MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT INFERTILITY

Myth: "Women are the cause of infertility in the family"

Fact: This is false; in fact, infertility is just as likely to be caused by a male factor as a female factor. Male factor accounts for 40% of infertility, female factor accounts for 40%, combined female and male problems account for 10% and the remaining 10% are of unexplained causes. It is essential that both the man and the woman be evaluated during an infertility work-up.


Myth: "Everyone else seems to get pregnant at the drop of a hat!"

Fact: It is estimated that 1 in 6 people experience infertility at some point in their lives. Statistics show that approximately 4.5 million couples experience infertility each year. Less than 2 million of the infertile couples actually seek help from the medical community. Infertility is a common health problem in men and women.


Myth: "It's all in your head - if you relax and stop thinking about it you will get pregnant!"

Fact: Infertility causes stress - stress doesn't cause infertility. Infertility is a medical condition; a disorder to the reproductive system. While relaxing may help you cope and with your overall quality of life, the stress and deep emotions you feel are the result of infertility, not the cause of it.


Myth: "If you adopt a baby you will get pregnant!"

Fact: Almost every infertile couple has probably heard the story from a relative or friend about someone who became pregnant right after they adopted. However, studies prove that the pregnancy rate after adopting is the same for those who do not adopt (5% each) - it's just the ones who adopt and then achieve pregnancy are the ones you hear about more often.


Myth: "Maybe you two are doing something wrong!"

Fact: Infertility is not a sexual disorder, it's a medical condition.


Myth: "If you have sex every day it will increase your chances of getting pregnant."

Fact: Because normal, healthy sperm remain active in the woman's reproductive system from 48-72 hours, having intercourse at 36-48 hour intervals around the time of ovulation is usually adequate. In fact, if the man has a low sperm count that replenishes slowly, having sex every day may be counterproductive.


Myth: "For some couples, getting pregnant just takes time.”

Fact: Couples should seek consultation after 12 months of unprotected intercourse if they have not achieved pregnancy. For couples over 35 years of age, it should be after six months.


Myth: "Infertility only happens to couples who have never had a child before."

Fact: Unfortunately for many couples who have a child and wish to conceive again, a variety of factors can contribute to what is known as "secondary infertility." A number of problems could have occurred since the last conception.


Infertility is an issue among many couples trying to get pregnant. The male or the female could be the partner who is infertile. Infertility could be a result of many factors:
  1. • Age: Most important factor in determining a couple’s conceiving probability.
  2. • Hormonal imbalance: Hormonal Imbalance is one of the leading causes of female infertility. The woman’s inability to ovulate and regulate hormone levels cause a production of too much or too less of one particular hormone. This hormonal imbalance is manifested by symptoms that are easily detected allowing for treatment to begin as soon as possible. These symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, excessive bleeding or very little bleeding, abdominal and pelvic cramps, absence of menstrual period for stretches of time and excessive weight gain and loss.
  3. • The following can result in hormonal imbalances: Glandular problems like thyroid, pituitary and hypothalamus glands problems. These glands are the primary glands that are responsible in creation and production of reproductive hormones. They can be affected by birth-control pills intake, stress and diseases like hypothyroidism. Once problems are encountered in either of these glands, an imbalance will prevent complete ovulation process to take place, thus the difficulty in conception.
  4. • Health: PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), fibroids, endometriosis, prior cancer treatment, pelvic surgery, cervical blocks, and eating disorders.
  5. • Lifestyle: being extremely under or overweight, along with smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use.

Please note: *this article is meant to be informative, but was not written by a medical professional. If you have further questions about pregnancy and fertility please consult your doctor or gynaecologist.

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