Debunking 5 Common Fertility Myths
If you’re trying to conceive without success, chances are you’ve come across multiple myths about infertility. Whether they come from family, friends, or the internet, these bits of misinformation can cause those with infertility feel isolated, frustrated, and can even discourage them from getting the help they need to conceive. But it is far past time to raise awareness and dispel the most common myths surrounding this disease that impacts 1 in 8 couples over the course of their life.
Below, the team at REACH fertility center in Charlotte and Lake Norman, North Carolina discuss five common fertility myths and the truth behind them.
1. Infertility Only Impacts Women
This is a common myth that can be incredibly damaging. Infertility doesn’t discriminate based on gender– for couples struggling to conceive, the male partner is just as likely to be the cause of infertility as the female factors. In roughly 40% of cases, the cause is due to female factors, while in another 40% of cases it’s due to male factors. The final 20% of cases are due to either a combination male and female factors, or are unexplained.
2. Age Doesn’t Matter As Long As You Live a Healthy Lifestyle
The vast majority of fertility specialists agree: age is the most important factor in determining your chances of conceiving. A woman’s fertility begins to sharply decline at around 35 years old due to a decrease in the quantity and quality of eggs she still has. By the time a woman turns 40, she has only a 5% chance of conceiving each month. While living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding habits like smoking and drinking can give you a better chance of TTC success than someone who doesn’t, it will not counteract the impact of your age.
3. Birth Control Can Negatively Impact Your Fertility
No matter what you’ve heard, birth control does not negatively impact a woman’s fertility. While it may take women who have been on birth control a little while to resume ovulation and a normal menstrual cycle if they’ve been on the pill for years, birth control pills do not cause infertility. Instead, the regularity that pills provide – a predictable cycle and period, along with a decrease in menstrual pain – can mask underlying fertility issues. Bottom line? Being on birth control pills may mask fertility issues, but they don’t cause fertility problems.
4. If You Already Have a Child, Conceiving Again Will Be Easy
If you already have a child, you’re probably thinking that trying for your next baby will be smooth sailing. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Secondary infertility, considered the inability to achieve or maintain a pregnancy after already having a child, impacts over a million couples. The causes of secondary infertility are varied and can be due to anything from increased maternal age, increased paternal age (which can also impact a man’s sperm production), or other changes in your overall or reproductive health. Even if you’ve already had a child, if you’ve been trying to conceive for a year without success – or six months if you’re 35 or older – it may be time to schedule an appointment with an infertility specialist. To schedule a consultation with one of the fertility specialists at REACH’s Charlotte fertility clinic, contact us today at 888.551.0874.
5. If You’re Infertile, Your Only Option is IVF
IVF is often the first thing couples think of when they hear the term “infertility treatment,” but even though it is the most talked about fertility treatment, it is definitely not the most common. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, only 3% of infertile couples require advanced reproductive technologies like IVF to conceive. For the majority of patients, other treatment options – such as surgical procedures and fertility medications – can help them achieve TTC success!
There’s a lot of misinformation out there surrounding infertility, but it’s important to dispel these myths that can keep those who struggle with the disease from feeling the support and understanding they need as start on the path to parenthood. Instead, let us spread awareness so they know that they are not alone, and that there are many options available to help them build the family of their dreams. If you have questions about a fertility myth, or if you have been trying to conceive without success, contact our team of fertility experts at REACH Fertility Clinic at 888.551.0874 today.