When fertility issues become an obstacle to parenthood, many couples go online and search for answers.
And with so much information available on the internet, it can be difficult to determine what is true and what is just an old wives’ tale.
These are the most common myths about fertility
Getting pregnant is easy
If you have been trying to get pregnant for a while, you might be surprised at how difficult it actually is. It is a biologically complex process involving male and female factors, but also many still unknown ones.
Even for healthy couples, chances of achieving a pregnancy are quite low (20% per cycle). And since fertility decreases with age, women older than 37 have only 10% chance of getting pregnant; beyond the age of 40 chances drop down to 1%. Moreover, according to gynecologists, in 70% of all cases an advanced maternal age is the main cause for fertility problems.
If you have been trying to get pregnant by natural means for over a year without success, we recommend you to seek medical counseling.
Certain (sex) positions increase your chances of getting pregnant
You may have heard that certain positions can help you get pregnant; unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to confirm this theory.
The reproductive process automatically begins when the male sperm reaches the vagina, regardless of the position. In fact, the texture of seminal fluid helps it adhere to the vaginal walls – the ejaculate volume has no impact on your chances of getting pregnant either. But don’t worry, nature is well-prepared for reproduction.
Long-term contraceptives affect your fertility
Wrong! Several studies concluded that the long-term intake of contraceptives has no real impact on fertility. According to experts, differences among pregnancy rates of women who had taken contraceptive pills long term and women who had not are non-existent.
Some women, however, do experience post-pill amenorrhea after using the pill, although in most cases their period returns to normal short time after.
Infertility is usually a woman’s problem
It surprises most people to learn that infertility is a female problem in about 30% of all cases, a male problem in 30% of all cases, 25% is due to a combined problem of the couple and 15% due to unexplained factors.
Beyond the age of 35, women’s ovarian reserve decreases drastically, whereas most men are still fertile past that age – data on when exactly male fertility starts to decrease are not available.
Just relax and you will get pregnant
This statement may be offensive to someone who is suffering from fertility problems. Infertility is a physical problem – not a psychological one – although there are studies that maintain that high levels of stress may have an impact on hormone levels and ultimately on ovulation. However, stress levels would have to be extremely high for this to happen.
If you already have one child, surely you can have another one
Not necessarily. Many women who already have children are affected by a condition known as secondary infertility.
This condition may be caused by the exact same factors that cause primary infertility: ovulation, hormonal imbalance, tubal factors, genetic factors, etc. But there are also many other factors associated with a first pregnancy that may affect your fertility, such as: diabetes, pelvic adhesions or other conditions such as STDs.