Infertility is such a taboo even in modern society that it is misunderstood by many. If a couple is unable to conceive despite regular unprotected intercourse over a year, they are deemed infertile. Some even think that infertile people cannot get pregnant no matter what, but that’s just another big misconception about infertility. Infertility is already very depressing for people trying to achieve pregnancy, and these myths and misconceptions cause more harm.
If you and/or your partner have infertility, you’re not alone. Infertility is quite common; in fact, one in every 8 couples deals with one or the other form of infertility. And yes, some treatments can help you with several fertility issues and eventually, you can become a parent.
Here are some myths about infertility that you should be aware of.
Myth#1: Infertility is a women’s problem
A big no. Men are equally responsible for infertility in couples; after all, it takes both male and female sex cells to make a baby. Actually, one in three infertility arises due to male factor infertility, one due to female factor infertility, and the last one due to a combination of both.
Men can have low sperm count, low sperm motility, or epididymal tubal blockage prohibiting sufficient sperm flow.
Women are often ashamed for being infertile, and male factor infertility is neglected in the name of pride and honour. But, this mindset hinders the diagnosis of actual infertility.
Therefore, both partners are subjected to fertility evaluation to find the underlying cause of infertility in the couple.
Myth#2: Men are always fertile regardless of age
It is true that age significantly affects fertility in women. But that’s not only true for women; even men experience reduced fertility with age. It can be due to decreased sperm count and motility in the semen of older men. Older men also experience erectile dysfunction, making it hard for them to impregnate a female partner. Men will likely encounter a decrease in semen volume and sperm motility after 40. As for women, their fertility declines by about 40-50% between 32-40.
Myth#3: I already have a child, so I will not have fertility issues
Fertility at one point in time doesn’t assure lifelong fertility. Infertility can develop at any point as it stems from various reproductive disorders. Moreover, you can get pregnant even if you’ve reduced fertility, but over time your untreated infertility can become severe and cause problems in conception and pregnancy. This is known as secondary infertility.
Myth#4: Young women can’t be sterile
Sure, younger women ( in their 20s) of reproductive age are more fertile than women above 30. However, infertility can affect even younger women due to blocked fallopian tubes, premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), endometriosis, genetic factors, etc. Various reproductive anomalies can cause infertility, even in young women. Therefore, a proper diagnosis of infertility allows doctors to treat the underlying cause and provide a treatment to assist with conceiving.
Myth#5: I’m healthy and fit, so I can’t be infertile
Even if you look healthy and take good care of your body, sometimes infertility finds its way. Infertility is a complex medical condition, and it can be caused by some unknown underlying condition. Around 10-15% of infertile couples are diagnosed with unknown infertility, meaning they look healthy and fertile even after proper diagnosis but still cannot get pregnant.
Myth#6: If we try harder and manage stress, we can get pregnant without fertility treatment
As they said, working hard doesn’t always bring results; infertility is such a situation. Think about it, if a man doesn’t have sufficient sperm count and his partner has one or both blocked fallopian tubes, what are the chances that they can get pregnant, even if they try every day? Honestly, not even 2%. And forcing yourself to try harder can negatively affect your relationship with your partner. However, fertility treatments such as IUI and IVF can help you get pregnant with a success rate of 20-25% and 40-45%, respectively.
Moreover, infertility is not a physiological problem, so stress has very less to do with infertility. No evidence supports the direct relationship between stress and infertility. But, even then, you should not take stress because stress can affect your hormones which can further affect your fertility.
We request you not to believe in anything you hear from a random person just because they have children and they are old. Infertility is a reproductive and medical condition that requires diagnosis and suitable treatment. So, consult a fertility expert if you have been struggling to conceive for over a year. Don’t wait too long because the underlying cause of infertility can worsen with time. You can overcome infertility with the right medical help.
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