Infertility: Myths and Truths
Everyone has their opinion about infertility. If you are unable to conceive and don’t know why yet, then you have probably been bombarded with advice and suggestions. Aunties may tell you what home remedies to take and uncles may give you unsolicited advice about intercourse. There are so many myths about infertility yet only a set number of truths. It is your responsibility to find out the truth and to do what is right for you.
Myth: Infertility is only associated with the female.
Truth: Infertility could occur in, either, the male and female. About 40% of cases occur in the female and about 40% occurs in the male, whilst 10% is in both partners and 10% is unaccounted for.
Myth: If you don’t conceive immediately you should see a fertility specialist.
Truth: It can take some couples some time to conceive, depending on their circumstances, health issues and contraceptives used. If you’re unable to conceive after trying for 12 months, then it is a good idea to see a fertility specialist to run tests on both of you.
Myth: Your weight doesn’t affect your fertility.
Truth: For women, especially, if you are overweight then it could lower your chances of conception. It is a good idea to engage in moderate exercises and eat a balanced diet to lose the weight.
Myth: It’s OK for the man to drink alcohol while trying to conceive.
Truth: Alcohol is toxic to sperm because it can play a big role in reducing sperm counts, sexual performance and it can affect the hormones.
Myth: Smoking doesn’t affect male fertility.
Truth: Smoking affects both male and female fertility. It has been linked to low sperm counts as well as low motility in men.
Myth: Stress causes infertility.
Truth: This is a common misconception that stress causes infertility. So couples are usually told that they must relax or take it easy. Couples are also told that they are too young to worry about it. As a result couples delay consultation with a fertility specialist until they are older. This could lower their chances of conceiving because it is better to seek fertility treatment sooner rather than later.
Myth: It’s OK to exercise excessively, like body builders do.
Truth: Excessive exercise such as body building and weight lifting can affect the production of sperm in men which is the result of heat build-up around the testicles. In women, it can lead to menstrual disorders.