Kids impact relationships one way or another - either due to having some, or for an inability to birth them when you really desire to.

In reality, the latter is a more pressing issue than the former; and as several stories and experiences have shown, the struggle that comes with having no kids could be immeasurable especially in societies like ours where having kids is believed to be one, if not the hugest reason for marriage. The veracity of this particular mindset has already been tested and dismantled in this piece here.

In a place where such thoughts are common and a mighty importance is attached to bearing kids of your own, the implications of having none have always been crazy – especially for women on whom the onus of bringing forth children rests, and at whose feet the blame is laid 99 times out of 100.

Ours is a largely uneducated society where traditional beliefs and practices, however unhealthy and untrue they are, remain upheld. That seems to be the only explanation for why, in 2019, women continue to suffer and bear the shame, stigma and burden of having no kids, while men never seem to catch any of that smoke.

Infertility is not a woman’s problem. It is a couple problem - Dr. Harvey Olufunmilayo [Credit - Shutterstock]
Shuttershock

This unfair bias against childless women reflects in society’s behaviours, it is adapted for movies and it blatantly plays out all around us as another vestige of a dark, ignorant past which should have been absolutely wiped out with the influx of information and education.

For long before now, the issue of victimizing women for either having no kids and in some wilder, more absurd cases, for having no male kids, has been spoken and kicked against; but it doesn’t seem to have completely abated, not with the continued existence of certain practices such as the one highlighted in the tweet below:

Harvey Olufunmilayo is a medical doctor, working as a postgraduate medical trainee in the National Health Service, UK.

With his @ourfavolnlinedoctor persona on Twitter, Dr. Harvey regularly posts helpful medical tips and advice on sensitive medical issues. He has built a huge following off his reputation for busting numerous health myths and providing educative health facts.

On childbearing issues, the doctor says in a tweet posted on August 15, 2019 that: “infertility is not a woman’s problem. It is a couple problem.

“In other words, the medical fact is infertility is never solely due to the woman, but can be due to problems from both the man and the woman.”

So, how does a couple deal with childlessness in a marriage?

Because over 80% of couples will get pregnant naturally within a year of having regular unprotected sex, it may be unwise to get worried too early if you have not conceived in a short while after you begin to actively engage in unprotected sex.

In the meantime, it is advisable to have unprotected sex four times a week and to cut down on alcohol to one small cup a week at the most, according to Dr. Harvey.

Olufunmilayo Harvey [Credit - Subject]

“Stop smoking completely- shisha, cigarettes, etc. Stay off contraceptives. Don’t swallow cum - that’s not where it should go,” he adds.

Couples over 30 years of age can try this for about six months while younger ones should go a whole year before allowing themselves freak out. If after the applicable time, you still haven’t conceived, then it makes sense to consult a doctor, and to pursue medical aid where necessary.

Although the rules above apply in a general sense, there are few exceptions.

Dr. Harvey tells Pulse via text that it is recommended for women to see a doctor earlier with fertility issues if they are either “aged 36 or over – chances of pregnancy drops when a woman reaches about 35,” or “if you have any reason to be concerned about your fertility – for example, if you've had treatment for cancer or you had a previous sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Dr. Harvey reiterates that “fertility tests can really take time and female fertility decreases with age, so it's best to make an appointment early on.”

Women continue to suffer and bear the shame, stigma and burden of having no kids, while men never seem to catch any of that smoke. [Credit: Shutterstock]

And what should you expect at a doctor’s appointment?

“The doctor will do an initial assessment to check things that may be causing the fertility problems and advise on what to do.

“It's always best for both partners to go together. Getting pregnant can be an emotional process, so it's important to support each other. Even stress is one factor that can affect fertility.” The UK-based MD says.

Also, you can expect the doctor to ask several or all of the following questions:

1. Your medical and sexual history.

2. Previous pregnancies, miscarriage, deliveries and children

3. How long they have been trying to get pregnant.

4. How often you have sex and whether there is any difficulties during sex.

5. Lifestyle questions too Like if you smoke how much you weigh how much alcohol you drink whether you take any illegal drugs if you're stressed Based on the answers given, The doctor may recommend making changes to your lifestyle

6. Physical Examination Like weight, blood pressure etc For the man, the doctor may check the testicles to look for any lumps or deformities, check the penis to look at its shape, structure and any obvious abnormalities.

7. Blood tests, semen analysis, x-rays and scans.