Don’t Be Fooled By These Common Infertility Myths
Ever wish you had a dollar for every time someone made an unhelpful and downright inaccurate statement about infertility? You’re not alone. Though infertility is pretty common, with about 1 in 8 couples struggling to conceive, many people still don’t know a whole lot about it. For many couples, when infertility issues present an obstacle to parenthood, they search for answers online. With so much information available at their fingertips, it’s hard to determine what is truth and what is just an old wives’ tale or infertility myths. Here are a few of the most common infertility myths debunked.
Infertility Myth: You Just Need To Have Sex More
The Truth: Having sex more often won’t increase fertility per se, but tracking your ovulation window can increase your chances of getting pregnant. Fourteen days before your next period is the optimal window for most people. However, infertility can be caused by other factors like PCOS, endometriosis, ovulation disorders, and fallopian tube damage, among other causes, which means that having sex more and tracking ovulation isn’t the best course of action.
Myth: Infertility Isn’t Caused By Lifestyle
The Truth: While infertility isn’t caused entirely by lifestyle, certain choices can make you more likely to experience it. Drug and alcohol use, cigarette and marijuana intake, and poor diet and exercise habits can lead to infertility over time.
Myth: Irregular Periods Are A Sign Of Infertility
The Truth: Irregular periods don’t automatically scream infertility, though they can make trying to conceive more of a challenge. If your cycle is irregular, it can be tricky to properly time sex during your ovulation window. You should discuss this with your healthcare provider to see if they have any recommendations.
Myth: Infertility Means You’ll Never Have A Child
The Truth: Infertility means that you have been unable to have a child naturally after a year of trying, but this doesn’t mean it’s forever. With the proper treatment, many people go on to have children. Fertility treatments are also improving all the time.
Myth: Male Infertility Isn’t Common
The Truth: Though it’s commonly believed that infertility is a “women’s problem,” nothing could be further from the truth. About 35% of all infertility cases treated in the US can be traced to a male factor.
Myth: Once You Have A Successful Pregnancy, Your Infertility Is Cured
The Truth: Even if a couple already has a child or children, they can experience difficulty in getting pregnant later, which is called secondary infertility. About three million women experience secondary infertility. Though age can affect fertility, for some, secondary infertility is completely unexpected.
Myth: Stress Makes You Infertile
The Truth: Being stressed isn’t fun but it in no way causes infertility. Infertility is a medical issue, and no amount of yoga, meditation, or positive affirmations will change that.
Myth: Infertility Is For Older Women
The Truth: Infertility can happen to women (and men) of any age. While your fertility levels do decrease with age, many women over age 35 have healthy pregnancies. 80% of women between the ages of 35 and 39 can get pregnant in the first year of trying, compared to 85% of women younger than 35.
Myth: IVF Works For Everyone
The Truth: IVF does not guarantee pregnancy, and many couples don’t get pregnant after their first round of IVF. The odds of having a baby after the first IVF attempt is typically 20-35%.
Myth: You Won’t Feel Anxious Once You’re Pregnant
The Truth: If you have struggled with infertility, you will likely feel nervous until you are holding your baby in your arms. After all you have been through, it’s perfectly normal!
At The Gift of Parenthood, we know that becoming a parent is not an easy journey for everyone. Infertility is all too common, though not talked about enough. We hear the struggles, the pain, and the frustrations from our community members and strive to be an organization that spreads hope and awareness about infertility. We do this by educating, inspiring, and providing grants to couples and individuals across the world that struggle with infertility.