Fertility myth busters -- fact versus fiction

Fertility Myth BustersPeople have fun busting myths all the time. Everyone has their own theories and methods of debunking -- some sillier than others. There are even TV shows dedicated to the art of myth busting. So, that begs the question, "What really constitutes as an fertility myth versus fertility fact?" It's important that you're able to separate out the truth from fiction so you can empower yourself with real knowledge on your journey to parenthood. This might also be a good time to look at some fertility myths, and consider what infertility is and isn't. Let's get busy busting!

Separating truth from fiction

Myth: Infertility is limited to women.

Fact: Infertility equally affects men and women. 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 gets pregnant at the drop of a hat.

Fact: More than five million people of childbearing age in the U.S. experience infertility. You're not alone.

Myth: Infertility is all in your head.

Fact: Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system, and isn't caused by not "wanting" to have a baby enough. Infertility can't be imagined into being.

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 doesn't cure fertility issues. 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: Our ability to get pregnant decreases as we age. Fertility in women peaks during the late teens and 20s. By 35 the rapid decline begins. However, fertility challenges can and do affect men and women of all ages.

Myth: "Just relax and go on vacation."

Fact: How many times have couples coping with infertility been told to relax. Not only is this advice incorrect, it's hurtful. Extreme stress can disrupt a woman's menstrual cycle, but stress alone doesn't cause infertility. While two-thirds of couples seeking fertility treatments will get pregnant and have a baby eventually, couples who don't receive treatment have a 5 percent or less chance of having a baby.

Myth: "Perhaps you're doing something wrong"

Fact: Infertility is a condition, not a sexual disorder.

Myth: "Just adopt, you'll get pregnant!"

Fact: This is by far one of the more painful myths for couples to hear. It's simply not true -- so why perpetuate this myth? Studies reveal that the rate for achieving pregnancy after adopting is the same as for those who do not adopt.

What are some of the myths you've busted? Share them in the comments.

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