10 Common Myths about Infertility
Infertility is rare. No other couples we know seem to have problems.
FALSE. One in six couples experience infertility. Infertility is a sensitive issue, and often individuals do not feel free to share this with friends or family. You should not feel embarrassed. Infertility is common. You as a couple can maximize your chance of pregnancy by seeking prompt evaluation and treatment.
We should try to conceive for at least one full year before seeing a physician.
FALSE. While strictly speaking, infertility is defined as one year of unprotected intercourse without conception, many couples should seek diagnostic evaluation and treatment prior to this time. This includes women over age 35 and those with a history of irregular periods, fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic adhesive disease, ectopic pregnancy or recurrent miscarriage. Couples with a male history of surgery, infection or trauma to the genital organs should also be evaluated promptly.
The diagnostic work-up for infertility takes months and is costly.
FALSE. Very few tests are required for both partners. Typically, the diagnostic evaluation includes evaluation of ovulatory status, uterine and tubal status in the female, and semen analysis for the male. These tests can often be completed within one month and are not expensive.
Male infertility is rare. Semen analysis is unnecessary unless all problems have been ruled out in the female.
FALSE. Almost half of couples with infertility have some degree of male factor contributing to its diagnosis. We at RRC believe that early evaluation of the male partner is essential for prompt diagnosis and appropriate therapy.
All infertility treatment is expensive.
FALSE. There are a range of infertility treatments available, and the most appropriate therapy for you as a couple depends on your history, diagnosis, and goals. Our philosophy at RRC is to help you achieve conception as efficiently as possible. This means, oftentimes, starting out with treatments that are inexpensive. However, some couples, based on their histories and diagnoses, may need more aggressive treatment from the start and may save money in the long run by proper guidance as to which treatment modalities are very likely to be successful.
We will need daily visits to the doctor during infertility treatment.
FALSE. Certainly, infertility treatment will involve seeing a physician. However, most treatment modalities require few visits to the physician, and most visits are short, enabling you to continue your lives relatively uninterrupted.
All infertility treatments put us at high risk for carrying a pregnancy with triplets, quadruplets or more. We are concerned because we want one baby.
FALSE. RRC’s goal is to help you achieve a healthy pregnancy, both for the woman as well as the child. Therefore, our philosophy at RRC involves treatments with high chances of achieving pregnancy and low risk of high order multiple pregnancy. Most treatments prescribed by RRC physicians result in singleton pregnancies. Twins are less common. Pregnancies with a larger number of fetuses are extremely rare at RRC because of our treatment philosophy.
It takes months to get an appointment for an initial consultation.
FALSE. At RRC, most patients can be seen within one month. We will request copies of pertinent medical records. This will allow for a productive first visit and rapid treatment. The most common cause of a delayed appointment is delayed receipt of medical records.
Lots of women over age 40 are having babies, so female age is not a big factor in infertility.
FALSE. Female age is one of the major factors in determining your chances for pregnancy success. Pregnancy rates start to decline at approximately female age 34. Pregnancies are less common over age 40 and rare over 42. Celebrities in their 40s who give birth often have achieved pregnancy by doing in vitro fertilization using donor oocytes. In light of these facts, prompt diagnostic evaluation and treatment is in your best interest to achieve a successful pregnancy.
Men with no sperm in the ejaculate or women without ovaries or a uterus have no chance of parenting a child.
FALSE. Absence of sperm in the ejaculate (azoospermia) can result from obstructive and non-obstructive causes. Men who have sperm present in the testicle can be successfully treated with current in vitro fertilization techniques. Therapeutic donor insemination is also an option for couples with azoospermia. Women with surgical or medical menopause are often candidates for third party reproduction (the use of anonymous donor oocytes). Gestational carriers can be utilized for women with a congenitally or surgically absent uterus.
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