This article was originally posted by Health Transformer:
The F word could stand for so many words.
Femininity, family, fate, failure, frustration.
As diverse and different as these words are, they can all be linked to the word I am dedicating these lines too. However, unlike our word, they have not been the object of such an inexplicable and paradoxical taboo.
Our word represents one of the most important dimensions of anyone’s life. Nevertheless, in many cases, we are taught to block it even before we learn about it.
Our F word is fertility.
This F word, we are taught, should only be pronounced when we need to make use of it. Before that time comes, if it ever does, we are taught to avoid its discussion, its knowledge, its awareness… because for us it has no use.
Every year, millions of women are given contraceptives and are told to fight the F word as soon as they get their first period. In the majority of cases, they are not offered a medical exploration or given the education to understand how unique and different from any other women their F word is.
In any other medical discipline, medicating a patient before achieving an understanding of their medical status would be unheard of. However, nowadays women are given hormonal treatments in every possible shape and size without having had an exploratory scan
to check their reproductive system or a blood test to check their hormonal levels.
As a consequence, on the other side of the timeline, millions of women are diagnosed every year with social infertility, an incapacity to conceive linked to social and age factors. It’s a condition that could have been prevented through early awareness and planning. It’s a condition that could have been prevented if the F word was something we talked about with our physicians, our families, and our friends.
I found Seed because being a feminist means understanding that awareness and knowledge can only lead to one outcome: empowerment.
But why did society, and especially women, become so scared of the F word? Why, in the middle of the golden age of medicine and science, when we had more information and resources to understand it than ever before, did we decide to turn away from it?
Possibly because women started identifying it as more of a reduction than an expression of who they were.
During the second part of the 20th century, and for the first time in history, women started to obtain their long deserved place in society. And to be able to get there, the control, by suppression, of the only element they had been reduced to in the past — their fertility — was a key strategy.
The family planning movement was born to help women attain their desired number of children and determine the spacing of their pregnancies through the use of contraceptive methods. And although this movement played a major and life changing role for women all over the world who were able to gain control of their bodies and enter the workforce, now their daughters and the granddaughters need a new movement in tune with their reality and their world.
It’s a world in which women are still fighting for their deserved place in the workforce. But it’s also a world in which infertility has become a global pandemic, and in which the most prepared generation is often lost when trying to understand how their fertility works.
In this world, being a feminist can’t mean advocating for reproductive control by the indiscriminate suppression of our fertility anymore. It has to mean demanding the tools and resources needed to comprehend one’s own fertility as soon as it manifests. It has to mean understanding that awareness and knowledge can only lead to one outcome: empowerment.
Feminism can’t be scared of the F word anymore.
We need to embrace our fertility.
Do you have a story to tell about confronting your fertility? If so, share it with us. Start your awareness journey with our fertility test today.