There are many myths surrounding infertility. It is important to know how the menstrual cycle works and what steps are part of the process to get pregnant. As couples, you are encouraged to learn what factors can affect your fertility.
Dispelling the common misconceptions about infertility may not be as easy as envisaged and can actually be a difficult topic to talk about. Infertility is a complex topic and one that gives room for so many misconceptions to arise. There are a lot of myths so you need to increase your knowledge about the subject to dispel misinformation that comes your way. No doubt the world of fertility can be overwhelming to navigate.
Probably you would have heard one of the most common myths which says that conceiving a child is easy. While it’s true that many couples conceive without difficultly, infertility is a lot more common than expected. Up to 25 percent of couples experience challenges with infertility sometime during their childbearing years.
Another common myth is that lifestyle changes can cure all infertility problems. This may be true but not in all cases. While lifestyle changes can impact factors such as weight, smoking, drug intake and alcohol consumption, it cannot influence blocked fallopian tubes, and genetically inherited problems in women and abnormal sperm production in men.
One of the biggest infertility myths is that men don’t have infertility problems. This is far from the truth because men can be infertile too. Infertility is a shared challenge. In fact, the rate at which female infertility issues affect the chances of getting pregnant is equal to that of men. About 40 percent of infertility is due to a complication with the woman and 40 percent is due to a complication with the man. The other 20 percent is often unexplained or simply put, cannot be diagnosed by the basic infertility work-up.
It is important to realize that infertility doesn’t recognize your skin colour, religion, tribe, race, or status, yet one of the more common misconceptions is that black people or poor people are less affected by infertility. In reality, a black woman is almost twice as likely to experience infertility yet fewer seek medical help.
Many people fail to realise that there is a so-called “infertility belt” in Africa and Nigeria is one of the member countries!
Thinking that as a black woman, you are immune to infertility or that only white women need to get IVF treatments is wrong and stereotypical. Such stereotypes, beliefs and perceptions only serve to discourage you from seeking fertility treatments.
It is also untrue that fertility treatments are only available to the wealthy. While cost is usually cited as the greatest obstacle in seeking fertility treatment, millions of couples have successfully undergone fertility treatments with the help of financial assistance and other schemes. A significant proportion of couples that utilize fertility treatments are not actually as wealthy as they are being portrayed. A survey of the profession of over four thousand women done in our clinics shows that teaching is the commonest profession among women seeking fertility treatment with us!
If you “work” hard enough, you will eventually get pregnant is another common myth. This is not always the case since many other factors can be contributing to your infertility.
If you have been trying to get pregnant for one year and you are under the age of 35, see a fertility specialist. If you are over the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for six months or more with no success, see a fertility specialist.
If you just relax, you could have a child, is also a commonly heard expression. Infertility is a medical condition and not something that is just in your head. The stress and worrying of not having a child are a result of infertility and not the initial cause of infertility.
While adoption can be the right choice for you to start a family, don’t assume it will increase your chances of getting pregnant. Research shows that the probability of conceiving a child is the same before and after adopting.
Saying that a couple who has children cannot be infertile is false information. If you have had a child together, you can still have problems with getting pregnant and this phenomenon is known as secondary infertility. Infertility is tricky in that it can occur at different stages in a person’s life. Age for instance, may affect your ability to conceive a child.
Seeing a fertility specialist is often recommended, and while it might seem costly, an initial consultation with a fertility specialist can be the best thing that you could do.