Should discussing fertility & infertility be part of the new curriculum too? #ohip4ivf #onpoli

Many of us grow up with an image of a fantasy land for a future. We think we will finish school, find a job, fall in love, marry Mr Right and settle down with children. Maybe not in that order, but for the most part, many think their future will look similar. Nobody ever considers the fact that maybe things will just not go as planned. Maybe finding that dream job will take longer and maybe settling down will happen not as easily as expected. Maybe, just maybe having a family will not be so easy either.

Conceivable Dreams

Conceivable Dreams is an Ontario infertility patient group that provides support and advocates for awareness. Conceivable Dreams is grateful that the Ontario government has promised to fund IVF (in vitro fertilization) and is currently working on making the program a reality for infertility patients. They like me,  also applaud the Ontario government for revamping the current sex ed curriculum. It would be great though to have fertility and infertility information also included in the curriculum.  Many people never even hear the words “fertility and infertility” until they are struggling or mysteriously unable to conceive.

The Ontario government is doing a great thing addressing the needs of the infertility community with IVF funding, but wouldn’t it be great if we started to think a bit more holistically about also addressing some of the contributing factors to infertility rates in Canada? Many women and couples have poor knowledge of the causes of infertility, or when a woman’s fertility begins to decline. Many do not know when to seek treatment, or how prevalent infertility is. In fact one in six couples struggle with infertility.

I am a true believer that knowledge is power. The more you know, the better prepared you will be.

sad-woman

Why are we still allowing certain topics to be so taboo in the classroom? People should have the information they need to make the decision that fits their situation best. I believe our government has made a step in the right direction educating today’s youth, and everything should be geared towards age appropriateness, however we can still do better.

Introducing fertility and infertility to the curriculum

Did you know Denmark has completely revamped their sex education program in recent years?  It now supports a broader policy around dealing with low birth rates and addressing high levels of infertility.  They now balance information on safe sex and avoiding pregnancy with straight talk on infertility and the importance of trying to conceive before your fertility drops.

Ontario’s new curriculum focuses on modernizing their sex education program to reflect the needs of gay, lesbian and transgender students and to touch on other topics not currently being discussed. In fact, the new curriculum now has a lot of support from voters. Our world is changing, it is time for a more modern education. If children do not learn int he classroom, where will they learn the correct information?

Wouldn’t it make sense for them to address the issue of infertility (at an earlier age) when they are revamping their sex education program to also include a more modern conversation around having sex for the purpose of procreation as well. This is kind of the approach Denmark has taken.

This is an approach infertility patients and groups like Conceivable Dreams would support. The information could have been extremely useful to many Conceivable Dreams.

Knowing the facts earlier can help women and couples be better prepared! Maybe an approach like Demark’s makes sense for Ontario children too.

students

You can read more about the Ontario curriculum here as well as find more information on infertility and everything Conceivable Dreams is about here.

How do you feel about this? Do you think the government should include information about fertility and infertility in the classroom when the age is right?

 

Disclosure- I am a member of Conceivable Dreams blog team which means I received compensation for this post. My opinion is all my own and I support infertility awareness.

Comments

  1. I agree with it and think it should, there is such mis-information out there and there shouldn't be. Plus, like you said – knowledge is power!

  2. I think this is a powerful idea and one that should be considered. It would go a long way to helping kids understand the variety of ways a child can be conceived and also that there are options available if you have difficulty conceiving.

  3. I think it's a good idea to include info about fertility. I know I had zero idea about it in high school and only learned about it after going through it myself. I think teaching kids about it earlier could make them more prepared if they have to deal with it in the future.
    My recent post How to Keep Your Toilet Clean All Week Long

  4. At the appropriate age; this is a great idea. It is such a traumatic shock, perhaps couples should get tested prior
    to getting married. Many teens in at risk neighbourhoods and from dysfunctional families; think having a baby will fill the void. Often they have addictions and mental health issues. Thus, passing on problems to their offspring. We need to teach that a baby can't meet your needs. Also, we need to be healthy and together. As this is a huge responsibility. I am not preaching, I witnessed violence for 20 years, I was scarred scared. We also need for girls especially; to learn self respect at a young age. Drinking and sex are the norm at 14. These
    kids are more like 30 year olds. Alcoholism is easy to become an addiction. I pity many of these teens, they will end up at a psychiatrist far too late.

  5. I live in the U.S., so my comment is about "what government might do" in a generalized way, and not specifically about what Ontario might do. The needs of teenagers are the same everywhere.

    I agree that this is an important part of sexual education. In addition to being aware of the decline of fertility with age, it would be helpful to teen girls to make them aware of what actions they can take or avoid to protect their fertility. Things like preventing or treating pelvic infections, not smoking, and not being overweight, all of which sometimes cause infertility in some women. I'm sure there are other things that I'm not aware of. I also know that the cause of much infertility in women is unknown, but girls and women should still know any information that may help them.

  6. I really think we can do better communicating fertility facts and infertility facts and that it makes sense to add this to the curriculum. I recall how backward my health education was and it was very limited. We were pretty much just told about menstrual cycles and then I think we learned about procreation in biology. I knew nothing about infertility or fertility.
    My recent post Five Things I Learned Travelling in Colombia with World Vision Canada #TMMWVC #TravelTuesday

  7. krisgoescrazy says

    You know it seems logical that they would, considering that its reproductive/sexual education. One in 6 couples will deal with infertility, and yet there is no education surrounding it until you're going through it. I don't know how many times I've heard (or said myself), "they made it seem like as soon as you have unprotected sex, BOOM you're pregnant". Because they did. I remember the first month we tried to conceive being hugely disappointed and confused it didn't work! Not realizing then that we would never have biological children. I don't remember any infertility conditions being discussed at school, ever. They were more focused on all the many diseases you are likely to catch if you have sex (which of course should be part of it, but not all of it!).

Trackbacks

  1. […] what Gingermommy has to say about the new Ontario sex ed curriculum […]

Leave a Reply to Pam V H Cancel reply

*