Starting a family is not an easy goal for couples. Some couples try for longer periods of time and put in more effort than others to conceive.
It is important for couples to understand the truth behind what people commonly say about fertility for a higher chance of success. So, here are the scientific facts behind five myths about infertility.
Myth 1: Conception is completely random
Many things need to be in place before the sperm can enter into the egg. Conception is a bodily process, and thus a healthy body is better for conception. Living a healthy lifestyle by getting adequate rest, eating healthy food, and engaging in exercise can help prepare your body for conception. Taking supplements such as folic acid, zinc, iron and calcium could also help you conceive. Therefore, there are many things we can do to improve our chances of conceiving.
Myth 2: Infertility is only a woman’s issue
Infertility is an issue for women, as well as men. In an article by the NIH, men and women both account for infertility at equal rates. That is, 33% is because of female conception issues, 33% for male conception issues, and 33% is for both partners having infertility issues at the same time.
Since both men and women can contribute to infertility, it is important for them to get regular check-ups by a healthcare provider who can offer holistic care. Professionals can help prepare the reproductive systems of both men and women for conceiving.
If they are hesitant to see an OBGYN, or a fertility expert, they can approach other healthcare professionals with training in the field of fertility. This includes a DNP with training in family care. DNPs can also give advice beyond the normal preparations, like mental-emotional ways to relax, proper nutrition and recommendations for exercise.
Myth 3: Age only affects women's fertility, not men's
While it is true that men can continuously generate sperm on a normal basis, the quality of their sperm does decline with age. According to a study published in the NCBI last 2020, “The effects of aging on semen parameters and sperm DNA fragmentation,” males above the age of 50 presented a statistically significant increase in DNA damage. The damaged DNAs were 4.58 times more likely to be present in the sperm of men aged 50 and above as compared with the sperm of men aged 21-30.
Myth 4: An egg can be fertilized for up to two days after its release
As stated above, sperm can survive for up to five days inside of a uterus. Once the egg is released from the ovary, it has a time frame of 12 to 24 hours to be fertilized. Therefore, in order for conception to occur, live sperm must be present within the time frame during a woman’s ovulation.
For many years, myths and misinformation about infertility spread like rumors and gossip. Thanks to advances in science, we can be more successful in our efforts to conceive and start families.
Article written by Rosemary Joanne
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