After years of fretting to prevent pregnancy, when women finally decide they want a baby, they often can't wait. They're so excited to embrace motherhood that if it doesn't happen right away and the months go by and failed pregnancy tests pile up, a certain degree of panic may start setting in.
Thoughts of infertility and a childless future may prompt research into fertility drugs and a host of other treatments. Women may self-diagnose and walk into a doctor begging for a little Clomid or just an IUI to try.
I've even known women who have fibbed or even flat-out lied to their doctor about how long they've been trying to so they can get that prescription.
Wise? Not really.
While fertility drugs and treatments are amazing options that have provided countless couples with children they likely would never have had without them, they can also be a crutch. A crutch with risks.
For example, multiple pregnancies are much more common with fertility assistance -- as many as 20 percent of women conceive multiples with some drugs. And multiples are at a higher risk for premature birth, need for c-sections, and host of other complications.
Other studies have shown the risk of autism is almost double in children whose mothers took fertility drugs. Another found women who take Clomid are at an increased risk of thyroid cancer. There are many more where those came from.
This isn't to freak out mothers who are pregnant after taking fertility drugs or scare anyone who may need their help in achieving pregnancy -- most will be just fine. Even the risk for some of the "major" infertility treatments like IVF are statistically small.
But it's important to realize that drugs and surgeries aren't without risk, and if you can avoid them, it's in your best interest as well as that of your future children.
A new website, FertilityFlower.com, is designed to help women conceive naturally.
It helps women chart their temperatures and other fertility symptoms (like cervical fluid and cervical position) and uses some cool technology to show members when they're most fertile.
Of course, you can chart these things on your own, and many women do, but this analyzes all the different components and provides women with the best time to try and get pregnant right there on your computer screen.
If you do choose to go this route, it's not as simple as popping a few pills. It takes a lot of commitment and patience, but if it works, the avoidance of medical intervention is worth it.
And if not, the doctors and drugs will always be there.
Have you or anyone you've known rushed to fertility drugs and procedures instead of giving Mother Nature adequate time?
Image via rockerchic