This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and as such it is important to dispel many of the myths surrounding fertility by busting them with facts. Myths are defined as an unproven or false collective belief that is used to explain phenomena of nature. Facts are defined as something that actually exists or is in reality true. May we all unite and flip the script about infertility – further removing the stigmas that stand in the way of building families.
#1 Myth: Getting pregnant is easy.
Fact: The natural ability to conceive is 20% per month.
#2 Myth: Infertility is uncommon.
Fact: Difficulty conceiving occurs in 10% to 15% of couples trying to become pregnant in the US which is over 7 million people.
#3 Myth: Infertility is a woman’s problem.
Fact: Infertility is a female problem in 35% of cases, a male problem in 35%, and a combined problem in 20%, and unexplained in about 10% of cases.
#4 Myth: Infertility is not a problem until your late 30s.
Fact: A woman’s fertility peaks by age 29. By age 30, 5% of women are infertile, 10% by age 35, 40% by age 40, and 90% by age 44.
#5 Myth: People who have had a child or children should have no difficulty conceiving another.
Fact: Over one million couples experience “secondary infertility.” Just because a couple had no difficulty conceiving the first time does not mean that they will always conceive easily.
#6 Myth: You should have sex every day when you are trying to get pregnant.
Fact: If a man has a normal semen analysis daily ejaculation for more than a week can actually lower sperm counts. Having intercourse every other day around ovulation is sufficient.
#7 Myth: Conception occurs only during intercourse.
Fact: Timing is important but, the egg can survive one to two days following ovulation and sperm may survive up to five days in the female reproductive tract.
#8 Myth: Maybe you are doing something wrong.
Fact: Infertility is a medical disorder not a sexual disorder as long as sperm is getting into the female reproductive tract.
#9 Myth: It takes time. You will get pregnant if you are patient.
Fact: If you are under age 35 it is OK to try for a year to become pregnant. If you are over 35 seek help after 6 months and if you are 40 years of age or older seek help as soon as possible as fertility is age related.
#10 Myth: Using lube during sex won’t interfere with getting pregnant.
Fact: Many lubricants and even saliva can be toxic to sperm. If a lubricant is necessary, mineral oil is an option as is the lubricant, Pre-Seed.
#11 Myth: The timing of when we have intercourse and /or different sexual positions will determine the gender of our baby.
Fact: The best way to determine the gender of your baby prior to conception is to undergo in vitro fertilization in conjunction with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). For more information on PGD for sex selection, click here.
#12 Myth: Testosterone supplementation may improve my sperm count.
Fact: Exogenous testosterone supplementation sends negative feedback to the testes markedly reducing sperm concentrations.
#13 Myth: My mom had miscarriages so I will, too.
Fact: Most miscarriages are the result of a chromosomal issue. Your partners sperm contributes 50 % of the genetic material to your embryo, so a miscarriage may be due to the sperms contribution.
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