Let’s set the scene: Grandmother’s house on Thanksgiving. The table is full of aunts and uncles. The dreaded questions start to fly:
“When are you having a baby?”
It’s an awkward scene that we all pray won’t happen — but usually does.
Most couples don’t like talking about their fertility issues, and they hate unsolicited advice even more. Here are some of the biggest myths that couples hear when dealing with fertility.
Myth #1: You Need to Relax
We’ve all heard stories of couples who conceive miraculously after they decide to stop treatment or decide to adopt. While we’re excited about these couples, it’s not the norm and should not be expected.
It can be true that some fertility issues are caused by chronic stress, but infertility is a medical condition that can’t be fixed by meditation or a much-needed vacation. Infertility needs to be appropriately diagnosed by a specialist who can help the couple formulate a treatment plan.
Myth #2: You Need to Try Harder
Some may suggest that you just need to try harder — or more often — to get results. But for most couples dealing with infertility, they’re doing much more than just what’s happening between the bedsheets.
Couples often have appointments, medications, and follow-up visits, followed by dozens of disappointing pregnancy tests. For most couples, their infertility has taken over their lives. To suggest they just need to try harder is very disheartening.
Myth #3: Fertility is a Woman's Issue
We typically think of women when we think of fertility, but the truth is infertility can affect men too. Men can have a low sperm count or abnormal blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm. Chronic health problems or injury can also affect male infertility.
Here are some symptoms to look for:
Lack of sexual function
Pain or swelling in the testicles
Recurrent respiratory infections
Lack of smell
Abnormal breast growth
In fact, the malefactor is responsible for about 20% of infertility issues. And in 40% of cases, both the man and woman attribute to infertility. That’s why we suggest getting a sperm analysis early on.
If a man has any of these symptoms, he should see a specialist as soon as possible.
Myth #4: Fertility is Not Affected by your Health
We live in an age where a healthy lifestyle seems to be an afterthought. What the general public doesn’t understand is that health is one of the most significant factors when it comes to fertility for both men and women.
You have to take care of your body if you want to have a baby. Some ways to stay healthy include maintaining a healthy weight, taking multivitamins, being physically active, and staying away from too much alcohol.
And definitely avoid smoking and other drugs.
Myth #5: All Infertility Looks the Same
Every couple who deals with infertility deals with different struggles. Some couples can’t get pregnant at all, while other couples can get pregnant only to experience heartbreaking miscarriages.
These experiences will lead couples to different choices. Some will continue trying, some will turn to adoptions, and others will turn to alternative options such as egg donation.
Every path looks different, and every individual choice is valid — even if it’s different from what you would do.
Myth #6: If you've Had One Baby, You Don't Have Fertility Issues
Thirty percent of couples who are seeking fertility treatment already have at least one child. Some couples get pregnant quickly the first time around, but when they want a second child, they have a hard time conceiving again.
Here are some reasons why conceiving the 2nd time around may be harder:
It’s no surprise that women over the age of 35 have a harder time getting pregnant. But did you know that after 40, a man’s sperm count also goes down?
As couples age, the chances of them conceiving a baby naturally go down significantly.
We hate to say it, but couples who have been together for a long time tend to gain weight. In both men and women, being obese can decrease the chances of conceiving.
For women, added pounds leases to insulin resistance and elevated testosterone levels, which can affect ovulation. For men, the added weight will increase estrogen, which leads to a lower sperm count.
Drinking Too Much
We’re all for a glass of wine at the end of the day, but drinking much more than that can increase the time it takes to conceive and reduces the chances of having a healthy baby.
Also, moderate to heavy consumption can hinder sperm count in males as well.
Everyone knows smoking is bad for your lungs — but it also wreaks havoc on your fertility. Smoking can damage eggs, cause ovulation problems, and affect sperm DNA.
So if you smoke, it’s really time to quit.
Here are the Facts
The truth of the matter is dealing with infertility is overwhelming, frustrating, and heartbreaking. That’s where we come in. We’re here to give you real solutions that will get real results. Contact us today.
So let’s work together to get that baby coming before you have to deal with those dreaded comments at Thanksgiving again.