Fact vs. Fiction: Busting Fertility Myths
Posted on May 31, 2016
Hello everyone! I’m thrilled to write this blog and share some thoughts with you. In this blog post, I will try to dismiss common fertility myths with explanations. If you have been trying to conceive without success, don’t get discouraged. I am hoping this post will empower you with positive information.
Fertility apps… Period trackers… IVF forums… There is SO much information out there for couples trying to conceive. It can be overwhelming and difficult to digest. But what information is useful, and what information is unproven?
Common Fertility Myths:
- Myth #1: Everyone’s getting pregnant but me. Almost 5 million reproductive age couples have infertility. That translates to one in six couples. Struggling to build your family is stressful and emotional. At RBA, our goal is to provide you with support and solutions. When you seek support, you will see that you are not alone.
- Myth #2: Infertility is a female problem. False. There are multiple reasons why couples have difficulty conceiving. In reality, infertility is about 35% female, 35% male, and 20% combined, and 10% unexplained. It is important to evaluate both male and female testing early in the investigation phase.
- Myth #3: Everyone should ovulate on day 14. Actually, it is very common to ovulate on days other than the “magical” cycle day 14. J This myth is based on the standard 28-day cycle, which many women don’t have. Cycles varying in length can still be ovulatory, and these changes in length often occur due to ovulating before or after cycle day 14. In fact, 65% of women ovulate outside of cycle day 13-15.
- Myth #4: If I stay healthy, my age will not impact my fertility. False. This is a frustrating myth. Usually, healthy lifestyle choices and habits protect us from many medical problems. But women are born with a finite number of eggs, and we deplete our egg reserve with each passing year. One woman’s ovarian reserve could be very different from another woman’s. Age, genetics, and other medical conditions play a big role. We are learning more about the impact of aging on male reproduction also.
- Myth #5: There is nothing I can do to stop the biological clock. False. Though it is true that nothing can stop the aging process of the ovary, advances in cryopreservation are allowing for both egg and embryo freezing with great success. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) considers this technology non-experimental. Freezing through vitrification technology is helping women preserve their eggs when child bearing is delayed. Embryo freezing is helping many couples complete their families after IVF cycles. Breakthrough advances in fertility preservation are changing opportunities for future generations.
We’ve just demystified a few myths about fertility. The field of reproductive medicine is continually improving with updated research and technology. Remember that success rates in our field have never been higher. We feel lucky to be by your side on your family building journey.
Pavna Brahma, M.D.