The Top Ten Myths about Infertility


Body: Infertility is often diagnosed late, owing to various assumptions made by women. We live in a society where women are comparatively unaware of infertility issues, until they have to undergo treatments like in vitro fertilization.

There is an interesting book called 'A Few Good Eggs: Two Chicks Dish on Overcoming the Insanity of Infertility', which talks about infertile women living in the US. It is written by Julie Vargo and Maureen Regan, who have put together quite a list of myths; and have exploded these misconceptions

  • Infertility will not happen to me.
    One in ten couples is found to be infertile. There is no way of knowing about this before you try to conceive.
  • I cannot be infertile. I already have got a child!
    A previous child only indicates your fertility at that point of time. It does happen sometimes that an unexpected problem crops up later on, which may require interventions like IVF.
  • I can easily conceive, therefore I do not have fertility problems. I basically have miscarriages.
    An expanded meaning of infertility is the inability to have a child over a period of time. It also includes women with repeated miscarriages as it means that they are unable to carry their pregnancy to term.
  • I am just too young to have fertility problems!
    Fertility and age are not always related. While older women have a higher risk of being infertile, even younger women may need in vitro fertilization treatment (for example, because their tubes are blocked).
  • My physician shared with me that I don't need to visit any fertility expert, unless I have 3 miscarriages.
    Miscarriages are fairly common. Doctors do not undertake a detailed investigation of a single event of miscarriage, but you can always ask for one.
  • I am fit. I work out on a regular basis. I cannot become infertile.
    Fertility or infertility is completely unrelated to physical fitness.
  • I am certainly not infertile. I am just not having enough sex.
    It is better not to deny the possibility of infertility, if you are having sex at least once a week and have still failed to conceive.
  • A person can easily wait for a long period to have a child.
    Time and age are critical factors for infertility treatments like IVF; so better be smarter than sorry.
  • Males cannot be infertile. They produce sperm regularly.
    This is true, but factors like poor quality of sperms or less number of sperms may cause infertility. Only a lab test can diagnose this
  • Normal fertility is a miracle.
    That definitely is not a myth. Normal conception is truly a nature's miracle. However, you cannot always wait for miracles to occur - and sometimes IVF allows you to create your own miracles!

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Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.