Starting a family is a priority for many couples, so when an infertility diagnosis is made, it can be heartbreaking and stressful. Although there are often no visible signs of infertility, that doesn’t make it any easier to accept. On top of the disappointment couples face when their attempts to have a baby are unsuccessful, there are so many myths about why conception is not possible.
“With the internet, there is so much information available to patients, but there is also a lot of untruths and half truths out there,” said Sandy Goodman, M.D. of The Reproductive Medicine Group. “To help our patients better understand why they’re having trouble having a baby, we often spend time educating them on how conception occurs, and debunking some common myths that they have.”
Here’s a list of some of the most common myths and the real solutions:
Myth: Infertility is a Woman’s Problem
Fact: Infertility is gender neutral. In fact, for 35% of couples struggling with infertility, issues are attributed to the man, and the same amount to the woman. Just as a woman’s ability to conceive declines after age 35, after a man turns 50, the volume and number of healthy sperm decreases, which limits their ability to help a woman conceive.
Myth: You’re Thinking About it Too Much
Fact: Infertility is a disease, not a state of mind or a psychological disorder. There are often physical reasons why a woman cannot conceive, which should be explored with a physician. Well-meaning friends and family often suggest that a woman is causing her infertility by thinking about it too money, or that relaxing and taking a vacation will help her conceive. While reducing stress can make a difference in a woman’s chance of conception, it is just one of many options that should be explored.
Myth: No one in my Family has had Infertility Issues, so I Won’t Either
Fact: There are many factors to consider in infertility, and genetics does not always play a significant role. Each of us has a unique medical history and medical conditions. Additionally, just because a woman has conceived unassisted with one child, it doesn’t mean they will not have difficulties when they want to have another child. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 11% of women experience what’s called ‘secondary infertility’ after first conceiving without assistance.
Myth: My Lifestyle Choices Don’t Affect Infertility
Fact: When a woman or man is dealing with infertility, the first line of action is often lifestyle modifications. For instance, as much as 13% of female infertility is associated with smoking. Eliminating the habit can boost both a woman’s chance of getting pregnant and a man’s role in conception. Alcohol can have adverse effects on ovulation, egg health and sperm viability. Additionally, research shows that approximately 70% of women who are obese encounter difficulty becoming pregnant. The extra weight impacts a woman’s hormones and ovulation, and in men, excess pounds effects semen production. For obese women, losing just five to ten percent of ones body weight can make an enormous difference in conception. It improves the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and delivery – and you’ll feel better, too.
Myth: We Could Never Afford Infertility Treatments
Fact: Infertility treatment is an investment, but the lifestyle modifications listed above are the first step. When implemented, many couples can often conceive naturally. If more aggressive treatment is needed, there are a number of options available. Some insurance companies cover infertility evaluation, testing and treatment; some do not. The Reproductive Medicine Group is affiliated with several financing programs that can help you move forward with your care, and we have staff members who specialize in finding the right solution for your needs.
To learn more about The Reproductive Medicine Group visit www.floridafertility.com, and follow us on Facebook at The Reproductive Medicine Group, or Twitter at @ReproMedGroup.