Many of our patients come to us with concerns that have been influenced by unfounded fertility myths. With so much false information floating around, we want to dispel some of these misconceptions, so we've tackled some of the most common fertility myths below.
Myth: The pill can cause infertility.
Fact: There’s been much research as to whether the contraceptive pill causes infertility and the overwhelming scientific conclusion is that it doesn’t have any long-term effect on fertility. However, it can take some time for the menstrual cycle to return to normal after coming off the pill so some women may experience a temporary delay in conception.
Myth: Age only affects female fertility.
Fact: The effects of age on female fertility have been well documented but there’s been much less conversation around the effects of the aging process on male fertility. It’s possible for a man to father a child at any age, however the likelihood of successful conception does decline as men age. Studies have shown sperm concentration and the proportion of sperm of normal morphology decline after the age of 40 making it more difficult to conceive.
Myth: The AMH test can give you a full fertility picture.
Fact: The anti-mullerian hormone or AMH test can be used to determine the number of eggs left in a woman’s ovarian reserve. Though this can be a good indicator of fertility levels, it doesn’t give any indication of egg quality, so further tests would be required to get a full picture of a woman’s fertility.
Myth: Fertility is a woman’s issue.
Fact: Often people tend to be more concerned about female fertility than male fertility. However, research has shown that in cases where a heterosexual couple struggle to conceive, male factor infertility is responsible 30% of the time, with female factor infertility accounting for a further 30% and a combination of male and female factors, as well as unknown factors causing the remaining 40% of infertility cases.
Myth: Google can give you the answer to your fertility concerns.
Fact: Google can provide a lot of information about various fertility issues but often patients can identify some of the symptoms as their own and jump to conclusions. The only way to accurately identify a fertility issue is to speak to a fertility specialist about getting some fertility tests.
Myth: You should have sex everyday when trying to conceive.
Fact: Doctors recommend having sex every 2 days when trying to conceive, particularly when ovulating (usually 12-16 days before your period starts). Having sex more than every two days can mean there are less sperm in the ejaculate – having sex every two days gives the man the best chance of producing semen with the optimum amount of sperm.
Myth: You won’t get pregnant if you’re stressed.
Fact: There’s no hard and fast scientific evidence to suggest stress impairs fertility. However, some studies have found that the activities we can engage in when stressed can reduce fertility, e.g. drinking, smoking, eating unhealthily.
Myth: Lying flat after sex helps with conception.
Fact: This is a common misbelief but there is no evidence to suggest that lying flat after sex will increase your chances of conception.
If you'd like to learn more about your fertility health, you can contact us to learn more about our advanced fertility testing package.