Fact or Fiction? 8 Fertility Myths Debunked
Do you ever wonder if popular fertility and pregnancy myths are true? Most pregnancy myths are based on misinformation about conception without any scientific backing. Yet despite all the latest findings on infertility—the causes, treatments, and cures—confusion still prevails among most couples who want to get pregnant. Let’s look at the top eight fertility and pregnancy myths and truths.
Fertility Myth #1: Want to get pregnant? Just chill!
The Truth: While most research finds stress is unhealthy, there is no scientific evidence that stress hinders pregnancy. The two key factors that are crucial for a woman to get pregnant are age and health. Here are two examples:
- A healthy 30-year-old woman trying to get pregnant has a 20 percent chance each month of a successful pregnancy.
- A healthy 40-year-old woman trying to conceive has only a 5 to 10 percent chance of pregnancy.
Fertility Myth #2: Infertility is a woman’s problem.
The Truth: In reality, the causes of infertility are equally spread between male and female. About 35 to 40 percent of all fertility issues are related to male factor. 35 to 40 percent of all fertility issues are linked to female factor, including problems with ovulation. No matter what’s keeping the woman from getting pregnant, the couple must work together as a team for a successful pregnancy and healthy baby.
Fertility Myth #3: Birth control pills can preserve fertility.
The Truth: This is a common ovulation myth. Whether you use birth control pills to block ovulation or not, a woman’s egg reserve declines each month of her life. This means the older the woman is, the less chance she has of a pregnancy.
Fertility Myth #4: If you had a previous pregnancy, that’s a sign that you’re still fertile.
The Truth: This is a pregnancy myth. While having a baby does show that you may have been fertile at one time in your life, there are no guarantees that you will be fertile in future tries at getting pregnant. Many adults experience secondary infertility or the inability to conceive a child even after conceiving and delivering one or more children.
Fertility Myth #5: Diet and healthy lifestyle habits help women conceive into their forties.
The Truth: This is a popular pregnancy myth, too. Sure, it’s true that diet, a good lifestyle, and excellent genetics boost a healthy pregnancy. However, a woman’s age is the biggest barrier to getting pregnant and having a baby. A 45-year-old woman has less than a 5 percent chance of conception and carrying a baby to term. Also, at age 45, a woman has a 70 percent chance of miscarriage if she uses her own eggs.
Fertility Myth #6: Men can father children at any age.
The Truth: While men may think this is true, more journal studies show that men over age 40 have a greater chance of having children with chromosomal abnormalities. These abnormalities may lead to miscarriage in the woman. Also, studies confirm that serious health problems such as autism and schizophrenia are more prevalent in children fathered by older men.
Fertility Myth #7: A 45-year-old woman who gets pregnant using a donor egg from a 25-year-old has the same chance of miscarriage as a woman at age 45 who gets pregnant using her own eggs.
The Truth: The miscarriage rate is according to the age of the egg--not the age of the woman carrying that egg. While a 45-year-old woman will have a 60 to 70 percent chance of pregnancy loss with her own eggs, the same age woman using a 25-year-old woman’s donor egg will have only a 15 percent chance of pregnancy loss.
Fertility Myth #8: All infertility problems can be diagnosed.
The Truth: Although many infertility problems can be diagnosed and treated, about 20 percent of couples will receive the diagnosis of unexplained infertility. Even when fertility treatment works for a couple with unexplained infertility, the actual fertility problem may still remain a mystery. If a couple struggles for years with unexplained infertility, age begins to be another barricade to having a successful pregnancy.
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