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Picture yourself as a 15-year-old girl, suddenly navigating the turbulent waters of an unplanned pregnancy. You make the difficult decision to have an abortion, a choice that reverberates in your mind for years to come.

I recently made a YouTube video about this woman. I found her story in Dear Pastor, a West Indian advice column who could not have children after terminating a pregnancy when she was young.

I can guess how hard this must have been for her. It’s tough to handle your current emotions and think about past choices, especially when you want a child but can’t have one.

1. Ending a Pregnancy: A lot of the time, ending a pregnancy won’t stop a woman from having kids in the future. But sometimes, it can leave behind scar tissue. Doctors say that this procedure is usually low-risk, but it’s still important to have trained doctors to do it safely.

2. Age: As women get older, it becomes harder to have kids, especially after 35. This is because the quality and number of eggs decrease with age. Older women might also have other health problems that make it harder to have kids. Plus, the risk of miscarriage and having a child with a genetic problem also increases with age.

3. Lifestyle Choices: Things like smoking and using drugs can make it harder to have kids. This applies to both women and their partners.

4. Past Medical Issues: If a woman has had certain infections, like chlamydia or gonorrhea, it can affect her ability to have kids. The same is true for chronic illnesses like diabetes and autoimmune disorders.

5. Partner’s Fertility: The quality of a man’s sperm can affect a woman’s chance of getting pregnant. Even if a woman has gotten pregnant with the same partner before, changes in lifestyle habits and age may affect the man’s fertility.

In the US, 10% to 15% of couples can’t have kids, even though they try regularly for at least a year.

Not being able to have kids when you want to can be really hard. But remember, there are other options. You could think about fostering, adopting, or taking care of other people’s kids.

Not being able to have kids when you want to can bring up a lot of emotions. It’s important to let yourself feel those emotions and to lean on the people who care about you. Remember, deciding to have kids is a big decision, and it’s different for everyone. So, let’s make sure to take care of ourselves and each other.

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