Talking about fertility has long been a hushed conversation behind closed doors. Rumors, misconceptions, and absurd myths breed in this environment. Let’s delve in and get to the bottom of some of the biggest misconceptions around conception and infertility!
The Top Ten Fertility Myths
1) Only Women Have Fertility Issues: As per ASRM, infertility affects women and men equally. About 33% of infertility cases can be attributed to male factors, 33% to female factors, and one-third to a combination of problems in both partners or unexplained causes.
2) Fertility is Hereditary: While family fertility history is helpful and essential to share with your doctor, a fertile family doesn’t guarantee you won’t have fertility issues. This is why getting a fertility workup is recommended. You will gain insight directly into your fertility health.
3) Relax and Conceive: While there is evidence that infertility patients experience distress, depression, anxiety, and decreased quality of life, infertility is often a medical condition. While relaxing never hurts anyone, it doesn’t mean it can thoroughly address the root cause of your infertility. We recommend a functional approach to see often missed reasons that could impact your fertility health and getting even a few minutes of meditation or visualization to help manage stress. We provide a Guided Fertility Visualization Exercise that can take you on a journey through the fertility garden. You’ll experience deep relaxation and a feeling of peace and serenity. Practice this exercise daily to receive the most benefit.
4) You Should Do a Handstand After Sex: If you’re flexible enough to pull this off, great, but it’s unnecessary or helpful to increase the chance of conceiving. There are roughly 100 to 300 million sperm that will get deposited during sex, and many of those will get where they need to be without performing any acrobatics. The standard, regular, imperceptible contractions of the uterus that happen all day long move sperm up to the egg within minutes.
5) Age Doesn’t Matter: We’ve all heard of one celebrity or another getting pregnant after 40 years old, and, unfortunately, that may give some a false sense of time. The public often doesn’t know what happened behind the scenes to achieve that pregnancy. After the age of 31, the probability of conception falls rapidly. After age 35, the rate of decline accelerates, and by the age of 40, over half of couples are infertile. While it’s true some older women can achieve a “natural” pregnancy on their own, the best thing you can do to find out your fertility health is to see your doctor. This will give you some information on how much time may (or may not )be on your side.
The same goes for men. Researchers at Bristol and Brunel Universities evaluated 8,500 couples to determine the impact of age on the length of time it took to conceive. They discovered that while only 8 percent of men younger than 25 fail to impregnate their partner after a year of trying, that number grows to 15 percent after age 35. Research has found a direct link between paternal age and an increased risk of autism and schizophrenia. Men pass along as many as four times more genetic mutations compared with mothers. As a man ages, the concentration of mobile, healthy sperm semen and semen volume overall will decrease.
Remember there is a difference between chronological and biological age. Lifestyle factors such as diet, sleep, movement, and more have a major impact on preconception health for both men and women.
6) It is Easy to Get Pregnant: In reality, even the healthiest of couples have only a 20% chance of getting pregnant each month, so if it doesn’t happen in the first few months of trying, that’s pretty normal. A proactive step if you’re interested in having children is to ask your OBGYN these questions and take a fertility test.
7) Fertility Apps Can Help You Conceive: There are so many fertility apps out there that claim to tell you your most fertile days. However, a study done by Weill Cornell Medical College and published in Obstetrics & Gynecology found many of these apps differed by 4 to 12 days (that’s almost 50% of the typical 28-day cycle!) when it came to predicting a woman’s fertile window. If you’re still a fan, consider using also tracking your basal body temperature (BBT) and use ovulation prediction kits.
8) Weight and Smoking Don’t Matter: These behaviors can impact your fertility. Some may think they can hold off on quitting smoking until they are pregnant. Still, per the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, approximately 13% of female infertility diagnoses are due to smoking. As for weight, it can impact your overall health. In overweight women, an increase in insulin levels may cause ovulatory dysfunction. In underweight women, being too thin may stop you from getting your period altogether. All in all, your general health and how well you take care of yourself do matter, not just when you are pregnant but also when you are trying to conceive.
9) Fertility treatments result in having twins or triplets: While everyone’s treatment protocol is different, there have been advancements in lab procedures and cryopreservation technology that have made single embryo transfers (SET) more frequently recommended when doing IVF. According to a study, single embryo transfers in women less than age 38 years reduces multiple birth rates, but not live birth rates. While some may want twins, multiple pregnancies can be a tremendous strain on the health of both the mother and the babies and lead to higher healthcare costs for both. SET generally results in safer pregnancies and healthier babies.
10) If You Have No Issue Conceiving, You’ll Conceive Subsequent Children Easily: According to the CDC, 11% of couples experience secondary infertility. This is defined as a couple with a child unable to conceive again after a year. It also depends on the age at which you had your first child. If you had no issues getting pregnant at 28 years old, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have the same experience when/if you try again at age 35. The same goes for men as well. Every trying-to-conceive journey is different and should be approached that way.
Getting to the Bottom of Your Fertility Health
Now that we’ve gotten to the bottom of common myths, we want to help you get to the bottom of why you’re having difficulty conceiving. Our Fab Fertile Method takes a targeted approach to your fertility by providing functional lab testing, including food sensitivity testing, hormone testing using urine and stool testing. These tests can help us get to the bottom of why you cannot conceive or carry a baby to term.
Book your Supercharge Your Fertility Discovery call (with your partner) here. We’ll come up with a plan customized for you so that you can improve your chances of pregnancy success with low AMH/high FSH, diminished ovarian reserve, or premature ovarian insufficiency.
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance and later a gut infection.
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