Fertility rates steadily declined from the mid-1960s through to the turn of the century in the EU countries according to Eurostat. However, at the beginning of the 2000s, the total fertility rate in the EU displayed signs of rising again. Which are the most common taboos regarding infertility and which are the scientific answers to them?
Myth #1. Women are primarily responsible
Although historically women have long been considered infertile when they fail to get pregnant, it has been scientifically proved that they are the cause of infertility only 35% of the time. Also, 35% of infertility cases are attributed to men, 20% to both partners, and 10% of cases remain unknown, according to Tri-City Medical Center in California.
Myth #2. Fertility treatments in clinics are not natural
This way of thinking is as wrong as claiming that a sick person should not be offered proper treatment because his/her immune system should be able to defend itself. Fertility clinics assess whether there are issues to resolve, in order to let nature take its course.
Myth #3. No orgasm, no child
This is just another fertility myth that can easily be answered scientifically: the only way to conceive is through the fertilization of an egg by a sperm. That could happen regardless of a woman’s orgasm- these are two completely independent processes.
Myth #4. Reduce your stress level and you will get pregnant
Everyone knows at least one woman who was too stressed because she wanted a baby and eventually got pregnant following many failed attempts, long after giving up completely the idea of pregnancy. Stress is one of the most common myths about infertility. It is a form of self-blame that women endure when they fail to get pregnant during a high-stress situation. Infertility can cause indeed a lot of stress and anxiety. If there is no physiological disorder to report, women can conceive even under extremely stressful conditions (war, trauma, etc.).
Myth #5. The number of sperm cannot change
This is not accurate. Smoking, being overweight, hot tubs, and alcohol are associated with low sperm count. Therefore, giving up some of these habits can not only benefit your partner’s health in general but can also promote sperm production and therefore increase sperm count.
Myth #6. The contraceptive pill causes infertility
This is a very common misunderstanding. Yet, there is no clear evidence that these pills do affect a woman’s fertility rate, once she stops taking them. Many studies have examined the possible effects of the contraceptive pill. One of them observed over 60,000 women in South Africa and concluded that the pill had no impact on fertility.
Myth #7. Age does not affect male fertility
Science does not support that male fertility remains at the same rates throughout their lives, despite age. The truth is that while women are coping with menopause, men see the quality of their semen deteriorate with age. This is accompanied by an increasing number of sperm containing fragmented DNA, which may be the cause of certain congenital diseases in the unborn child.
Myth #8. Being already a parent? You don’t have to worry anymore
The difficulty of conceiving when the couple has already a child is called “secondary infertility”. There are many factors that can cause secondary infertility such as impaired sperm production, endometriosis, ovarian reserve declines progressively with increasing chronological age, or complications associated with a previous pregnancy.
Myth #9. Women over 35 are unlikely to get pregnant
According to a study from the University of North Carolina, one year after trying to conceive, about 80% of women between the ages of 35 and 39 will get pregnant. To increase fertility in general, scientists recommend that women maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, plan sex according to their cycles, avoid alcohol and tobacco. Therefore, if you are 35 years old or older and you are having difficulty getting pregnant, it is better to talk directly to a doctor, to check for any abnormality that needs to be taken care of.
It is common to read inaccuracies regarding female infertility, however, we advise you not to believe 100% of what you learn from the internet. If your concerns are too big and you feel the need to speak to an expert, Medimall’s staff is always available for you. At Medimall, we offer a variety of methods and support concerning infertility. Do not hesitate to contact us!
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