Fertility History: Learning About Your Mom’s Fertility Journey to Help with Your Own

mother and daughter fertility history

With a baby, who’s the first person you’ll usually call for help? If you’re lucky, your mom is usually only a phone call away to dispense parenting advice and tips for soothing a fussy baby.

But even before that, it’s a good idea to seek out her perspective on having children and the fertility journey she took to get there. When considering your own fertility history, you may want to consider digging into your family’s medical past. The process of becoming pregnant can be a daunting task. And just as it helps to have a lot of support when the baby is born, you may want to have her help offer some insights into what you might face when it comes to pregnancy. Of course, you don’t have to tell her that you’re starting your own journey tomorrow or next week or even next month, but think of it as a perfect and valuable bonding opportunity between you and Mom.

You might be thinking, we aren’t the same person! How does her fertility history compare with yours? Well, for one, you can ask her about any medical conditions or fertility problems she faced when she was trying to get pregnant or during her pregnancy. It helps to gather some family history that the doctor may ask about, particularly if you may exhibit some similar traits. At the same time, while some conditions are genetically passed down, you should also be aware many other factors came into play during her pregnancies. Her age, health, environment, stress levels, diet, and your father’s health and lifestyle habits would all influence fertility and pregnancies. Not only that, modern medicine has changed so rapidly since you were born, so what might have been an issue for her back then may be handled or treated very different today.

However, talking to your mother, or even both your parents, can help give you more information than you realized you might need about your fertility history. Not only will you learn more about family medical history, but you’ll learn what it was like for them – the anticipation, the nervousness, the frustration, the questions they had for their doctor at the time. They may reveal some funny stories that you didn’t know before that might help you get excited about creating your own stories with your partner. You may realize that any fertility history questions or fears you had about family planning were not that different from what they went through to give birth to you.

Some fertility history questions you can start the conversation with:

  • How long did it take for you to become pregnant?
  • How old were you when you first decided to try?
  • Did you have any issues?
  • Did you have irregular menstrual cycles?
  • Was there any family history of infertility?
  • What about endometriosis, fibroids, or PCOS?
  • Did you or any siblings ever have a miscarriage?
  • Did you or anyone go into premature labor?

It’s also helpful to talk to any siblings, aunts, cousins, or even good friends about their individual journeys with pregnancy and their fertility history. Beyond the medical component, people often want to share their experiences, both good and challenging ones, and can help provide much needed support as you move through your own journey. Most importantly, you’ll realize that you’re not alone, and while everyone’s fertility story is their own, it’s a story that connects women on a profound and extremely special level.