When you are struggling with infertility, you may hear a lot of advice from friends and family about conceiving a child. More than likely, this advice will not be based on medical knowledge. In fact, this advice often is wrong and touches on these five common myths about infertility:
- “If you just relax, you will get pregnant.” Sometimes, chronic stress will cause infertility. However, your infertility (or your spouse’s) can be a sign of medical condition that won’t go away simply because you learn to relax, practice yoga, or take a great vacation. Some of the most common causes of infertility in women are ovulation disorders, endometriosis, damage to the fallopian tubes and uterine fibroids, all of which require medical attention if you are struggling with infertility.
- “Infertility is just a female problem.” According to the CDC, in about 35% of couples struggling with infertility, the male is a factor in their infertility. Male infertility can be the result of problems with sperm, ejaculation function and more. Another third is simply “unexplained,” thereby being specifically attributable to neither the man nor the woman.
- “If you and your partner work hard enough, you will get pregnant.” Having sex more often or seeking multiple infertility treatments doesn’t always translate into becoming pregnant when you are struggling with infertility. Sometimes, drugs such as clomid to increase egg production and release, in vitro fertilization outside the body, third party donors of eggs or sperm, and/or ursuing surrogacy or adoption may be your most viable options for having a child.
- “Once you adopt a child, you will get pregnant.” This myth is much like the admonition to “relax” and is also an old wives’ tale. In reality, about 5% of couples who adopt later become pregnant. That’s about the same number as couples who struggle with infertility and don’t seek medical treatment.
- “If you’ve already had a child, you won’t have to worry about infertility.” Some couples easily conceive a child and then struggle with infertility, sometimes for years, when trying to conceive another child. It’s called “secondary infertility” and can strike unexpectedly.
Struggling with infertility is frustrating. You can feel lonely, angry and depressed about not being able to conceive a child. You may feel uncertain about pursuing adoption, choosing surrogacy or using a sperm or egg donor. You need to keep in mind you are not alone in this journey. Reaching out for medical help and consulting an attorney who practices assistive reproductive law about all your various options and the legalities of each may give you more peace of mind about how to add a child to your family.