Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Infertility Mythbusters

This might be a good time to look at some infertility myths, and consider what infertility is & is not.

Myth: Infertility is limited to women.
Fact: Infertility affects women and men equally. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, one-third of infertility cases are due to female factor infertility, one-third are due to male factor infertility, and the remaining third due to problems from both sides, or unexplained reasons.

Myth: Everyone seems to get pregnant at the drop of a hat.
Fact: More than five million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility. When you seek support, you will find that you are not alone. Join RESOLVE, a support group, or talk with others who are struggling to build a family, so that you won't feel isolated.

Myth: Infertility is all in your head.
Fact: Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system, and is not caused by not “wanting” to have a baby enough. Infertility can not be imagined into being. If not wanting a baby was enough to cause infertility, then there would be far fewer unintended pregnancies in the world.

Myth: Infertility is limited to unhealthy people.
Fact: While living a healthy lifestyle is a good place to start when trying to achieve pregnancy, it does not cure infertility. Poor diet, smoking, drinking, and STDs can threaten your fertility, but the majority of infertility cases are not the result of lifestyle choices.

Myth: Infertility is limited to older couples.
Fact: As we age, our ability to achieve pregnancy lowers. Fertility in women peaks during the late teens and 20s, after which it begins to drop, with age 35 beginning the most rapid decline. (This is why couples age 35 and older are encouraged to seek help for infertility after only 6 months of trying.) However, infertility can and does affect men and women of all ages.

Myth: Infertility is going to go away if you just “relax and go on vacation.”
Fact: How many times have couples coping with infertility been told, “If you just stop thinking about it, you’ll have a baby.” Not only is this advice incorrect, it’s also hurtful. Extreme stress can disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycle, but stress alone does not cause infertility.
Ignoring infertility does not help, either. While two-thirds of couples seeking infertility treatments will get pregnant and have a baby eventually, couples with diagnosed infertility who do not receive treatment have a 5% or less chance of having a baby.

Myth: Maybe you two are doing something wrong!
Fact: Infertility is a medical condition, not a sexual disorder.

Myth: If you adopt a baby you'll get pregnant!
Fact: This is one of the most painful myths for couples to hear. First it suggests that adoption is only a means to an end, not an happy and successful end in itself. Second, it is simply not true. Studies reveal that the rate for achieving pregnancy after adopting is the same as for those who do not adopt.

(brought to you by resolve.org and about.com)

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