Understanding your personal fertility and the factors that affect your fertility potential are key to a successful pregnancy. In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), here are 12 facts and fallacies of infertility we hear most often:
1) Infertility is a common disorder.
FACT: Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples trying to have a baby.
2) Infertility is more common in women.
FALLACY: Infertility affects men and women equally.
3) The cause of infertility is most often unexplained.
FALLACY: After a thorough investigation the cause of infertility is usually attributable to a defined etiology related to the male, female or to a combination of factors from both partners.
4) The investigation of potential causes can be accomplished relatively quickly.
FACT: Investigation into potential causes of infertility can usually be completed over one menstrual cycle.
5) Ovulation occurs from one ovary one month and the other ovary the following month.
FALLACY: Only one ovary usually ovulates per month. However the pattern may not be regular from side to side.
6) Infertility can be caused by ‘not doing it right.’
FALLACY: There is no wrong way to have intercourse as long as sperm is deposited in the vagina.
7) The reason I’m not getting pregnant is because sperm leaks out of my vagina after intercourse.
FALLACY: Loss of seminal fluid after intercourse is normal. This discharge is not a cause of infertility. Sperm quickly reach the cervical mucus.
8) Pillows under your hips during and after intercourse will enhance fertility.
FALLACY: The position of the hips does not matter Sperm are in the cervical mucus quickly and will continue to travel up the cervix to the fallopian tube for the next 48 hours to 72 hours after intercourse.
9) Having intercourse every other day is generally sufficient to achieve pregnancy.
FACT: Sperm remain alive and active in cervical mucus for up to 72 hours following intercourse. Therefore it is not necessary to have intercourse every day on a rigid schedule. The most fertile time to get pregnant, however, when using home ovulation testing is the day after detection of the LH surge.
10) A retroverted (tipped) uterus causes infertility because sperm cannot swim into the uterus.
FALLACY: Approximately 40% of women may have a retroverted uterus and has no bearing on whether pregnancy can occur and is thus not an indication for surgery.
11) If you just relax, you’ll get pregnant.
FALLACY: If pregnancy has not occurred after a year in a woman under age 35 chances are there is a medical condition causing infertility. Remember, all couples with infertility are under stress. It’s the infertility that causes stress.
12) A man who has no problems having sex and is virile has a normal sperm count.
FALLACY: There is no correlation between male fertility and virility. Men with normal sex drives may still have no sperm.
There are positive steps you can take. Educate yourself on the causes of infertility and the wide range of treatment options available. Tend to your physical health and well-being. Seek support to handle the emotions that accompany infertility. And, most importantly, find the right physician and facility that will work together with you to explore all opportunities. At Fertility Centers of New England, our team keeps on top of the latest advances in assisted reproductive technology and tailors treatment for each person.
Have questions? Contact us today for a free initial consult!