Shukan_logo

Demystifying Common Infertility Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction

Shukan Hospital and IVF Center   >>   Demystifying Common Infertility Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction

Infertility is a condition that affects many couples who are trying to conceive a child. It is defined as the inability to get pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse. According to the World Health Organization, about 10% of women of reproductive age worldwide are affected by infertility.

However, there are many myths and misconceptions about infertility that can cause confusion, frustration, and stigma for those who are struggling with it. In this blog, we will try to demystify some of the common infertility myths and separate the fact from the fiction.

1.Myth: Infertility can be caused by using birth control

Explanation:

This myth implies a misconception that using birth control methods, such as contraceptive pills or devices, can lead to long-term infertility. In reality, most forms of
contraception are designed to prevent pregnancy temporarily. Upon discontinuing these methods, fertility typically returns relatively quickly. Birth control itself is not a cause of infertility; its purpose is to provide individuals and couples with control over family planning without compromising future fertility.

2.Myth: Infertility is always a woman’s problem

Explanation:

Maternal mental health is a cornerstone at Shukan Hospital and IVF Centre because it profoundly influences the well-being of both mothers and infants. The emotional and psychological state of expectant and new mothers significantly impacts pregnancy outcomes and early childhood development. Addressing maternal mental health is crucial for preventing complications such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and fostering a positive postpartum experience.

Recognizing the intricate link between mental and physical health, Shukan Hospital prioritizes this aspect through routine screenings and comprehensive care. Poor maternal mental health can lead to long-termconsequences for the child’s cognitive and emotional development, making early detection and intervention imperative.

Shukan Hospital’s commitment to maternal mental health is rooted in the understanding that emotional well-being is integral to the holistic care of mothers. By providing support services, counseling, and fostering a supportive environment, the hospital strives to ensure that mothers navigate pregnancy and childbirth with resilience, positively impacting the health of both mothers and their newborns. In essence, Shukan Hospital acknowledges that maternal mental health is not only a matter of emotional wellness but a crucial determinant of overall perinatal health and the foundation for a healthy start to family life.

3.Myth: Age doesn’t affect male fertility

Explanation:

While women are commonly associated with a biological clock due to the finite number of eggs, it’s essential to recognize that men also experience age-related changes in reproductive function. Advanced paternal age has been linked to a variety of factors that can affect fertility.

As men age, there is a gradual decline in testosterone levels and a potential decrease in sperm quantity and quality. Older men may experience a decline in sperm motility and an increased likelihood of sperm DNA fragmentation. These factors can collectively contribute to a decrease in overall fertility potential.

Furthermore, advanced paternal age has been associated with an increased risk of certain genetic and developmental disorders in offspring. This emphasizes the importance of considering both partners’ ages when assessing fertility and potential reproductive outcomes.

In summary, while the impact of age on male fertility may not be as sharply defined as in women, it is incorrect to assume that age has no effect on male reproductive capabilities. Recognizing and understanding the age-related changes in male fertility is crucial for couples seeking to optimize their chances of conception.

4.Myth: Relaxation alone can solve infertility issues.

Explanation:

Infertility can result from various factors such as hormonal imbalances, structural issues, genetic factors, and underlying health conditions affecting both men and women. While stress might contribute to these factors indirectly, it is rarely the sole or primary cause of infertility.

Stress management is undoubtedly important for overall health, and chronic stress can potentially impact reproductive health. Stress may affect hormonal balance and menstrual cycles in women, and it can influence sperm production in men. However, addressing stress alone is unlikely to resolve underlying medical issues causing infertility.

Individuals and couples facing infertility are encouraged to adopt a holistic approach that includes stress management as part of their overall well-being. Seeking professional guidance from fertility specialists, undergoing comprehensive fertility evaluations, and exploring appropriate medical interventions are crucial steps in addressing infertility effectively.

Promoting a realistic understanding of infertility helps individuals make informed
decisions about their fertility journey and ensures they receive the necessary medical
support and interventions when needed.

Infertility can result from various factors such as hormonal imbalances, structural issues, genetic factors, and underlying health conditions affecting both men and women. While stress might contribute to these factors indirectly, it is rarely the sole or primary cause of infertility.

Stress management is undoubtedly important for overall health, and chronic stress can potentially impact reproductive health. Stress may affect hormonal balance and menstrual cycles in women, and it can influence sperm production in men. However, addressing stress alone is unlikely to resolve underlying medical issues causing infertility.

Individuals and couples facing infertility are encouraged to adopt a holistic approach that includes stress management as part of their overall well-being. Seeking professional guidance from fertility specialists, undergoing comprehensive fertility evaluations, and exploring appropriate medical interventions are crucial steps in addressing infertility effectively.

Promoting a realistic understanding of infertility helps individuals make informed
decisions about their fertility journey and ensures they receive the necessary medical
support and interventions when needed.

5.Myth: IVF guarantees pregnancy.

Explanation:

IVF involves combining an egg and sperm outside the body in a laboratory setting and then transferring the fertilized embryo into the uterus. While this process has revolutionized fertility treatments and helped numerous couples achieve pregnancy, several factors influence the success of IVF.

  • Individual Factors:The success of IVF can vary based on individual circumstances, including age, overall health, and specific fertility issues. Younger individuals generally have higher success rates than older individuals.
  • Underlying Causes: IVF may not address underlying fertility issues, and success depends on the specific reasons for infertility. Factors such as the quality of eggs and sperm, uterine health, and other reproductive health conditions can impact outcomes.
  • Multiple Attempts:Success with IVF may require multiple attempts. Not every cycle results in a pregnancy, and additional cycles may be needed to achieve a successful outcome.

While IVF is a powerful tool in the realm of fertility treatments, it is not a guarantee of pregnancy in every situation. It is crucial for individuals and couples undergoing IVF to approach the process with realistic expectations, guided by the advice of fertility specialists who can provide tailored insights based on individual circumstances.

6.Myth: Health has no impact on fertility.

Explanation:

This is a misconception that undermines the significant role that overall health plays in reproductive well-being. In reality, various aspects of physical health, lifestyle choices, and underlying medical conditions can significantly influence fertility for both men and women.

  • Nutrition and Diet:A balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for reproductive health. Adequate intake of essential nutrients, such as folic acid, zinc, and antioxidants, supports the proper functioning of reproductive organs and hormonal balance.
  • Weight and BMI:Both underweight and overweight conditions can affect fertility. Obesity can lead to hormonal imbalances and disrupted menstrual cycles in women, while in men, it may contribute to decreased sperm quality. Conversely, underweight individuals may experience irregular menstrual cycles in women, impacting ovulation.
  • Exercise:Regular physical activity is generally beneficial for overall health, but excessive exercise can lead to irregular menstrual cycles in women and potentially impact fertility. Striking a balance with moderate exercise supports reproductive health.
  • Smoking and Substance Use:Smoking, as well as the use of recreational drugs and excessive alcohol consumption, can negatively affect fertility in both men and women. These substances may impact hormonal balance and reduce the quality of eggs and sperm.
  • Environmental Factors :Exposure to environmental toxins, such as certain chemicals and pollutants, can have adverse effects on reproductive health. Minimizing exposure to these factors is important for optimizing fertility.
  • Pre-existing Health Conditions :Certain medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and thyroid disorders, can impact fertility in women. Similarly, conditions affecting sperm production or function can contribute to male infertility.
  • Age:While not a modifiable factor, age is a critical aspect of reproductive health. Advanced maternal and paternal age can affect fertility, emphasizing the importance of family planning timelines.

Recognizing the impact of health on fertility underscores the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and seeking medical guidance when facing challenges in conceiving. Lifestyle modifications and addressing underlying health conditions can contribute to improved fertility outcomes for individuals and couples.

7.Myth: If a man can ejaculate, he is not infertile.

Explanation:

This sentence is very much false because ejaculation is not just necessary quantity and quality of sperms in ejaculated semen are also important.

  • Sperm Quality:The ability to ejaculate does not provide information about the quality or quantity of sperm within the semen. A man may ejaculate, but the sperm may have abnormalities in terms of motility, morphology, or concentration, impacting fertility.
  • Weight and BMI:Both underweight and overweight conditions can affect fertility. Obesity can lead to hormonal imbalances and disrupted menstrual cycles in women, while in men, it may contribute to decreased sperm quality. Conversely, underweight individuals may experience irregular menstrual cycles in women, impacting ovulation.
  • Exercise:Regular physical activity is generally beneficial for overall health, but excessive exercise can lead to irregular menstrual cycles in women and potentially impact fertility. Striking a balance with moderate exercise supports reproductive health.
  • Sperm Production:Infertility in men can result from issues related to sperm production, maturation, or transport. Conditions such as varicoceles, hormonal imbalances, or genetic factors can affect the production of healthy sperm even if ejaculation occurs.
  • Structural Issues:Structural abnormalities in the reproductive system, such as blockages in the vas deferens or other ducts, can hinder the release of sperm during ejaculation, leading to infertility despite the ability to ejaculate.
  • Underlying Medical Conditions:Certain medical conditions, such as infections, autoimmune disorders, or chronic illnesses, can impact sperm quality andfertility. These conditions may not be apparent solely through the observation of ejaculation.
  • Lifestyle Factors:Factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, and exposure to environmental toxins can contribute to poor sperm quality. These factors may affect fertility irrespective of the ability to ejaculate.

It’s crucial for couples facing fertility challenges to recognize that male infertility is a multifaceted issue that extends beyond the ability to ejaculate. Comprehensive fertility evaluations, including semen analysis and other diagnostic tests, are essential to assess the health and functionality of sperm. Seeking the guidance of a fertility specialist helps in identifying and addressing specific factors contributing to male infertility, facilitating the development of targeted treatment plans when necessary

8.Myth: Couples who already have children are immune to infertility issues.

Explanation:

Generally people assumes that once a couple has successfully conceived and given birth to a child, they will not face fertility challenges in the future. However, secondary infertility is a real and common phenomenon, contradicting this assumption.

  • Secondary Infertility:Couples who have had one or more children may still encounter difficulties conceiving another child. Secondary infertility refers to the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after having had a previous child. Various factors, including age, changes in health, or new fertility issues, can contribute to secondary infertility.
  • Age:Age-related declines in fertility can affect both men and women. While a couple may have successfully conceived in the past, advancing age can impactfertility potential. Female fertility generally decreases with age, and male fertility may also be affected.
  • Health Changes:Changes in health, such as the development of new medical conditions or the onset of chronic illnesses, can influence fertility. Lifestyle factors, including weight changes, smoking, or excessive alcohol consumption, may also contribute to fertility challenges.
  • New Fertility Issues:Couples may face new fertility issues that were not present during previous pregnancies. These issues could include hormonal imbalances, changes in reproductive organ health, or other underlying conditions.
  • Unexplained Infertility:In some cases, couples may experience unexplained infertility, where standard fertility evaluations do not reveal a specific cause for difficulties in conceiving. This can be perplexing for couples who have previously had successful pregnancies.

Understanding that fertility is dynamic and influenced by various factors over time helps challenge the myth that couples with children are immune to infertility. Couples experiencing challenges in conceiving, whether primary or secondary infertility, are encouraged to seek the guidance of fertility specialists for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment options.

9.Myth: Having sex every day increases chances of getting pregnant.

Explanation:

Most of the time people are having misconception thta regular daily sex increase chances of getting pregnant but this is not true and these are the reason:

  • Ovulation Timing:Pregnancy is most likely to occur when intercourse happens around the time of ovulation. Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary, typically occurring in the middle of the menstrual cycle. Having sex every day may not necessarily coincide with the woman’s fertile window, leading to missed opportunities for conception.
  • Stress and Pressure:Maintaining a daily sex schedule can introduce stress and pressure, which may have negative effects on sexual satisfaction and overall well-being. Stress is known to impact reproductive health, and a relaxed and enjoyable approach to intercourse is often recommended.
  • Understanding the Menstrual Cycle:Tracking the menstrual cycle, identifying signs of ovulation, and having intercourse during the fertile window can optimize the chances of conception. Fertility awareness methods, ovulation predictor kits, and other tools can assist couples in timing intercourse more effectively.
  • Individual Variability:Each woman’s menstrual cycle is unique, and factors such as cycle length and regularity can vary. Assuming a one-size-fits-all approach, like having sex every day, may not align with the specific needs of the couple.

While regular sexual activity is encouraged for couples trying to conceive, understanding the woman’s menstrual cycle and timing intercourse around ovulation are key factors in optimizing fertility. Consulting with healthcare professionals and fertility specialists can provide personalized guidance based on individual circumstances.

10.Myth: Certain sexual positions or techniques improve chances of getting pregnant.

Explanation:

The myth that “Certain sexual positions or techniques improve chances of getting pregnant” implies that specific postures or methods during intercourse can significantly influence fertility and increase the likelihood of conception. While it’s true that certainfactors impact sperm travel and reach the egg, the emphasis on specific sexual positions oversimplifies the complex process of conception.

  • Sperm Travel:The journey of sperm towards the egg is facilitated by their own motility. Sperm are designed to navigate the female reproductive tract, and any healthy sexual position allows for the release of sperm into the vagina.
  • Gravity and Fertilization:The notion that certain positions (such as elevating the hips or using particular angles) can enhance gravity’s role in moving sperm towards the cervix and uterus oversimplifies the natural processes. Sperm are equipped to navigate through cervical mucus and reach the egg regardless of specific positions.
  • Timing and Ovulation:The most critical factor in achieving conception is timing intercourse with the woman’s ovulation. Ovulation predictor kits or tracking changes in cervical mucus are more reliable indicators for identifying the fertile window than specific sexual positions.
  • Stress and Enjoyment:Stress and pressure related to achieving the “right” position can have negative effects on sexual enjoyment. Stress is known to impact fertility, and a relaxed and enjoyable sexual experience is often encouraged.
  • Variability in Anatomy:Every individual’s anatomy is unique, and what might be a comfortable or effective position for one person may not be the same for another. Trying to adhere strictly to specific positions may lead to unnecessary stress and may not be conducive to a satisfying sexual experience.
  • Individual Circumstances:Underlying fertility issues are often not addressed or resolved through particular sexual positions. If a couple is experiencing challenges in conceiving, seeking guidance from healthcare professionals and fertility specialists is crucial for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized recommendations.

In summary, while certain factors such as timing and overall reproductive health play essential roles in conception, the emphasis on specific sexual positions or techniques as a key determinant of fertility is a myth. A holistic approach to fertility, including understanding the menstrual cycle, identifying ovulation, and seeking professional guidance, is more effective in optimizing the chances of successful conception.

11.Myth: Herbal remedies can cure infertility.

Explanation:

Natural or herbal treatments alone can address the complex and varied causes of infertility. While some herbs may have health benefits, relying solely on herbal remedies to cure infertility oversimplifies the complexities of reproductive health issues.

  • Diverse Causes of Infertility:Infertility can result from a wide range of factors, including hormonal imbalances, structural issues, genetic factors, and underlying health conditions. Herbal remedies may not address the specific and often multifaceted causes contributing to infertility.
  • Gravity and Fertilization:The notion that certain positions (such as elevating the hips or using particular angles) can enhance gravity’s role in moving sperm towards the cervix and uterus oversimplifies the natural processes. Sperm are equipped to navigate through cervical mucus and reach the egg regardless of specific positions.
  • Timing and Ovulation:The most critical factor in achieving conception is timing intercourse with the woman’s ovulation. Ovulation predictor kits or tracking changes in cervical mucus are more reliable indicators for identifying the fertile window than specific sexual positions.
  • Limited Scientific Evidence:While certain herbs are known for their potential health benefits, the scientific evidence supporting their efficacy in treating infertility is often limited. Infertility is a medical condition that may require evidence-based medical interventions for effective management.
  • Individual Variability:Infertility is highly individualized, and what works for one person may not be suitable for another. Herbal remedies may lack the specificity required to address the unique factors contributing to an individual or couple’s fertility challenges.
  • Delay in Seeking Professional Help:Relying solely on herbal remedies may lead to a delay in seeking professional medical advice. Time is often a critical factor in addressing infertility, and early diagnosis and intervention by fertility specialists can improve outcomes.
  • Risk of Interactions:Herbal remedies can interact with medications or other health conditions, potentially causing unintended side effects. It is crucial to consult with healthcare professionals, including fertility specialists, to ensure that any herbal supplements do not interfere with other medical treatments. ​ Emotional Impact: Dealing with infertility can be emotionally challenging. While herbal remedies may offer emotional support, they should not replace comprehensive medical evaluation and treatment. Emotional well-being is an essential aspect of fertility, and a holistic approach involves addressing both emotional and physical aspects.

Couples facing infertility are encouraged to seek guidance from qualified healthcare professionals and fertility specialists. A personalized and evidence-based approach that considers the specific causes of infertility can lead to more effective interventions and better chances of successful conception. Herbal remedies may be considered as complementary to medical treatments under the guidance of healthcare professionals.

×