Every woman has to make numerous choices about issues that are related to pregnancy, no matter if she is already pregnant, tries to conceive, or wants to prevent getting pregnant. These issues can raise many questions: How can I become pregnant? Should my child be tested for Down syndrome? Which test for Down syndrome has the lowest risk? Should a baby in breech position be rotated? What options are available to reduce pain during childbirth? Is it safe for my child and me if I give birth at home? Is it wise to breastfeed my child?
If you have not yet succeeded to become pregnant, you can face other pregnancy problems: Is it time to test my fertility? Do I want a fertility treatment? How many eggs should be replaced in IVF?
Couples that do not want any children (yet) face yet other questions: What is the most reliable method to prevent pregnancy? Does this method protect against STDs as well? At the bottom of this page you will find decision aids that can assist you in making decisions about any of the following topics:
Problems with becoming pregnant
Becoming pregnant is not always easy. Sometimes, this is due to subfertility or even infertility. This may be caused by either the man or the woman. Depending on the cause, some couples can get children by IVF or ICSI, for example. These treatments increase the chances of pregnancy, but they do not guarantee anything and they can have a large emotional impact.
There are many possible ways to prevent pregnancy. The most common methods of contraception are the birth control pill ('the Pill'), the condom, IUD and sterilization. Each method has its own pros and cons.
When you are pregnant, your unborn child can be tested for congenital abnormalities such as Down syndrome and spina bifida. This is called 'prenatal testing'. You may opt for chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis and/or elaborate ultrasound examination. Of course, you can also decide to have no testing at all.
The delivery can occur in various ways: at home or in a hospital, vaginally or by caesarean section, with or without anaesthetics (epidural injection), and so on.
Pregnancy problems decision aids
To assist you in making choices about the mentioned pregnancy problems, you can use the decision aids that are listed below. They will give you insight in the pros and cons of the different methods. In addition, they help you to form your own opinion. It is recommended to discuss the decision aids with your doctor before making a final choice.