Fertility is complicated. As you can imagine, there are many myths and common misconceptions about getting pregnant. Although in today’s society there are more conversations about infertility than ever, it is still a widely misunderstood subject. To celebrate infertility awareness week, our experts are debunking the 10 most common myths about fertility.
- Getting pregnant is easy. For many couples, it comes as a surprise if they don’t achieve pregnancy within the first few of months of trying. Healthy couples only have about a 20% chance of conceiving each month so if you are experiencing infertility, you are certainly not alone. In fact, 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant. There are a variety of conditions that contribute to infertility such as PCOS, tubal factors, diminished ovarian reserve, male factor or in 20% of cases, the cause is unexplained.
- Just relax and it will happen. Anyone who has struggled with infertility has heard the age-old advice, “just relax”. What many loved ones forget when giving harmless fertility advice, is that infertility is a disease. Your reproductive health is not something that can be cured by a weekend getaway, meditation or reduced stress. While all those lifestyle changes may help your overall well-being, is not a remedy that can overcome infertility on its own.
- Infertility is a woman’s issue. Although women tend to assume that they are at fault, about 40% of the time the cause is actually male factor infertility. At your initial consultation, a fertility specialist will order testing that includes a semen analysis to confirm that the specimen has normal shape, motility, and count. To treat male factor infertility, your fertility doctor may recommend an IUI (intrauterine insemination) which brings the sperm closer to the egg. In other cases, ICSI can be used in an IVF cycle, which allows skilled embryologists to inject sperm directly into the egg.
- I can wait until I’m 40 to get pregnant. It is a common misconception that delaying pregnancy does not come with any complications. In the past decade, celebrities have commonly had children well into their 40’s; however, that does not come easily for many women. In fact, egg quality and quantity decrease drastically around age 35 and continue to decrease each year after. This is another reason many women are choosing elective egg or embryo freezing. Those who conceive after the age of 40 typically use donor eggs.
- I already have a baby, I don’t have to worry about infertility. Couples are surprised to hear that there is a diagnosis called secondary infertility — meaning that although they may have had no trouble getting pregnant with their first child, they are diagnosed with infertility the second time around. Conceiving one baby without trouble does not guarantee that the experience will be the same a few years down the road.
- IVF is the only option. While some fertility practices heavily promote IVF as the only successful option to have a baby, infertility treatment is not treated with a “one size fits all” approach. An individualized perspective to fertility treatment allows your doctor to work with several factors such as your insurance coverage/restrictions, your financial means or personal requests. Other treatments such as IUI, oral or injectable medications or even minimally invasive surgery may be better suited to you.
- My mom and sister got pregnant quickly, so will I. An interesting fact is that fertility is not necessarily genetic. While certain hormonal disorders such as premature menopause, or PCOS can run in the family, unexplained infertility does not. Just because your sister, mother or grandmother easily had multiple children does not mean that you will, too. Fertility is unique to everyone.
- Miscarriages are rare. An estimated 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and yet most women who experience loss tend to feel isolated. It is a heartbreaking outcome to what is supposed to be a joyous time. In recent years, many celebrities have started to bravely share their stories to raise awareness and break the silence. Specialists can treat patients who have had a history of recurrent pregnancy loss by discovering the root of the issue and providing additional support in the early weeks of pregnancy.
- It’s normal to try for years without success. It is recommended that you seek a consultation with a fertility specialist after 1 year of trying if you are under 35 years old, or after just 6 months of trying if you are over 35. If you have unsuccessfully been trying to get pregnant for several years, there is a possibility that there is an underlying condition preventing you from conceiving.
- Fertility treatment is too expensive. A very common misconception about fertility is that it is a cash pay only business with a high price tag. Many couples are pleased to hear that they have partial or insurance coverage. Patients of Sincera Reproductive Medicine have access to a financial counselor, fertility loan companies and competitive pricing to assist them in their path to become parents.
If you think you would benefit from a consultation with one of Sincera Reproductive Medicine’s specialists, contact us today.