Fertility Awareness

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Let's Talk About Fertility!

Planning ahead is the best way to keep as many options open as your fertility years dwindle. That doesn’t just mean knowing your fertility preservation options when treating your cancer diagnosis — fertility planning also includes using birth control methods when you’re not yet ready to have a baby, preventing STIs and STDs to ensure good reproductive health, and being informed about your potential child’s health with genetic testing.

Birth Control: Exploring Your Options

Choosing to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancies can be a challenge when looking at all the birth control methods. Which birth control option is most effective? Which is the cheapest birth control option? Let’s explore a few of the most common birth control options, according to Planned Parenthood.

Let’s explore a few of the most common birth control options, according to Planned Parenthood.

Birth Control Pills Option

Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are taken daily by mouth and are about 91% effective. They range from free to $50 for a monthly pack, depending on your health insurance.

Birth Control Shots Option

Birth Control Shots

The birth control shot is 94% effective against pregnancy and is taken on a set schedule — usually every 3 months.

Implant Option


The implant goes into the arm and is 99% effective. Depending on insurance, it can cost up to $1300 but lasts up to 5 years.

IUD Option


The IUD (Intrauterine Device) birth control method is 99% effective. It’s one of the pricier methods, capping out at about $1300 — but it can last from 3 to 12 years.

Condom Option


Condoms are a cost-effective way of birth control and are 85% effective.

There’s more where that came from — learn all the birth control methods available to you.

Fertility Self Monitoring

These are a few metrics that can impact your personal fertility. Here are seven things you can monitor with your doctor in hopes of preserving your fertility:

Menstrual Cycle

Menstrual Cycle

Tracking your period and being mindful of any issues can tell you a lot about your fertility. Is your menstrual cycle too long or short? Is your period nonexistent or irregular? These are all things to discuss with your doctor.


For women especially, age often plays a big role in fertility. That’s why planning and keeping a close watch on your fertility with a doctor is important, especially when you reach your mid-30s.


While BMI is widely discussed as an antiquated measure of one’s health, BMI can impact fertility. It’s believed that a BMI over 30 could reduce your fertility by up to 50% and lead to issues during pregnancy, such as the increased need for C-sections, maternal diabetes, and hypertension.
Family History

Family History

Doing a little research on your family’s health history when it comes to fertility — and participating in genetic testing — is a great place to start. While your genetics won’t be the only factor in your fertility, they do play a part in common issues such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which can affect ovulation.


Both men and women can experience hormone disorders that can lead to infertility issues. For example, low testosterone levels in men and PCOS in women can impact fertility. If you’re concerned about infertility, work with your doctor to monitor your hormones.
HPV Testing

HPV Testing

Did you know human papillomavirus may cause fertility problems? It’s crucial to get tested for STDs and STIs regularly so that you know your status.

More Information About the Tests

Genetic Testing

Genetic Testing

It is a tool to help in the detection of changes in proteins, chromosomes, and genes in order to verify or disprove conditions and disorders. There are many reasons and times in one’s life they may get genetic testing, from diagnostic testing if exhibiting symptoms and carrier testing if the condition seems to run in the family — to prenatal testing performed on a pregnant person to the newborn screen.

Common conditions screened for during genetic testing are Patau syndrome (trisomy 13), down syndrome, and sickle cell anemia. Dive deeper into genetic testing.

The Most Common STI: HPV

While these birth control methods (and a dozen more) may prevent pregnancy, most methods do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), like HPV. Condoms are a low-cost, accessible, and great way to prevent STIs and STDs.

HPV (Human papillomavirus) is an STI with many different types, some of which cause cancers and genital warts — and some types that cause no symptoms at all. HPV is very common — in fact, it’s the most common STI in the U.S., with 43 million infections in 2018, says the National Cancer Institute. Although they may sound the same, HPV is not HIV or HSV (herpes). Fortunately, HPV vaccines can help prevent infection of the virus. There also is HPV immunity testing that looks for cervical infection by high-risk types of HPV that are more likely to cause pre-cancers and cancers of the cervix.

Learn more about HPV.

The Most Common STI: HPV

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