Our bodies are designed to reproduce, and there tends to be the assumption that ours will take up the task when we decide we are ready to start a family. Unless we have reason to suspect we may have fertility issues prior to trying to conceive, trouble getting pregnant can come as quite the unwelcome surprise. There are many myths about infertility that need to be dispelled to optimize outcomes for couple that fine themselves in this position
Infertility is a Female Problem
Since the woman is the one that carries the baby, it is believed that fertility issues are always attribute to the female, but this is not the case. It is about equal, with 60 percent of cases being attributed to women and 40 percent for men. In about 30 percent of couples experiencing infertility, both parties have an issue. In about 20 percent of cases, there is no identifiable cause.
Women Can Get Pregnant at Any Age
Technically, a woman can get pregnant so long as she is still experiencing menstruation, but many people underestimate the difficulty of getting pregnant in later years. You may see all those stories of older celebrities with baby bumps, and think the same will happen for you. In your 20’s, there is a 20 percent chance of becoming pregnant on your own each month. By the late 30’s, this reduces to 10 percent per cycle. A woman in her early 30’s only has a 1.5 percent chance of getting pregnant per month after a year of trying.
You Should Not See a Doctor Until One Year of Unsuccessful Attempts at Conception
While infertility is officially defined as one year of unprotected sex without conception, in many cases, people should not wait a year before seeing a doctor. If you are at least 35, you should visit a fertility clinic after just several months. Other factors that call for earlier intervention include a history of irregular periods, endometriosis, fibrosis, pelvic adhesive disease, recurrent miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and a male history of surgery, infection or trauma to the genital organs.
Fertility Treatments Always Lead to In Vitro Fertilization
When you think of infertility treatments, you probably think of IVF, but there are many other options available. Doctors will typically try other ‘low tech’, less complicated, less expensive treatments first before resorting to IVF. In some cases, a particular diagnosis might lead to IVF right off the bat.
Infertility rates have not drastically increased over time. One of the reasons it seems so is because it is not something that was as openly discussed, nor were there as many avenues to connect with other people dealing with this problem. In the age of the internet, you can easily connect with other sharing similar struggles, and it has become very apparent that it is a more common issue than one might think. One in six couples will at some point need fertility treatments. It is easy to feel like you are alone in this, but you are most certainly not.