Fact vs Fiction: Busting Common Fertility Myths
The internet can be a useful tool if you want to learn more about fertility but it's important to be mindful that not everything you read online is true. To help you separate the fact from the fiction our fertility specialists have busted some of the most common fertility myths below...
Myth: The pill can harm fertility.
Fact: There’s been much research on the effect of the pill on long-term fertility and the overwhelming scientific conclusion is that it doesn’t have any lasting 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 doesn't affect male 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 with age. Studies have shown sperm concentration and the proportion of sperm of normal morphology decline after the age of 45 making it more difficult to conceive.
Myth: The AMH test can tell you if you're infertile.
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: Men don't need to worry about fertility.
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: You should have sex everyday when trying to conceive.
Fact: Doctors recommend having sex every 2-4 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 2-4 days gives the man the best chance of producing semen with the optimum amount of sperm.
Myth: Stress can make it difficult to get pregnant.
Fact: There’s no proven 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: You should lie flat after sex when trying to conceive.
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.