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Fertility Myths, Debunked

Learn the truth behind fertility mythsBy Kristin Sidorov
Trying to get pregnant can open you up to a world of undue stress, anxiety, and heartache. Without the proper information, it’s all too easy look for answers in the wrong places and begin believing any number of unfounded reasons for your struggle with fertility.

Don’t let these common myths fool you:

Only women have fertility problems. The truth is, infertility issues affect both men and women, and nearly 40% of problems stem from men alone.

Fertility problems only occur later in life. Actually, your fertility changes throughout your life, and on average many women reach their fertility peak in their early 20s. However, it is true that pregnancy rates decrease with age. And because today more and more of us are delaying pregnancy, it’s important to know the biological facts. A woman over 40 has a less than 10 percent chance of getting pregnant in one month without medical assistance.

Missionary is the best position for conception. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just as long as you get the job done. Sperm are programmed to travel directly to your eggs, and gravity isn’t an issue (successfully debunking the “hold your legs in the air for an hour after intercourse” myth, too). There’s no need to try to help the little swimmers along; if you do your part, they will, too.

Stress causes infertility. This one should actually be the other way around — infertility causes stress. And though stress can lead to a lapse in intimacy between you and your partner, it doesn’t cause any biological infertility issues. Try to relax and address whatever the stressor is with the support of your partner, and look into other reasons you may be having trouble conceiving.

If you’re healthy, you must be fertile. Infertility is a real medical condition; it can stem from ovulatory disorders, endometriosis, hormonal problems, and a range of other causes. The only way to know for sure is to be tested and evaluated by your doctor.

You should only have sex on Day 14 of your cycle. Each woman has a unique cycle, and as a result, you can’t assume that ovulation will always take place exactly half way through it. It’s unlikely that you ovulate on exactly the same day every month. What’s more, you shouldn’t limit your window of conception. Relax, have fun, and try as much as you feel like it!

The Pill reduces fertility. This simply isn’t the case. Birth control pills aren’t shown to make enough of an impact on the female body to affect its ability to reproduce. In fact, in some cases, hormonal birth control products can actually help fertility by treating symptoms of conditions like endometriosis.

Conceiving is easy once you’ve had a baby. Like we said, fertility changes throughout your life. Problems can pop up at any time. Called “secondary infertility,” struggling to successfully conceive consecutively is not uncommon. Never assume anything, and never give up hope — always check with your doctor.

Infertility is untreatable. This simply isn’t the case. There are dozens and dozens of reasons you could be having trouble conceiving, ranging from the simple to extremely complex, and so many are treatable. Work with your doctor. Many helpful treatments are covered by health insurance, and can help you reach fertility and happiness.

Additional Information and Support:
Questions to Ask your Doctor
6 Tests to Try if You’re Struggling With Infertility
Daily Strength – Infertility Support
Alternative Treatments and Fertility
9 Tips for Living a Fertile Lifestyle
The Fertility Diet for Men

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