Common Myths and Misconceptions About Fertility and Infertility
Posted on November 29th, 2023
As infertility touches many lives, it’s not surprising that myths and misconceptions have garnered a major presence in the conversation at large. To move forward on a fertility journey, it’s important to be aware of what’s true and false when it comes to information about fertility. To help you on your path to parenthood, we’ve compiled and debunked some of the most common misconceptions about fertility.
Myth: Infertility Impacts Only Women
Fact: This myth is as old as the hills and is based on a very outdated understanding of how reproductive health works. The reality is that men and women are equally likely to experience infertility. Out of the many heterosexual couples who deal with fertility issues, about one-third of cases can be attributed to female factors, one-third to male factors, and the remaining third to combined or unknown factors.
Myth: Infertility Is Uncommon
Fact: Infertility is a widespread global issue experienced by many. In a recent report, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that about 1 in 6 people worldwide experience infertility during their lifetimes. In the United States, the findings are similar – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 19% of married women ages 15-49 who have never given birth will be unable to conceive after one year of actively trying.
Myth: Age Doesn’t Affect Male Fertility
Fact: It’s pretty common knowledge that female fertility comes to an end with menopause, but many people believe that male fertility is completely unimpaired no matter how old they are. Unlike women, men are capable of producing their gametes (i.e., sperm) well into older ages, however, as men get older, they’re more likely to experience issues with sperm count and quality. With age, there’s also an increased risk of having sperm with fragmented DNA (i.e., strands of DNA that are broken or damaged), which increases the risk of having a miscarriage.
Myth: Fertility Treatment Always Means In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Fact: In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common and effective form of fertility care available, but it’s far from being the only option. When you meet with a fertility specialist, they will perform a thorough evaluation of your and, if applicable, your partner’s fertility, including hormone levels, ultrasound, and semen analysis. The information gathered through the fertility evaluation helps your fertility specialist create a treatment plan that addresses your unique needs. Outside of IVF, some of the recommended treatment options may include ovulation induction or intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Learn the Facts About Fertility
When it comes to the world of infertility and fertility care, myths and misconceptions abound, which can make the journey confusing for aspiring parents who are just starting out. But by reading the truth behind these myths and misconceptions, you’ve now taken the first step on your path to parenthood. If you’re from the Austin, Dallas, Houston, McAllen, or San Antonio areas of Texas and would like to meet with a fertility specialist to learn more about infertility as well as your potential options, contact Aspire Fertility today.