Now is the Right Time to Plan Your Family!
How do you know—for yourself and as a couple—that this is “the right time” to try to have a baby, and that you’re becoming parents for the “right” reasons? MARIE D. WERNER, MD, FACOG, HCLD/TS (ABB) with the RMA Network talks to us about her personal life-changing decisions as they pertain to her career path and family building goals. Dr. Werner also shares some valuable information for those considering to have children later in life.
During my second year of residency, an ordinary afternoon turned extraordinary after one small conversation. My mentor (a well-respected physician I regarded with great esteem) casually approached me and just started talking. She started by telling me about her career pathway and then began weaving in stories of her personal life and experiences. She described her choice of profession, as well as the balance of work, relationships with family and friends, and becoming a working mom. She was describing exactly what we all strive for: having it all.
I didn’t realize it at the moment, but she was opening my eyes to the future. At the time, I was at the start of my career and working hard was the immediate goal. I had been married for two years and while I knew I wanted to have children, the thought of starting a family at that moment seemed impossible. But then my mentor ended our conversation by telling me that there would never be a “perfect” time in life to plan a family, and you don’t want to miss your chance. It is probably the best advice I ever received. Many women become so busy studying, developing a career, and focusing on relationships with family and friends that sometimes we forget about that pesky biological clock that just keeps ticking away in the background (flashback to the movie My Cousin Vinny). Women are born with all the eggs we will ever have. Over time, both the quantity and quality of those eggs diminish, which is why eggs released from younger women are often of better quality and may result in a healthier pregnancy.
As a fertility specialist for the RMA Network, teaching has always been at the heart of my career. In my practice, my most important goal is to educate patients so that I may empower them to make the right choices for starting a family. And the best advice I can give is to start thinking about your family now, because there is no time like the present. With that in mind…
If you are thinking of having a family, start trying. If you have been trying and haven’t had any luck, reach out to a specialist for early testing. Often times, early testing can be reassuring, or it might uncover some important results that can help you make educated decisions about planning your family.
If you are not yet ready for a family, you have options. Check in with your doctor to see if he or she recommends any screening tests. Alternatively, you may be ready to consider fertility preservation. The most common method of fertility preservation is egg freezing. This allows a woman to preserve her fertility at her current age, so she can become a parent when she is ready. Young couples may even choose to freeze embryos instead for the same reason.
Dr. Marie D. Werner is a board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and High-complexity Clinical Laboratory Director. Upon obtaining her B.A. from Boston College in 2004 and her M.D. from New Jersey Medical School in 2008, she completed her Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowship at RMANJ in the Rutgers–Robert Wood Johnson fellowship program, where she trained in clinical medicine, molecular genetics and embryology. Dr. Werner completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center, where she served as Administrative Chief Resident.
Dr. Marie D. Werner, FACOGReproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey – Morristown, NJ and Eatontown, NJ