to fix this problem. Dr after Dr keep giving me the pills, patch, then depo shot. I even mentioned PCOS which I read about online. Last year at age 26 I was diagnosed with PCOS. Odd that!

    1. That's exactly the example that more 16-year-olds need to know about. Only YOU know your body....docs don't know everything, right?


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