Infertility is not an uncommon condition in the US today. In fact roughly 9% of men and 11% of women experience infertility according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Doctors describe infertility as the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse (Six months for women over 35.).
It’s very frustrating for couples and individuals in the midst of fertility and often well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning friends and family members like to throw in their two cents. Most of the time, the information they impart is something unfounded they’ve heard secondhand or as is the case these days, some bit of misinformation they’ve found on the internet.
6 Misconceptions You Should Ignore
Infertility misconceptions are everywhere and a surprising number of people, including virtual strangers, feel the need to impart their so-called wisdom when these are simply misconceptions and half-hearted advice. You’ve probably even stumbled across these myths in fertility chatrooms and on different infertility websites. In any event you should ignore anything not verified by your doctor.
Here are the six top infertility misconceptions to ignore:
- Infertility is A Woman’s Condition or Fault
Even in 2023/2024 this is a common misconception you’ll hear time and again. While infertility is no one’s “fault” the diagnoses occur pretty equally. Meaning one-third of the time the cause is male factor, one-third it’s female factor and the other one-third is either both female and male factor or there is no medically identifiable cause. Infertility is by no stretch solely a woman’s condition.
- You Need to Relax and Let It Happen
It’s true that stress impacts fertility in some ways, however it’s important that you remember infertility is a medical condition and as such needs a medical diagnosis. Unless your doctor tells you chronic stress is an issue rest assured your reproductive health won’t automatically restore itself after a relaxing massage. That being said, it is always wise that you and your partner take steps to keep your stress under control.
- You’re Not Trying Hard Enough
This is a typically quoted misconception and we aim to set this one straight! Most of the time people tell you this meaning you need more time between the sheets. Infertility is not a sex problem. Sometimes the solution lies in treatment such as balancing your reproductive hormones, IUI or IVF and other treatment based on your diagnosis. Rest assured if you and your partner spent 12 months trying the “old-fashioned” way, more sex is not the solution.
- Age Only Matters for The Woman
Its true women experience a decline in fertility the closer they come to menopause. And the decline hits women at the young age of 32. According to ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) a woman’s fertility begins a decline after 32 and seriously diminishes after 37. The decline is due, for the most part, to a decrease in quality and quantity of eggs and the decrease in certain reproductive hormones.
However, male infertility also diminishes with age. After the age of 40 men’s semen volume decreases, the motility of the sperm slows down and after 50 sperm count goes down, according to a report published by the NIH.
- If You Got Pregnant Once You Will Again
Secondary infertility happens in roughly 11% of cases. In fact, secondary infertility is just as common as primary infertility. If you already have a child that does not guarantee you will not experience infertility later on.
- Your Health Doesn’t Affect Your Fertility
Your overall health and wellness and that of your partner absolutely impacts all aspects of your life including fertility. If you are overweight or underweight, your fertility may suffer. And weight impacts the fertility of both males and females. How?
- Sperm Quality and Count: Overweight and obese males have lower sperm counts and, in some cases, produce no sperm at all. Underweight males may produce fewer sperm because of lower testosterone levels.
- Egg Quality and Production: Overweight and obese females may produce more estrogen which may prevent ovulation (similar to estrogen-based birth control). If you are overweight and your periods aren’t regular, please see your doctor. The same is true for underweight females. Women of a low weight BMI may not ovulate due to hormone imbalances.
- Lifestyle: An unhealthy lifestyle impacts both male and female fertility. Excessive drinking, smoking and use of illicit drugs takes a toll on your reproductive health as well as your overall wellness.
Ask your doctor how you may alter your lifestyle in order to support healthy fertility.
Trust The Team at LA IVF
Not all fertility journeys are the same. If you suspect you may suffer from infertility, see the team at LA IVF. We provide legitimate answers, not myths or misconceptions. We’ll determine a diagnosis and, together, review treatment options. Trust the medical professionals with your fertility. Contact LA IVF today.