The Facts About Fertility
Despite a wealth of information available, many fertility misconceptions and myths still exist. Let’s take a look at the top 5 fertility myths, identified by doctors:
“You have plenty of time”
More now than ever before, women are delaying childbearing into their late 30s and beyond. This is, perhaps, fueled by visions of celebrity mums conceiving later and later in life. What those tabloid stories don’t necessarily tell us, however, is how much time, energy, and money were spent on those pregnancies. Because, like it or not, age matters. Whether you’re delaying for financial reasons, professional reasons, or personal reasons, you must understand the statistics. The data shows that the risk of infertility–defined as more than one year of unprotected intercourse that does not result in conception–increases from 6% in your early 20s to 64% in your early 40s.
“You just need to relax”
While it’s true that our fertility is affected by stress, just “relaxing” probably isn’t going to result in conception. Many studies have been done on somatic health practices, like acupuncture, to help women conceive. But no conclusive results have been found. So, while finding ways to reduce stress is a healthy pursuit for everyone, including couples who are trying to conceive, it probably isn’t the panacea.
“It’s not him, it’s you”
Plenty of women who struggle to get pregnant assume that they are responsible for not being able to conceive. However, infertility studies have shown that up to 35% of infertile couples are unable to conceive because of a male fertility issue. It’s important not to blame yourself or your partner. Instead, approach your efforts to conceive as a couple, which means you both need to take care of your physical health and seek out the advice of your doctors when you have concerns.
“If you are diagnosed with infertility, it means you will never have a child”
This is absolutely incorrect. In fact, with treatment and help, many couples diagnosed with infertility will eventually go on to conceive one or more children.
“Age does not affect a man’s fertility”
False. While the decline in a man’s fertility may not begin quite as early as it does for women (often in her early 30s), a man’s age absolutely affects the quantity and quality of his sperm. As with women, the older the man, the more difficult it will be to conceive.