Why does it feel like we are not allowed to speak facts?

I live in Finland, where I have come across an odd dilemma:
For example, when I want to buy a 30-35-year-old house, I need to be told about the history of the house, repairs, water leaks, potential risk areas, drainage, and anything in general that may affect the condition and quality of the house. And if the seller left something untold, the house might rot or other health-threatening or harmful things might happen, with legal costs rising to hundreds of thousands of Euros in Finland.

Or the things you need to know if you buy a car, not to mention a used car?

But why should we not tell people that fertility inevitably declines after the age of 30-35 in both women and men? Why are we not allowed to mention that with age, all the risks to fertility and the health of a potential child increase? Why should we not say that obesity, for example, affect fertility, and that family obesity may also affect the health of a potential future child even in his or her adulthood?

Why should we not tell people that infertility treatments are expensive, and the natural way of having a child a few years earlier in life is free of extra costs and more fun? Why should we not say that the success of infertility treatments decreases with age, and that the treatments may become riskier with age?

Everyone wants to have a healthy child. It is true that ensuring it, is not 100 % in the end. However, should we not inform them that anyone who wants to become a parent will have an impact on the child with their own health choices for years before a possible pregnancy begins? Why should we not tell people that a good birth is chosen long before the start of a pregnancy with one’s own health choices, not at the door of the delivery room?

If we want to promote the health of our future children, health care professionals, doctors, nurses, and midwives should act long before the onset of pregnancy. But who gives permission to tell everyone of the risks and problems, without people becoming offended?

Have you come across this dilemma?


Jouni Tuomi, PhD, Principal Lecturer, Health Promotion

Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Kuntokatu 3, 33520 Tampere, Finland

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