If you’re having trouble getting pregnant or have had trouble staying pregnant, you’re not alone. Ten percent of American women between the ages of 15-44 have those issues too. It’s a wide-scale issue with a broad range of causes. However, it’s easy for anyone’s judgement to get clouded by the range of misinformation out there. Fertility myths can lead to avoiding addressing problems conceiving because you believe help is out of the question or that there’s nothing you can do to improve the chances. So let’s smash some of the most widespread and harmful rumors.
Busting fertility myths:
1. Age doesn’t matter / age is all that matters
Age is going to be in the forefront of many women’s minds when it comes to conceiving. It has some impact and increased risks to your health, there’s no doubt about that. Women over 45, on average, have more trouble conceiving than those who are younger.
But many believe that if they’re over 35, their chances of conceiving are basically zero, which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s propagated mainly by a claim that 1 in 3 women between 35 and 39 won’t be pregnant after a year of trying.
The problem with that claim? It’s looking at records from the 17th-18th century. On the other hand, there is a problem that comes with hitting 40, with less than a 5% chance of getting pregnant in any given month.
2. I don’t have to stop my bad habits until I get pregnant
Most women know to make a change in their diet, specifically to their habits, such as smoking, and other unhealthy choices when they get pregnant. Staying healthy does get much more important when pregnant, yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important right now too.
Smoking is a big problem in particular. Research estimates that it accounts for as high as 13% of female infertility diagnoses.
And then there’s what you eat to consider too. Acidic foods like red meat, coffee, and alcohol can reduce chances of conceiving too.
Alcohol, in general, can have a big impact in the body’s hormonal balance. Those changes need to be made now for many reasons that go beyond fertility
3. I’ve been on the pill, so my chances are worse
Birth control pills can have side effects for a woman’s reproductive system. Those side effects include:
- Misseing periods
- Decline in libido
- Vaginal discharge
Some of these side effects conjure up fears that the pill has a bigger negative impact than positive and that consuming it over time can tank your fertility. These fears are mostly unfounded, though.
The pill is designed to make sure that doesn’t happen and doesn’t delay your chances of getting pregnant, whether you’ve been on it several months or even years. After a month of not taking it, your ovulation cycle will likely return to natural.
Hormonal birth control does have its issues, don’t misunderstand me. But long-term fertility impacts isn’t one of them.
More fertility myths:
4. We’ve had a child before so we can’t have fertility problems
Of all of the fertility myths on the list, this one is perhaps the most widespread, in my opinion. It leave a lot of people in the dark about what’s really happening if they’re not conceiving after they already have a kid (or a few youngsters).
Both men and women can develop fertility issues after already having a child. For example, omen’s egg count drops as time goes on.
In addition, female weight might change and become unhealthy, negatively affecting fertility. Another health issue is polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS, which can develop at any time and affect chances of conceiving a child.
As for men, their level of fertility can also alter over time. Age, health issues, and consuming medication can all affect sperm, both in terms of count and quality.
If either of you are over 36 years old, then it’s a good idea to get help sooner rather than later for fertility issues. Don’t assume you’ll get the same results as the first time around.
5. Help is too expensive
This one isn’t really a myth. Yes, fertility treatments can be expensive, especially if you’re looking at IVF, which can cost around $10,000 to $15,000 for a single cycle of treatments.
However, there are affordable IVF plans worth investigating that are becoming more common. Also, before pursuing IVF, there are more cost-effective treatments you can try too.
One option, for example, is medication, such as clomiphene and gonadotropins, both of which can cost a lot less while losing no effectiveness if you go generic. Approximately 30-40% of women using clomiphene conceive, often by their third cycle. Each cycle last between 3-6 months.
There are always options out there and often there are more affordable versions of them, too. Thus, don’t let fears of costs stop you from talking about your options.
Takeaway on fertility myths
If you’re trying to get pregnant and you find it simply isn’t happening, the wisest course of action is to see what are the options. Visit a medical professional who has training in this field rather than hitting the Search button online.
Regardless of any preconceived notions of how likely you think it is or isn’t, understanding is much better than assuming something.