Fertility Myths


Myth

Infertility is a women's problem.

Fact

This is untrue. It surprises most people to learn that infertility is a female problem in approximately 40% of the cases, a male problem in 40% of the cases, a combined problem of the couple in approximately 20% of cases. It is essential that both the man and the woman be evaluated during an infertility work-up.


Myth

Everyone seems to get pregnant at the drop of a hat.

Fact

More than five million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility. When you seek support, you will find that you are not alone. Join RESOLVE, a support group, or talk with others who are struggling to build a family, so that you won't feel isolated. At The Center, we can also help you connect with people who have been or who are going through infertility.


Myth

It's all in your head! Why don't you relax or take a vacation. Then you'll get pregnant!

Fact

Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system. While relaxing may help you with your overall quality of life, the stress and deep emotions you feel are the result of infertility, not the cause of it. Improved medical techniques have made it easier to diagnose infertility problems.


Myth

Don't worry so much -- it just takes time. You'll get pregnant if you're just patient.

Fact

Infertility is a medical problem that may be treated. At least 50% of those who complete an infertility evaluation will respond to treatment with a successful pregnancy. Some infertility problems respond with higher or lower success rates. Those who do not seek help have a "spontaneous cure rate" of about 5% after a year of infertility.


Myth

If you adopt a baby you'll get pregnant!

Fact

This is one of the most painful myths for couples to hear. First it suggests that adoption is only a means to an end, not a happy and successful end in itself. Second, it is simply not true. Studies reveal that the rate for achieving pregnancy after adopting is the same as for those who do not adopt.


Myth

Why don't you just forget it and adopt? After all, there are so many babies out there who need homes!

Fact

For many, adoption is a happy resolution to infertility. However, most people explore medical treatment for infertility prior to considering adoption. In addition, traditional adoption options have changed and adoption can be more costly and time-consuming than expected. It is, however, still possible to adopt the healthy baby of your dreams. There are also many older children and children with special needs available for adoption.


Myth

Maybe you two are doing something wrong!

Fact

Infertility is a medical condition, not a sexual disorder.


Myth

My partner might leave me because of our infertility.

Fact

The majority of couples do survive the infertility crisis, learning in the process new ways of relating to each other, which deepens their relationship in years to follow.


Myth

Perhaps this is God's way of telling you that you two aren't meant to be parents!

Fact

It is particularly difficult to hear this when you are struggling with infertility. You know what loving parents you would be and it is painful to have to explain to others that you have a medical problem.


Myth

Infertility is nature's way of controlling population.

Fact

Zero population growth is a goal pursued in a time of world overpopulation, but it still allows for couples to replace themselves with two children. Individuals or couples can certainly elect the option to be child free or to raise a single child. Infertility, for those who desire children, denies them the opportunity to choose.


Myth

I shouldn't take a month off from infertility treatment for any reason...I just know that this next month will be THE one!

Fact

It is important periodically to reassess your treatment and your parenting goal. Continuity in treatment is important but sometimes a break can provide needed rest and renewal for the next steps.


Myth

I'll be labeled a 'trouble maker' if I ask too many questions.

Fact

The physician/patient team is important. You need to be informed about what treatments are available. What is right for one couple may not be right for another, either physically, financially, or emotionally. Don't be afraid to ask questions of anyone at The Center.


Myth

I know I'll never be able to stop treatment until I have a pregnancy.

Fact

Pregnancy is not the only pathway to parenthood. You may begin to think more about parenthood than about pregnancy. You may long for your life to get back to normal. You may consider child free living or begin to think of other ways to build a family.


Sources

Reproductive Medicine Associates of Michigan and RESOLVE.

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