5 Infertility Myths To Ignore Once and for All
Many infertility myths come from a simple lack of awareness about fertility issues. Even basic information – like how female ovulation works – is not something everyone learns about while growing up, which can lead to misconceptions later about related topics. In addition to causing misunderstandings and confusion, infertility myths can disrupt progress made by the fertility community to make the subject of trying to conceive (TTC) less controversial and “hush-hush.”
Let’s debunk five of the most prevailing infertility myths our patients still come across today.
1. “It’s just because you’re stressed out. If you relax or take a vacation, I’m sure it’ll happen.”
The concept of blaming infertility on stress is one of the most harmful infertility myths in existence. While there is some evidence that stress can potentially play a very small role in infertility, it will not be the reason a medical professional administers a diagnosis of infertility. Infertility is caused by physical conditions within the body, such as a lower egg quality/quantity in female patients or a lower sperm count in male patients. It is not caused primarily by stress.
2. “Men are fertile their entire lives, so they can have a baby whenever they want.”
While it’s true that male fertility is not as closely correlated to age as female fertility, this does not mean that men will retain peak fertility when they’re in their 50s and 60s. Some studies show that, after the age of 50, the quality of male fertility declines to a certain extent. These studies also show that advanced male age correlates with an increased risk for pregnancy complications and difficulty conceiving, even when undergoing fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). As such, if a couple is struggling to conceive, it is recommended that both partners, regardless of age, undergo fertility diagnostics and testing.
3. “You’re probably not trying hard enough.”
Another extremely harmful myth is the idea that a couple isn’t getting pregnant because they’re simply not putting in enough effort or having sex often enough. Many people who have never experienced the struggle and frustration of trying to have a baby for six months, a year, or longer without success sometimes can’t fully understand how wrong this myth is. Again, this boils down to a lack of understanding about how complicated human reproduction can be. In many cases, couples actively try for a very long time before deciding to see a fertility specialist.
4. “You already have one kid, so you’ll be able to have another eventually.”
When a couple struggles to have a second child after having conceived and given birth to their first, it is known as secondary infertility. Secondary infertility is a real medical condition and can come as a surprise to those who had no issues conceiving the first time around. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including the patients’ age as well as underlying health conditions. Just because someone already has one child, it does not mean that they won’t struggle with fertility later on.
5. “I know someone who did IVF and X happened, so X will happen to you too.”
Each fertility journey is different. Making assumptions about diagnoses and treatment based on anecdotes or personal experiences isn’t very helpful. What’s successful or not successful for one couple doesn’t mean that the same outcome will happen for everyone.
There are many factors that go into successful fertility care. At Chelsea Fertility NYC, we take a personalized approach so that each patient has a treatment plan that is tailored to them specifically. To learn more about your fertility care options in New York City, contact us today.