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...to be amazed by how little some women know about their bodies?

(179 Posts)
Celebelly Mon 05-Feb-18 22:00:22

Just an idle thought while browsing Conceptions/Pregnancy forums. Every day there seems to be someone asking 'Could I be pregnant?' with seemingly no idea how their cycle works, when you can realistically get pregnant, etc etc. I really find it quite worrying that education is obviously failing women in this way and that all we seem to be taught is how to deal with periods and nothing else. I really find it astounding that so many women don't seem to understand how ovulation works and how conception takes place. It's not even for conception; it's really valuable for contraception too to understand how a menstrual cycle works. Some of the questions are really mind-boggling.

AIBU to wonder why so many women apparently don't know how their body works? And to wonder what can be done to fix it?

DSHathawayGivesMeFannyGallops Mon 05-Feb-18 22:06:38

I know, in theory, how my body works. But given that I'm not a clockwork model from a biology textbook, in practice it's sometimes not that simple.

Argeles Mon 05-Feb-18 22:20:02

My DH and I thought that you could get pregnant at any time of the month.

We’d talked about having children and the first time that we didn’t use contraception, we genuinely thought, and assumed that I’d probably be pregnant. I wasn’t. We then looked online to see why maybe I hadn’t got pregnant, and there came the information.

I am certainly not alone - I’ve spoken with others who also believed this. It’s shocking how little a lot of us know about women’s bodies.

I’d like to point out that between my DH and I, we have 3 Degrees (and I’m studying for my 2nd), and also 3 Postgraduate qualifications, and yet we didn’t know key information about conception. I vaguely remember spending a Science lesson ‘learning’ about conception and cycles, but clearly it wasn’t good enough. I got an A in Biology too, as did my DH!

slowsloth Mon 05-Feb-18 22:31:20

After the birth of dd2 dh and I hadn't dtd yet but I was convinced I was pregnant. Sickness in the morning, just the mornings, bloated etc. I even peed on a stick to check I wasn't blush It's amazing how overthinking things can make us question what we know. Maybe people post on here to help get their thoughts in order.

Scrumptiousbears Mon 05-Feb-18 22:35:50

I'm miffed how many women get pregnant so quickly after giving birth and claim they didn't realise they could.

Dobbythesockelf Mon 05-Feb-18 22:40:45

I understand in theory all about ovulation and conception however in practice I have irregular periods with no discernable cause that anyone's managed to find and even my Dr struggled to work out when/if I was ovulating so in practice I have no idea when I ovulate. Obviously I do as I have 1 dd and 1 on the way. I think most women in reality know the basics bit when it comes to It fear, excitement and hope can get you worked up over small things.

ALemonyPea Mon 05-Feb-18 22:41:18

I had a hysterectomy last year. I’ve had a few friends ask me if I had it done so that I wouldn’t have any more children.

PancakeInMaBelly Mon 05-Feb-18 22:43:23

Well here's the thing: I paid attention in biology..got good grades, know the theory

But MY cycle isn't text book, and even women's health doctors work on the assumption that we're all text book.

So that's why people ask

MammaTJ Mon 05-Feb-18 22:46:41

I was told I could not have got pregnant the day I did with DD1. I had finished my period in the morning, then DTD that night.

We had been using contraception until my period, my third after a MC. Then I worked a few nights in a row. Then I started having pregnancy symptoms.

Not all of us fit the textbooks. We would be unwise to let teenagers believe that we do, that could lead to an awful lot of unwanted pregnancies.

FadedRed Mon 05-Feb-18 22:49:01

After being a nurse for four decades, it no longer surprises
me how little people know about how their bodies work.
And how little common sense about healthy choices.
And how they choose to believe that what applies to 99% of the human race, does not apply to them.

BestZebbie Mon 05-Feb-18 22:49:40

Argeles: I presume that your situation was because your schools spent a good chunk of time each year in PSE teaching you about insta-pregnancy but showed a video with about 5 minutes of actual human reproductive fact in it to cover conception in humans? Certainly that was the situation in my school in the 1990s!

Frogqueen13 Mon 05-Feb-18 22:50:28

I am a nurse in ED and it suprised me how frequently I have to explain that there are 3 holes down then and that baby's don't come out where you wee from

Celebelly Mon 05-Feb-18 22:52:20

My cycles have always been irregular which is actually why I decided to learn more about my cycle a few years ago. I wanted to understand what was going on, and I was shocked by all the stuff I didn't know and hadn't been taught. Now I'm TTC so it's helpful already having a working knowledge of my own particular cycle.

I remember getting 'the talk' at school but it was all focused on periods and how to deal with menstrual bleeding rather than an understanding of how the process works.

BelleandBeast Mon 05-Feb-18 22:53:03

This rule seems to apply on Mumsnet:

Don't wish to get pregnant - you can get pregnant anytime in the month
Do wish to get pregnant - you can only get pregnant in a specific window of the month

It is mind boggling confused

Celebelly Mon 05-Feb-18 22:53:04

Oh gosh, I remember having to explain to an ex boyfriend in my early 20s that women have three holes. I had to draw him a diagram and everything!

AbsentmindedWoman Mon 05-Feb-18 22:55:01

I'm amazed by the naivete of people who believe all bodies operate like perfect automatons.

The idea that all women have 28 day cycles is a myth. Plenty of us have cycles between 25 or 35 days.

Celebelly Mon 05-Feb-18 22:57:05

Yes, everyone's cycles being different is precisely why I think it's so important people learn how to recognise the stages of their own cycle and be aware of what their own body is doing. I've seen posts on here before where someone has been surprised about falling pregnant when they didn't have sex anywhere near 'ovulation' when in reality they have no idea when they ovulated and are just guessing it's day 14 because they have no idea of their own cycle.

PancakeInMaBelly Mon 05-Feb-18 22:58:12

The idea that all women have 28 day cycles is a myth. Plenty of us have cycles between 25 or 35 days.

And women who DO have 28 day cycles dont necessarily ovulate on day 14!

TheQueenOfWands Mon 05-Feb-18 22:59:05

I didn't know about this until MN. I thought you just shagged and that was it.

I kind of knew that during your period you were unlikely to get pregnant but not much other than that.

I conceived at 20 and again at 23 with no hassle and didn't ever 'get' the TTC concept.

To be fair, I'm 36 and when I was at school Sex Education was horrendous and it was kind of rammed into us that sex was dangerous.

"You WILL get chlamydia. And die."

I remember someone asking if you could get pregnant before your period starting and the teacher saying yes, if your period starts that month you'll get pregnant.

I think unless you've looked into it and read the websites you won't know.

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Mon 05-Feb-18 22:59:42

One that always alarms me - ppl who think that you can't get pregnant while breastfeeding. shock

Celebelly Mon 05-Feb-18 23:00:10

Also my cycles range from 30-36 days and have done ever since I started my periods. I've even had the odd 80-day cycle thrown in for good measure. The latter caused panic several years ago before I learned how to know when my body was ovulating as I assumed my period was 'late' and did several pregnancy tests. In reality, I just hadn't ovulated, probably due to stress as my body likes to delay ovulation when I'm stressed, and there was nothing sinister going on. Knowing what I do about my body now, I would be able to recognise it and not almost have kittens (although now I'm TTC, I'm approaching it from a different perspective!)

HolidayHelpPlease Mon 05-Feb-18 23:00:10

Speaking as a teacher who has taught sex Ed - we specifically do NOT tell teenagers that they cannot get pregnant at x time of the month because someone may take that as a cue to have unprotected sex! We talk about being ‘more likely’ to fall pregnant or ‘more fertile’ but as the message is ‘no sex without a condom ever until you’re in a loving committed long term relationship and over the age of 16’ telling them they can’t get pregnant at certain times seems counter productive confused

AbsentmindedWoman Mon 05-Feb-18 23:01:45

I've seen posts on here before where someone has been surprised about falling pregnant when they didn't have sex anywhere near 'ovulation' when in reality they have no idea when they ovulated and are just guessing it's day 14 because they have no idea of their own cycle.

Aha I see what you mean now.

I'm one of the lucky folks who always knows when ovulation is happening because I get pain and a generally unhappy abdomen grin

I can but dream of not knowing what's going on in there!

flumpybear Mon 05-Feb-18 23:03:58

You're taught theory of reproduction but there's no point in teaching young girls the ins and outs of conception as they'll never recall it when needed - what's needed is people being mindful of self education prior to getting pregnant or at least if things are serious with a serious partner

Celebelly Mon 05-Feb-18 23:04:37

I get ovulation pain but until I actually looked into my cycle, because my cycles are irregular, I always just assumed it was some sort of weird period pain, and then I'd get confused when my period didn't show up. It was a lightbulb moment when I realised it was actually ovulation pain! And so helpful as I used to always be taken surprise by my period's arrival, but now I can tell to the day when it's going to arrive based on ovulation pain and other stuff.

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