5 Common Myths About Fertility Treatments
People outside the fertility community mostly believe these myths, but so do people trying to conceive. Here are the most common myths.
By Karen Samuels
March 10, 2021
Fertility is quite a complicated topic (and simultaneously laden with emotions), making it a breeding ground for misconceptions. There are so many myths surrounding fertility, fertility treatments, and IVF in general. People outside the fertility community mostly believe these myths, but so do people trying to conceive.
Someone that’s trying to get pregnant so badly may do anything to achieve it, including listening to old wives’ tales on what to eat to get a girl or boy or spending a lot of time Googling their questions, only to find answers from increasingly sketchy sites. It does not help that actual facts surrounding fertility were really hard to come by in high school health class. So, fertility experts spend a lot of time rectifying false beliefs. This article discusses the most common fertility myths.
Infertility Is A Woman’s Problem
No, it isn’t. It’s a people problem. Infertility happens in both women and men.
According to Very Well Family, for heterosexual couples dealing with infertility:
· Approximately 1/3 will deal with male infertility
· Another 1/3 will deal with female infertility.
· The other 1/3 will either struggle with both female and male infertility or a cause that can’t be found (unexplained infertility).
Also, this infertility isn’t a heterosexual issue only. Even LGBTQ deal with infertility. However, theirs is, in most cases, situational. This means that they need fertility treatments such as IVF using a surrogate or insemination using a sperm donor because they can’t have a baby together biologically. In other scenarios, they can experience both medical and situational infertility. That is, one of the female partners may have a problem conceiving because they have a fertility problem. So, they may need fertility medication or other treatments as well as a sperm donor.
Having Sex Daily Will Get You Pregnant
People think that sex is a numbers game. That the more you have it, the more you’re likely to get pregnant. But it doesn’t work that way. In this piece, CCRM New York’s founding associate and practice director, Brian Levine, MD, says that you don’t need to it daily to get pregnant (go for it if you want to, though!) You only have to have sex when it counts.
According to the fertility clinic’s practice director, the fertile window is roughly two weeks after a woman has started her period. However, this differs a bit depending on one’s personal cycle. So, two days before and two days after the peak days are when to try. Any day not within that ovulation window will not result in a pregnancy.
He, however, cautions that even though you aren’t trying to conceive, always be on contraception no matter when you have sex, just to be safe.
Only The Age Of The One Carrying The Baby Has An Impact
The mom’s age is always a topic of conversation when it comes to fertility; however, according to Dr. Levine, how old the sperm provider is matters too. The older men get, the worse their sperm parameters. So, older sperm can be linked to infertility, as well as declined IVF outcomes. Also, a man’s age contributes to miscarriage risk too. According to Healthline, men over 39 experience lower semen volume and motility. They have also exhibited higher risks of pregnancy loss and infertility, pregnancy loss, schizophrenia, and autism.
Age Shouldn’t Worry You Long As There’s IVF
Putting off having kids is a personal choice, and people do it for their own reasons, including a career, not feeling ready enough, finances, name it. You shouldn’t rush to conceive a baby if you’re not ready. Still, age is a crucial factor to consider. There’s a common myth that once age-linked infertility strikes, you can always opt for IVF. Most people don’t understand that just as your natural fertility decreases with age, so do your odds for successful IVF treatment. The CDC collected statistics revealing that:
· 33% of IVF cycles for women under 35 resulted in the birth of a baby.
· Women aged 38 to 49 experienced even lower success rates of 17%, dropping by almost half.
· For women aged 43 to 44, live birth rates for one cycle, with their own eggs, reduced drastically to 3%. If age-linked infertility stands in the way of motherhood, women may choose donor egg IVF.
Giving Up Isn’t An Option, You’ll Eventually Become Pregnant
This is probably one of the most agonizing, damaging myths out there on fertility and infertility treatment. Couples who choose to quit altogether are sometimes ridiculed by those within and outside the fertility community for quitting too soon.
This isn’t right. Fertility treatment isn’t assured. Even though technically, there’s still a chance if the couple tries an egg donor, surrogate, or sperm donor (if everything else isn’t working) and eventually become pregnant, the process is oversimplified. There’s so much energy, time, emotions, and costs involved in the process. So, couples need not beat themselves up for giving up. Quit feeling guilty thinking that the next cycle may have been the one. Perhaps, it could have. But then again, it might not have been.