One of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor is the inability to have children (infertility). Infertility is a problem of the reproductive system; it is defined by the failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. There are two types of infertility – primary and secondary:
Primary infertility means that the couple has never being pregnant. Secondary infertility means that the couple has achieved a pregnancy before and failed to conceive later. Primary infertility is the most common.
It is considered to be a personal and stressful life experience. Many myths surround this and much of it is misunderstood. Some of the common myths and facts related to infertility includes;
Myth 1; Prolong exposure to pills cause infertility
Fact; Birth control does prevent pregnancy when you’re using it, which is exactly how you want it to work because of its hormonal effect. But when you stop taking it, your fertility returns. Research has found that birth control does not increase your risk of infertility.
Myth 2; Smoking is only bad during pregnancy and doesn’t affect a woman’s ability to conceive
Fact; Smoking generally has a negative side effect on health, it affects each stage of the reproductive process and can damage eggs and sperm. Quitting smoking can improve natural fertility and some of the effects of smoking can be reversed within a year of quitting. Women who quit smoking before conception can significantly reduce the risk of premature birth.
Myth 3; Women with diabetes can’t conceive.
Fact; With some adequate planning and preparation towards reducing risk associated with diabetes, women with diabetes can have a healthy baby. It is best that you become pregnant at a time when your diabetes is well managed and there are no other underlying health problems.
Myth 4; Infertility is a woman’s problem.
Fact; Most times, infertility is linked to women but pregnancy involve both man and woman, there is need for adequate evaluation for both man and woman because infertility affects men and women equally.
In about 50 percent of couples with infertility, sperm disorders or male factors are the causes. The issue may be the number of sperm, the variations in the shape of the sperm, or sperm’s ability to effectively move. Many men who produce little or no sperm have blockages or other treatable conditions. It’s important that men be tested early during the infertility evaluation.
Myth 5; Stress causes infertility. Just relax, and you’ll get pregnant!
Fact; Infertility is a medical condition. Your reproductive health can’t be fixed by positive thinking. Well, it’s true relaxing could help with infertility caused by chronic stress but infertility isn’t purely a psychological issue.
Myth 6; Food affects fertility
Fact; There is no specific food linked to fertility, a well balanced diet is just the right way. Eating right has positive effect on health.
Myth 7; Irregular periods are a sign of infertility
Fact; Irregular periods are very common and a lots of factors influence the hormonal balance that regulate your menstrual cycle. Stress can affect the timing of your period but that doesn’t mean your fertility is affected.
Myth 8; If you already have a child, you don’t have to worry about infertility
Fact; It has been known that approximately 30 percent of infertility happens after the first child. This means even if a couple already has a child, they can experience difficulty in getting pregnant later, this is secondary infertility. The same factors responsible for primary fertility problems are often seen as the cause of secondary infertility: pelvic scarring, endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, defective ovulation, poor sperm quantity or quality, and so forth. Whatever the cause, the condition either developed or worsened since the first birth, problems might be age-related if several years have passed. Treatments for primary and secondary fertility problems are the same.
Myth 9; Women can’t get pregnant on their periods.
A woman is most likely to conceive by having intercourse a few days before and during ovulation, it is still possible to get pregnant during her period. Sperm can survive in the uterus up to five days, and if you have sex near the end of your period, there’s a possibility that sperm can fertilize an egg after it is released during ovulation. Overall, this occurrence is rare, but it’s more likely to occur in women with shorter menstruation cycles.
Myth 10; Infertility means you can’t have a child.
Fact: With the proper treatment, many people go on to have children. In addition, there is a possibility of a couple conceiving without treatment if the woman is ovulating and has one open tube, and the male partner has some sperm in his ejaculate. This rate may be lower than you would hope, but it is not zero.