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Top 10 Infertility Myths

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Before you think about getting pregnant or undergoing infertility treatments, there are some basics things you should do for your body. This advice is true for both men and women.

1. Take your vitamins

Taking a daily multi-vitamin is a great insurance policy against missing any vital nutritional elements. Be aware that vitamins are supplements and best used with a healthy diet. Men and women need to be in the best possible health when trying to conceive, which is why some forms of infertility are treated with vitamin therapy.

2. Get regular exercise

Exercise will ensure that your body is healthy and ready for the potential stress of both infertility treatments and pregnancy. It will also ensure that you are at your optimal weight, since unnecessary weight can lead to fertility problems. Exercise is a great form of stress relief. Infertility treatments or even an infertility workup can be very stressful. By regularly exercising, you can let off some of the stress which is proven to have a detrimental effect on fertility and infertility treatments.

3. Have a physical exam

Even though you may be seeing a reproductive endocrinologist, don't forget to see your family doctor regularly. You should continue to receive care from your family doctor/general practitioner at least on a yearly basis. Consider a check-up and be sure to have them send test results to the reproductive endocrinologist as well. This will help to isolate and treat any other medical issues which you may be experiencing outside of your reproductive health.

4. Don't drink

Giving up alcohol may be a no-brainer for some, but others don't see any harm in it. Alcohol has been linked to a decrease in overall fertility and increases in erectile dysfunction, so it is advisable to stop drinking alcohol for the duration of infertility treatments and pregnancy.

5. Give up smoking and drug use

Cigarettes are a known carcinogen with links to reproductive failure. Smokers tend to have lower fertility and less healthy pregnancies. The effects of drugs such as marijuana and cocaine on fetus development and subsequent health has been widely documented and needs no further comment.

Top 10 infertility myths

Fertility and infertility are areas that result in a lot of speculation and myth. The problem is that most of the things you may consider to be facts aren't supported by medical science. Here are some of the most common myths about trying to get pregnant… busted!

1. Getting pregnant is easy.

About one in ten couples will have trouble conceiving. That’s roughly 5-6 million couples annually.

2. If you have periods, you'll can get pregnant.

Fertility can be affected even without disruption to the menstrual cycle. A period does not mean that a woman is ovulating or releasing an egg.

3. If you adopt, you’ll get pregnant.

There is no evidence to support this claim. It is a hurtful and harmful statement to couples undergoing infertility treatments.

4. Fertility problems are always the woman's fault.

Fertility problems are roughly evenly distributed between men and women.

5. If you’re over 35 and trying to conceive, you should seek fertility treatment immediately.

Not so! While your fertility does decrease with age, many women at 35 will have no problems getting pregnant. Treatment is recommended after six months of actively trying to get pregnant with appropriate timing and no use of birth control, rather than the one-year period recommended for younger couples.

6. Your fertility problems are all in your head.

Fertility issues are physical, not psychological. There are physical reasons that prevent a woman from getting pregnant. Your fertility doctor or reproductive endocrinologist can help you determine what your specific fertility issues are and try to help you overcome them. However, about 10% of all causes of infertility are unexplainable. This does not indicate a psychological cause, only that it may be a more complex issue than an ovulation disorder or low sperm count.

7. If you want it enough, it will happen.

While new technologies are helping more and more families conceive, there are some couples who will never have a successful pregnancy. The amount of time, effort and money expended does not directly impact your chances of conceiving.

8. Infertility will break up your marriage.

While infertility is emotional, physically draining and treatments can be costly, this does not necessarily mean that an infertile couple's marriage will fail. Constant communication, therapy and other forms of help can assist a couple in keeping their marriage on track. Issues of guilt, blame, and sorrow are all part of the process couples go through when working towards a family.

9. If you’ve previously had a baby, then you’re not infertile.

Secondary infertility is a real problem. Simply having a previous child does not mean that you can’t experience fertility issues in subsequent pregnancies. Perhaps a new medical issue or surgery has arisen, or maybe things just fell into place the first time.

10. You can self-medicate to get pregnant with things like cough syrup.

It is never wise to try to self-medicate or diagnose your own fertility problems. Don’t immediately believe what you read on internet message boards, overhear at a coffee shop or receive from well-meaning friends and family. Taking medications that aren’t prescribed for you can be harmful, even with things as simple as cough medicine. Seek professional help in the diagnosis and treatment of your fertility problems for the best results.

We trust this information will assist you in making correct choices regarding your health and welfare. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for personalized advice from your medical adviser.

Our thanks to Dr. Ivan R. Sini, SpOG for contributing this article. Dr. Sini has a practice in Morula IVF Jakarta, one of the major IVF clinics located at Bunda International Clinic in Menteng. Morula IVF Jakarta provides comprehensive medical solutions for couples seeking to start a family.

If you have any further questions about medical concerns in Indonesia, see the Ask the Experts.

We trust this information will assist you in making correct choices regarding your health and welfare. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for personalized advice from your medical adviser.

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