Author: Dr. Priyanka Mohan
Qualification: MBBS, MS(OBG), FMAS, DMAS, FRM
Infertility comes with loads of unsolicited advice. There are lots of myths that surround pregnancy and infertility. You must be familiar with them during the days you weren’t able to conceive. Generally, it comes from relatives and friends who are into making you feel better but many times it is seen that the couple facing infertility issues isn’t able to separate myths from facts. It is thus quite crucial to know the myths associated with infertility. This article highlights a few myths and facts associated with infertility.
- Infertility is associated with women only: Yes, it has been found that women are targeted as the root cause of pregnancy. This aspect is common amongst relatives. But the same isn’t true at all. The National Institute of Health highlights that about one-third of infertility cases stem from male reproductive issues and one-third from both parties or unknown factors. Each sex has its own set of symptoms that indicate infertility. It is thus wrong to make infertility a gender-centric disease. Modern infertility treatment therefore focuses on the infertile couple as a unit rather than any one of the two genders.
- You don’t need to worry about pregnancy if you are young.: There’s no such research in gynecology that highlights that there are no young couples that face infertility. Estimates highlight that even a couple in their early 20s has a 7% chance of dealing with infertility. However, it is true that the chances of getting infertile increase with advancing age. But it isn’t that you must not worry about infertility if you are young. There are chances of infertility even if you are young.
- Birth control pills can cause infertility: The pill doesn’t make any impact on fertility be it a positive one or a negative one. The menstrual cycle generally goes back to normal once the pill intake has stopped. It generally takes one or two months to return to the original cycle but anything more than three months could be damaging. But it isn’t a hard and fast rule that the intake of birth control pills causes female infertility.
- Ejaculation in a man is a sign that he’s fertile: It has been found that identifying male infertility is a complex task as there are no noticeable signs. Generally, the underlying cause of pregnancy is believed to be a low sperm count but sperm count alone isn’t an issue. Sperm motility and morphology have a major role to play in terms of male infertility. Thus, ejaculation alone can’t determine if a man is fertile or not.
- One shouldn’t worry about infertility after having the first child.: Estimates suggest that approximately 30 percent of infertility happens after the first child. Thus, if a couple bears a child or children, they might experience difficulty in getting pregnant again. The condition when a woman isn’t able to conceive after having the first child is termed secondary pregnancy. It is as common as primary pregnancy and every 1 in 8 couples face secondary pregnancy. Secondary pregnancy is fixable with the aid of fertility specialists who can provide the best fertility treatment. Thus, it is a myth that infertility issues don’t arise after having the first child.
- IVF diminishes your ovarian reserves, it takes away your eggs. : Generally, the onset of each cycle recruits a group of eggs that hold the potential to mature within a month. Only one among these eggs matures. This mature egg is released during ovulation while the others die. The IVF cycle allows the natural recruitment of eggs for that month but they all get stimulated. Hence, all the eggs have the opportunity to mature but this doesn’t affect the other eggs which are not a part of the group recruited for that cycle.
- Irregular periods mean you will never be able to conceive: Irregular periods are usually associated with infertility. But this is not the case. They might be a sign of normal hormonal physiology but they don’t necessarily indicate infertility. It might happen because of a disturbed ovulation process or an out-of-schedule menstrual cycle. Polycystic ovary syndrome, thyroid, or prolactin disorder might be a few underlying causes of irregular periods.
There are several other myths regarding infertility. Many of them have been derived from mythology like the presence of an infertility deity and more. However, modern science has been successful in busting many myths of these kinds. But, a few of them still remain in the society and end up creating confusions regarding infertility. It is therefore necessary to spread awareness regarding the same.
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