Infertility affects millions of people yearly, yet it remains a taboo topic that is often only talked about privately. As a result, myths about infertility spread and allow society to dictate how we handle its complexity. Meanwhile, women who struggle with infertility feel left in the dark when they should feel empowered by the number of ways infertility can be treated.
Carolina Fertility Institute understands infertility is a challenging topic for couples or individuals to discuss. Myths about infertility shape the culture’s perception and continue stereotypes that affect our outlook. It is important to understand the following myths to dispel some of these common misconceptions.
Myth 1: If You Try Enough, You’ll Get Pregnant
For couples ready to be parents, offering advice such as “try harder” is ineffective and can be demoralizing. If there is an issue with the female or male’s reproductive system, the number of tries does not always translate to success. Additionally, infertility issues are often thought to be a women’s issue, which is among the myths about infertility. According to the National Institutes of Health, one-third of infertility cases are caused by male reproductive issues, one-third by female reproductive issues, and one-third by both parties or unknown factors.
Myth 2: Irregular Menstruation Equals Infertility
Having irregular periods is not a tell-tale sign that you are infertile. In fact, there are several different reasons for irregular periods, such as stress and lifestyle changes, birth control, low body weight, or endometriosis. That said, having an irregular period may make it more challenging to get pregnant, but by no means does it make it impossible. When missing your period, and trying to get pregnant, try taking note of other signs of ovulation such as increased sex drive, swelling of the vagina or vulva, basal body temperature falling and rising, and more.
Myth 3: Your Health Doesn’t Impact Fertility
For many women, infertility results from being obese or severely underweight. Some recommendations to assure you’re leading a healthy lifestyle include,
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Ensure you are intaking essential nutrients or taking multivitamins
- Decrease or quit drugs and excessive alcohol use
- Smoking cessation
In addition, per the National Library of Medicine, evidence-based dietary recommendations have been associated with improved fertility in both men and women. These include diets high in unsaturated fats, whole grains, vegetables, and fish. Ensuring your body is ready and able to host a human life is a significant first step to addressing fertility issues.
Myth 4: Infertility Can’t Happen In Young Women
Even though older age tends to have a stronger correlation to infertility issues does not mean it can’t affect younger women. In fact, 7 percent of women in the U.S. between the ages of 20 and 24 are infertile, and 9 percent are infertile between the ages of 25 and 29. If you are younger than 30 and experiencing infertility, be aware of risk factors such as past cancers, irregular periods, a history of STDs, or smoking and drinking habits.
Myth 5: The Only Treatment For Infertility Is IVF
IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is when a women’s egg is removed from her ovaries, fertilized with sperm, and then returned to the women’s uterus. IVF is one of the most common assisted reproductive technology treatments and has obtained an excellent track record for being highly successful in giving women the chance to have a healthy baby. However, as great as IVF is, it can be expensive and time-consuming. Luckily, IVF is not the only option for women dealing with infertility. Other great options include injectible hormones, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), laparoscopy, and ovarian stimulation medications.
Are you struggling with infertility and the stereotypes that surround it? Carolinas Fertility Institute is here to provide you with care and expertise to find the best solution without the judgment. Check out our website or give us a call for additional information or to debunk more myths about infertility.