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Top Ten Fertility Fallacies
Most people assume they are fertile till they find out otherwise. Infertile couples often subscribe to mistaken assumptions that can be cleared with the right information.
One of the most amusing books I have read on infertility is : A Few Good Eggs : Two Chicks Dish on Overcoming the Insanity of Infertility by Julie Vargo and Maureen Regan.The book is targetted towards infertile women living in the US, and is written in the currently fashionable "chick-lit" style. It's amusingly written; and is a breath of fresh air , if you are the sort of person who finds a sense of humour helps you cope better with infertility.
The book has lots of Top-10 lists, and here's their list of Top 10 Fertility Fallacies.
- You can have a baby easily until you're at least forty-five.
- Menopause happens to women in their fifties.
- If you are young at heart, so is your body.
- If_______________ (fill in the blank with your favorite post forty pregnant celeb) can do it, so can I.
- Once I stop using birth control and have unprotected sex, I'll get pregnant right away.
- If I eat right , exercise regularly, and don't smoke, my body will be able to carry a baby whenever I am ready.
- It's no big deal if I can't get pregnant. My doctor can always get me there.
- You can never be too thin.
- Nobody I know would ever use donor eggs!
- When I want to get pregnant, it will just happen.
Great list ! Here are my comments.
- You can have a baby easily until you're at least forty-five. Unfortunately, most women don't know much about their biological clocks; or the fact that they never produce any new eggs in their lifetime ; and that will run out of eggs as they age. I wish they would teach girls some of these "facts of life".
- Menopause happens to women in their fifties. Menopause occurs when the store of eggs runs out. It can happen at any age - even at 40. However, even more worrisome than the menopause is the oopause - the 10 year phase before the menopause, during which egg quality drops to impair fertility. However, because the periods remain regular, women have a false sense of assurance that their fertility is intact !
- If you are young at heart, so is your body. I wish ! If this were true, all of us would remain 25 all our lives. Unfortunately, hairs turn grey, the skin wrinkles, muscles start sagging - and eggs die. The drop in fertility is irreversible - time is a non-renewable resource.
- If_______________ (fill in the blank with your favorite post forty pregnant celeb) can do it, so can I. Don't trust everything you read in the papers ! Maybe she used donor eggs - but she's not telling you this (and why should she - it's none of your business anyway !)
- Once I stop using birth control and have unprotected sex, I'll get pregnant right away. This happens only in Hindi films, when the heroine gets pregnant on the first wedding night. Nature is not very efficient to producing babies, and you cannot hurry her up !
- If I eat right , exercise regularly, and don't smoke, my body will be able to carry a baby whenever I am ready. Unfortunately, there is no correlation between your physical health, and the health of your eggs. There is a difference between chronological ( calendar) age; and ovarian age. ( The ovarian age is usually more :()
- It's no big deal if I can't get pregnant. My doctor can always get me there. While infertility specialists have lots of technological options up their sleeves, to help you achieve in the lab what is not happening in the bedroom, we still have to work with the raw material you provide us - your eggs. And poor quality eggs are still the infertile specialist's nightmare, because it's not an easy problem to fix !
- You can never be too thin. You can. Just like it's not a good idea to be too fat, being too thin can also reduce your fertility. Today, most women know about the dangers of anorexia, and it's worth emphasising these again. Follow the "middle path" !
- Nobody I know would ever use donor eggs! Actually, many would. It's just that they wouldn't tell you - and there's really no need for them to, is there ! After all, it's their personal decision !
- When I want to get pregnant, it will just happen. If it did, infertility specialists like me would be out of a job! (Which would be great ! I could then spend all my time running our free patient education library, HELP - Health Education Library for People).
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