Mythbusters Diaries (Part 20): Infertility Myths Couples Should Stop Believing (Episode 2)

Sad lovers couple after a pregnancy test result
Contributed by: Rachana Arya

 

Dealing with infertility is challenging and exhausting and brings with it social stigma and anxiety-producing experiences. There are numerous myths surrounding this subject, and much of it is baseless. The following are some prevalent infertility myths and facts:

Read our ‘Infertility Mythbusters Episode 1’ here.

 

Myth #1: Infertility has nothing to do with men

Fact:

Infertility is caused by sperm abnormalities or male factors in around half of all couples. The problem could be with the number of sperm, the form of the sperm, or the capacity of the sperm to migrate properly. Many men who produce little or no sperm suffer from blockages or other disorders that can be treated. It’s critical that men are checked early on in the infertility process.

 

Myth #2: Your overall health isn’t a contributing factor to infertility

Fact:

Wrong. Your general health is one of the most important factors in your fertility. If you’re having trouble conceiving, it’s time to reconsider your lifestyle. While not all cases of infertility are linked to overall health, it is frequently the determining cause or a contributing one. Eating a plant-based, unprocessed-food-rich diet can help your body prepare for pregnancy and a healthy baby. Being overweight or underweight can make it more difficult to conceive. Smoking, alcohol, and drug use, lack of exercise, failure to manage chronic diseases, and failure to take recommended vitamins and supplements are all factors that can lead to infertility.

 

Myth #3: Lifestyle choices of the male partner have no impact on conception chances

Fact:

When it comes to trying for a baby, most women are aware of the importance of their personal health. Most women are aware that smoking can speed up the reduction in the number of eggs and prolong conception time. They might be startled to learn, however, that their male partner’s health is just as important in conceiving. As per research, here are a few ways that men’s lifestyle choices can affect their fertility:

 

  • Obesity has been linked to a reduction in sperm count and quality.
  • Physical labor that is strenuous is proven to lower sperm count.
  • Bodybuilding supplements containing androgens may have an impact on sperm production.
  • Substance abuse (tobacco, heavy drinking, and illegal drugs) has been shown to reduce sperm count impair fertility in men.

 

Myth #4: Weight has no effect on fertility

Fact:

Being overweight or underweight might make getting pregnant extremely difficult. Overweight men may have poor sperm quality, while overweight women may suffer from hormonal imbalances, which can lead to miscarriage and diabetes.

 

Myth #5:  Adopting a child will cure infertility

Fact:

Almost every couple who has struggled to conceive has likely heard a story about someone who became pregnant soon after adopting. This myth has no basis in reality. This is based on hearsay and has no scientific backing. Adoption is a beautiful method to start a family, but it is not a panacea for infertility. Some adoptive couples may experience a “surprise” pregnancy, but this only happens in about 5% of cases. Adoption is a wonderful method to bring a newborn or child into your life, no one should adopt because they believe it will help them become pregnant naturally.

 

Myth #6: Age isn’t an important factor in infertility

Fact:

With age, both men and women undergo changes in their fertility. For women, fertility begins to decline to start at the age of 30, and the decline speeds up rapidly after the age of 35, and after 40, it declines even more steeply. Likewise, male fertility declines with age. Sperm quality deteriorates somewhat as men get older and problems related to erectile dysfunction can increase.

 

Myth #7: Age doesn’t affect infertility if you are in good health

Fact:

The older a woman gets, the more difficult it is for her to conceive. Fertility experts use a variety of fertility therapies, including IVF, to try to combat growing age, but by the time a woman reaches 35, her odds of becoming pregnant are around half of what they were between the ages of 19 and 26. After the age of 38, egg quantity and quality begin to decline dramatically. Therefore, seeking early consultation from a gynecologist or a reproductive specialist may make a big difference in achieving pregnancy.

 

Wrapping it up

When a couple fails to conceive after numerous attempts, they may experience sadness, despair, grief, and a sense of failure. It’s natural to have a wide range of emotions at this time. While some couples manage to get through it, other couples find it to be a very tough condition to accept it. It’s critical to seek the advice of a reproductive endocrinologist to manage, carry out, and prescribe fertility tests and treatments.

 

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