Top 12 Infertility Myths and Facts

Infertility happens when a couple cannot conceive after having regular unprotected sex.

It may be that one partner cannot contribute to conception, or that a woman is unable to carry a pregnancy to full term. It is often defined as not conceiving after 12 months of regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control.

Below are some myths and facts about infertility

1. MYTH: A woman’s menstrual cycle is 28 days.

FACT: Normal cycle lasts anywhere from 21 to 36 days.

2. MYTH: A woman can get pregnant on only one day of her cycle.

FACT: Once the egg is released, it is viable for 12 to 24 hours, but a woman can get pregnant from having intercourse five days prior and two days after ovulation.

3. MYTH: Stress causes infertility.

FACT: Stress does not cause infertility, but may delay ovulation by the suppression of hormones.

4. MYTH: Sperm live for only several hours.

FACT: In a fertile cervical liquid, sperm can live up to five days.

5. MYTH: A man with a high sex drive will have a normal sperm count.

FACT: There is no correction between virility and fertility for men and some men with a normal sex drive may have no sperm at all.

6. MYTH: A woman should wait three months to conceive after stopping the use of the pill.

FACT: Birth control pills reduce hormone levels and suppress ovulation. Once a woman stops taking the pill, hormone levels return to normal almost immediately and ovulation should begin the very next cycle.

7. MYTH: Infertility is primarily caused by females.

FACT: Studies have shown that infertility problems are caused by men and women equally, with 20% of infertility problems being a combination of both.

8. MYTH: Women ovulate on day 14 of their cycle.

FACT: If this were true it would be easy to conceive or avoid pregnancy. To calculate ovulation, count backwards 14 days from the last day of the last menstrual cycle.

9. MYTH: Having sex daily increases the chances of conceiving.

FACT: Having sex every other day at the time of ovulation, most often between days 12 and 16 of a woman’s cycle, is sufficient since sperm live an average of two days.

10. MYTH: Fertility problems begin at 35.

FACT: While women reach their fertile peak in their 20’s, fertility changes throughout a woman’s life. Some women remain fertile into their late 30’s, others experience fertility problems at a younger age. Experts say that chances of conceiving decline with age, particularly after the age of 35.

11. MYTH: Single embryo transfer lowers the success rate of pregnancy.

FACT: Women have a limited number of eggs. When they run out, menopause occurs.

12. MYTH: Cycling can make men infertile.

FACT: Diabetes cause genetic damage to a man’s sperm that might affect his fertility.

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