Infertility can be a nerve-wracking and heartbreaking journey for many women, especially married ones.
When they are struggling to conceive or convincing themselves that they are not the problem, they must deal with unsolicited advice. Many of these bits of advice are non-medical tips on how to “take in” quickly.
It doesn’t also help that these unsolicited tips come with assumptions about the cause of their infertility, the most common of them being ‘the woman’. The automatic assignment of blame to the woman for “her inability to conceive” when the actual truth is that “it takes two to make a baby”.
Dear expecting mothers, as there are a lot of myths you’ll cross paths with on your journey to motherhood, we have put together eight and all the truths you need to know about them.
Myth 1: It’s your fault.
An inability to conceive is not always the woman’s fault. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, one-third of fertility problems are caused by male partners, one-third by the female and another one-third by both parties or by unknown factors.
Myth 2: Irregular menstrual cycles make pregnancy difficult.
However, an irregular cycle is not always the underlying cause that dampens fertility.
Myth 3: Women can’t get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to full term once they clock 35.
Although ageing correlates with infertility, It is untrue that older women can not get pregnant or carry their baby to full term.
Also, ageing does not affect fertility in women alone but also in men. Granted, men can continue to produce sperm even in old age, but the mobility of their sperm tends to reduce, making the fertilisation of an egg difficult or impossible.
Myth 4: There is no correlation between your lifestyle and your inability to get pregnant or successfully carry a baby.
Obesity, alcohol, smoking, etc., are all lifestyle habits that contribute to a fast decline of women’s egg and ectopic pregnancy.
A typical example is women on fertility treatments quitting smoking because it hinders positive results.
Myth 5: Putting your legs up in the air while having sex allows the sperm to swim safely to an egg.
Sperms naturally gravitate towards your eggs, and positions during or after sex make no difference.
Myth 6: It will happen when you relax.
Ever heard anyone tell a cancer patient to “relax”? Or an arthritis patient? Same here. Guess why? Cancer is a medical condition that requires medical intervention, same with your struggle to conceive.
Myth 7: Adopting or taking care of a baby will allow you to get pregnant.
While choosing adoption is a great way to welcome a baby into your life and start the family you desire, it’s not a fertility treatment mechanism. So, except you intend to stop your family at this size, you still need to see a doctor or continue treatment (if already started).
Myth 8: Having an abortion in the past affects previous pregnancies.
Fact: It Depends.
Abortion conducted in a “medically safe way” does not hamper future pregnancy chances. However, if the reverse is the case, it might cause future complications.
Dear women, instead of listening to people to determine what is causing/affecting your struggles with conception, we advise a visit to your gynaecologist. This is because underlying causes differ between people and couples. Also, the earlier you begin treatment, the closer you are to your baby.