Common Myths About Infertility
There are lots of myths “out there” about getting pregnant and infertility. Chances are you’ve heard a lot of them from well-meaning relatives and friends who were just trying to make you feel better. But when you’re trying to conceive, it is important to separate fact from fiction. In fact, it’s crucial to do so because believing some of those myths could prevent you from getting the care and treatment you need.
For National Infertility Awareness Week, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association compiled some of the more common myths about infertility.
Just relax. Infertility is a psychological problem that’s all in your head.
Psychological problems ARE NOT a major cause of infertility. Maybe your friends or family members have told you to stop trying so hard and simply “relax.” Although stress has been shown to contribute to infertility in some cases, it’s more likely that infertility is causing anxiety, depression, and sexual problems than the other way around. At Abington Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, we offer several resources, including a mind/body program and support groups to help you relax while coping emotionally.
Infertility is primarily a female problem.
Infertility is no longer regarded as “her” problem. In fact, approximately 40 percent of cases of infertility are due to problems that occur in the man. Another 40 percent are due to problems that occur in the woman. In approximately 20 percent of all infertile couples, both partners have physical problems contributing to their infertility. Modern infertility treatment focuses on the couple as a unit, recognizing they are a team who will work together to resolve this problem.
Adoption increases the chances of becoming pregnant.
Almost every couple that has had difficulty becoming pregnant probably has heard the story about someone who became pregnant shortly after adopting. This myth is an offshoot of the “just relax” myth, assuming that adoption relieves the anxiety and stress that presumably were causing the infertility. In fact, infertile couples who adopt are no more likely to become pregnant than couples who do not: Though adoption is a wonderful way to build your family, no one should adopt because they think they will get pregnant naturally because of it.
It’s not complicated. Getting pregnant is simple and easy.
Everyone has heard of those “fertile myrtles” who get pregnant at the drop of a hat, even when they weren’t even trying. We also know there are many unwanted pregnancies too. The fact remains, however, that reproduction is a complex physiological process. For any given month, the pregnancy rate for couples without infertility issues is around 20% per month. For subfertile and infertile couples the rate drops even lower. It may seem even more complicated for the couple who is having difficulty conceiving because it becomes compounded by feelings of anxiety and frustration. But infertility treatments, from the simple to the most advanced, provide hope by dramatically increasing pregnancy rates, pushing them well beyond the normal rate per month.