Many misconceptions come along with fertility, IVF, and fertility treatments altogether. While more of these misconceptions occur to those outside of the fertility community, some are believed among those trying to conceive. Continue reading to get the truth behind some of the most common infertility and fertility treatment myths:
Ejaculation = Fertility
Most men with male infertility do not experience any obvious signs that something is wrong. Having normal ejaculation and healthy erectile function does not guarantee fertility. Many people also assume that sexual performance is the issue, which is false. The primary causes of male infertility are sperm count, shape, and movement. Only 2-5% of semen is made up of sperm; it is mostly made of fluids and mucus rich in sugars, amino acids, hormones, and minerals. Erectile dysfunction, however, can be a symptom of a fertility problem, possibly indicating low testosterone levels. Difficulty with ejaculation can also be a sign of fertility problems.
Young People Cannot be Infertile
Chances of infertility increase with age, but young men and women can also face infertility. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 9% of women ages 15-29 report difficulty getting or staying pregnant, increasing to 14% for women ages 30-34, and 16% for women ages 40-44. More women older than 35 experience fertility struggles, but about 1 in 10 women face infertility before age 30.
Infertility Means Never Getting Pregnant on Your Own
First, it is important to know the difference between infertility and sterility. Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after a year of unprotected sexual intercourse. People who have been diagnosed with infertility can still get pregnant without fertility treatments. Sterility, on the other hand, means that a man or woman is incapable of getting pregnant without fertility assistance. Sterility can occur in men with a sperm count of zero, and women if their fallopian tubes are completely blocked. However, do not depend on the small odds of getting pregnant due to the fact that you are infertile rather than sterile. You should still seek treatment if you wish to conceive.
Don’t Worry About Age, There is Still IVF
People often assume that if age-related infertility interferes, IVF is the solution. As your fertility declines with age, so do your chances of success with IVF. According to the CDC, 33% of IVF cycles for women under ago 35 led to the birth of a baby, while this only occurred for 17% of women ages 38-40. Live birth rates per cycle for women age 43-44 were 3%.
There are many misconceptions and myths floating around when it comes to fertility. Be sure to do your research with reliable sources and consult with a fertility specialist if you have questions.
The North Carolina Center for Reproductive Medicine/Talbert Fertility Institute is the premiere center for reproductive health in North Carolina and the East Coast. Our team specializes in fertility testing, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility conditions. We’re experts in IVF, Tubal Ligation Reversal, Male Infertility, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Gestation Surrogacy, Family Balancing, and more. Contact us today.