If you have been trying to conceive for a while, you are probably no stranger to the misinformation surrounding fertility, whether it’s online on social media or heard when talking to friends and family. Truth is, there are quite a few fertility myths that should be debunked. Our goal is to help you focus on your fertility journey without wasting precious time and energy chasing myths.
Fertility Myths Debunked
The National Infertility Association estimates that 1 in 8 U.S. couples struggle to conceive. If you are one of them, you deserve to know what to listen to and what to discount.
Myth: If your period is regular, you can easily get pregnant.
Fact: A normal period doesn’t always mean you are regularly ovulating, which is the goal. Plus other factors can interfere:
- Male factor infertility
- Uterine abnormalities
- Fallopian tube blockages
- Anovulatory bleeding
Other considerations: taking oral contraceptives, having an exceptionally thick uterine lining, polyps, fibroids, cervical lesions.
Myth: Stress causes infertility.
Truth: While stress isn’t healthy it also doesn’t cause infertility. In fact, it’s typically the other way around! Infertility causes stress. Severe stress, both physically and emotionally can temporarily alter your fertility but it is typically temporary.
Myth: Employing certain positions during intercourse can boost your chances of pregnancy.
Fact: Believe it or not, sperm are created to be Olympic-level swimmers seeking a fertile egg no matter what position you are using and take mere seconds after ejaculation to land in the awaiting cervical canal. In other words, biology is on your side!
Myth: Fertility is a female problem.
Fact: Infertility affects both sexes equally and both come with their own infertility symptoms. Often, men don’t have obvious symptoms unless there is a known factor, such as a testicle injury or surgery while women can experience a change or absence in their menstrual flow or have severe period pain or physical symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. 40% of cases involve male infertility!
Myth: Aging impacts women’s fertility, not men’s.
Fact: While it is true that a woman may find her fertility levels declining up to 50 percent between the ages of 32-37, men’s fertility rates diminish after age 40 and they notice semen volume and motility decreasing.
Myth: People who already conceived a child don’t need to be concerned with infertility.
Fact: Statistics reveal that roughly 30 percent of infertility occurs after already having a child. Anyone can find themselves conceiving after a successful pregnancy. The good news is, in vitro fertilization can help.
Myth: The state of your overall health doesn’t make a difference to your fertility odds.
Fact: The opposite is true! For both men and women, often the biggest obstacle on your fertility journey is your current state of physical health. So if you’re trying to conceive, the following is important:
- Keeping a consistent healthy body weight
- Consuming multivitamins to support your body functions
- Avoiding drugs and heavy alcohol consumption
- Staying away from tobacco use, especially smoking
Myth: Having daily intercourse will boost your chances of conception.
Truth: Trying to conceive every day can be stressful and put a damper on having intercourse. Knowing your fertile window is optimal. This means during ovulation (the day your egg is released from your ovary) and up to around five days before that. Your best approach? Focus on having sex every other day during those days.
Myth: Infertility treatment means in vitro fertilization.
Truth: Only 30% of our patients actually undergo in vitro fertilization or IVF. The majority conceive using timed intercourse, and intrauterine inseminations is less expensive and less invasive. Our fertility team will create an individualized plan that will best suit your fertility goals.
Know that your body is doing its best as you work to achieve pregnancy during your fertile days. Working with a reproductive endocrinologist like those at Utah Fertility Center can help you in your quest for conception. Only you can decide what steps you want to take next if any. This holiday season, we are here to help you with one of life’s greatest gifts.