Despite the fact that infertility is a common issue facing many couples—nearly 10%, or 6.1 million American women will have difficulty getting pregnant—there are still many myths floating around about infertility. Here are 7 common misconceptions about fertility and the truth behind them.
- Infertility is always caused by a female health problem. In fact, infertility is caused by only female factors around a third of the time.
- “Just relax and you’ll get pregnant!” Infertility is an actual disease of the female or male (or both!) reproductive systems. Just relaxing or not trying so hard is enough to overcome some of these conditions.
- You can get pregnant at any time. Despite what you may have been told in high school health class, there are only a few days each month when pregnancy can occur.
- Women don’t start to lose their fertility until their early 40s. The age of fertility loss is different for every woman. Some women go into premature menopause as early as their 20s. On average, however, a woman’s fertility will start to decline between age 30 and 35.
- Men should wear boxers to protect their sperm. A series of research studies looking at scrotal temperature in men who wear boxers vs briefs has found that there is no real difference, which would have minimal impact on sperm production. So go ahead and wear whatever is most comfortable!
- A man’s fertility doesn’t change with age. Think only a woman’s fertility declines as she gets older? Think again. Research has shown a definite age-related decrease in sperm quality and ability to achieve a pregnancy.
- It takes longer to get pregnant when coming off of the birth control pill. The hormones in the pill are short-acting and leave your body very quickly. There should be no delay in getting pregnant after taking the pill.