Are you and your partner struggling to get pregnant? You aren’t alone. According to recent research, about 12.7% of women of reproductive age in the US seek fertility supplements and treatment in an effort to conceive. Further, according to World Health Organization, infertility affects 1 in 6 people globally.
Unfortunately, despite infertility being a highly personal issue, most people feel obligated to give unsolicited advice on the subject. And although such people may mean well, most of the information they give is often unhelpful or plain wrong.
So, how do you separate facts from fiction when it comes to fertility?
In this article, we take a look at six common infertility myths in an effort to keep you informed.
Myth 1: It’s Always the Woman’s Fault
Unfortunately, women are often blamed when a couple is unable to conceive. The truth is infertility affects both women and men.
Statistics show that in all infertility cases, 40-50% are caused by the male factor. Common infertility issues in men include:
- Low sperm production
- Blockages in the reproductive system tubes
- Abnormal sperm function
- Genetic defects
- Health problems such as infections and diabetes
Therefore, both a man and a woman need to be tested in case they struggle with infertility.
Myth 2: Relax, It’s All in Your Head
Infertility is more than just a psychological problem. It’s a condition that needs medical attention.
Although stress may contribute to your infertility issue, you need to see a medical expert who can help determine the real cause of the problem. You can’t simply fix the problem by taking a vacation, engaging in stress-minimizing activities, or changing your mindset.
Myth 3: You Need to Try Harder
Some people think that you aren’t trying hard enough and may advise you to try engaging in sex more.
Unfortunately, fertility involves more than just what occurs in between the sheets. It’s a medical condition, and in most cases, the effort may not always translate to success.
Myth 4: Health Isn’t a Contributing Factor to Infertility
Although infertility has many causes, one’s lifestyle is often one of the contributing factors.
For instance, being overweight or underweight can lower one’s chances of conceiving. Other health factors that can negatively impact both women and men when it comes to fertility include:
- Drug use
- Alcohol intake
- Lack of exercise
- Not taking the recommended supplements and multivitamins
- Unmanaged chronic conditions
- Poor diet
Myth 5: You Don’t Have to Worry About Infertility if You Have Conceived in the Past
Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Couples who already have a child or children can experience secondary infertility.
Secondary infertility affects couples who have previously given birth without any trouble but are unable to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term. The same factors that cause primary infertility often cause secondary infertility.
So, if you and your partner have been trying to conceive for more than six months without success, even after having a baby before, you may need to speak to your doctor to rule out secondary infertility
Myth 6: Age Doesn’t Affect Fertility
Age, just like health, does affect fertility. And to put the record straight, age is a contributing factor for both men and women.
Fertility in women decreases with age, and women aged between 32 and 37 will often experience a 50% decline in fertility.
Similarly, infertility rates in men also increase with age. When men reach the age of 40, they may experience a decline in semen volume. The shape and movement of the sperm will also decrease.
Infertility is a common issue, and you don’t have to let the above myths deter you from getting the help you need. Experts advise that if you have been trying to get pregnant for about a year without success, it’s time to see a doctor.