Fertility is a topic that’s massively intertwined with emotions, stress, and – sometimes – shame. Yet, it’s also a topic that’s filled with misconceptions. There are a huge number of us that like to think we know everything we need to about fertility after seeing friends and family go through certain struggles or successes. However, these case studies do people no good when they, themselves, are trying to conceive. This is why this post is going to dive into five misconceptions about fertility and potential treatments so that you have the complete information before worrying.
Only women can be infertile
As it’s the woman who provides the egg and the woman whose body does a lot of the hard work for the pregnancy, many believe that infertility is just a woman’s problem.
This is a complete myth: Both men and women can have infertility, and it’s not just a heterosexual problem, either. Around one-third of men and women can be infertile.
Infertility in the LGBTQ+ community is often situational, and people can choose surrogacy, sperm donation, or IVF treatments to combat this.
Daily sex will get you pregnant
Sex isn’t a numbers game. It’s more about timing than quantity. The fertility window comes around two weeks after a woman starts her menstrual cycle. Two days before and two days after are the peak times if you’re hoping to conceive naturally. Unless you’re within the ovulation window, there’s very little chance of you becoming pregnant. That’s not to say, however, that you should only be using contraception at these times.
Only the woman’s age makes a difference
When it comes to fertility, there are plenty of people that believe women have a body clock, while men don’t. Age matters for both the sperm and egg provider. Old sperm can actually be linked to infertility and can even lead to a lower success rate in IVF. Healthline report that men over the age of 39 have a lower sperm count, which can also lead to higher risk pregnancies.
IUI Therapy is more successful with more growing follicles
If you’ve already looked into different fertility treatments, you may have come across IUI. IUI is often recommended multiple times before IVF as it is a less invasive and cheaper treatment. However, there are a lot of myths regarding the number of follicles used and the success rates. Many believe that the chance of pregnancy with 2 mature follicles – or more than 2 follicles – is much higher than one. While some people do experience better chances, the process doesn’t actually change the per-attempt pregnancy rate.
Older mothers can always use IVF
There are a huge number of women now looking to have their first child later in life. However, age is still a crucial factor in conception rates, and a lot of people think that they need not worry as they can always opt for IVF.
The chances of a successful IVF treatment decrease with age, just like your natural fertility. According to the CDC, 33% of IVF treatments for women under 35 results in a live birth, while women aged between 38-49 have just a 17% success rate.
Conceiving is a completely different journey for everyone. With that in mind, you should speak to your doctor about your chances, as well as the best options for you and your partner.