Breaking The Fertility Myths
The current definition of infertility is not becoming pregnant after one year of unprotected sex. If a woman doesn’t become pregnant during this period of time she is assumed to have a fertility problem.
Unfortunately, this “diagnosis of infertility” may or may not be true. A thorough understanding of what is necessary for pregnancy to occur should be available to all women who are trying to get pregnant and certainly to women who are having difficulty getting pregnant or believe they may have fertility problems.
Myth 1: If pregnancy has not occurred within a year, then there are infertility problems.
In reality, there might be no medical issue at all, but rather fertility unawareness.
Myth 2: Menstrual cycle always lasts 28 days and day 14 is the day that ovulation occurs.
In reality, cycles vary among women and sometimes even within each woman. The average cycle lasts 21 to 35 days and the day a woman ovulates varies from 14 days and also varies from woman to woman and from cycle to cycle.
Myth 3: Irregular cycles are problematic.
As a 28-day cycle is considered the “norm”, any cycle length that varies from that number is considered “irregular” and thus problematic. However, if a woman is taught how to calculate when she ovulates, it does not matter if ovulation occurs mid cycle (day 14) or before or after that day.
Myth 4: If there is a concern about infertility, then high-tech tests should be employed.
Physicians are trained to identify illness by diagnosing and treating medical problems with high-tech procedures. This is so prevalent that sometimes they overlook the most obvious reasons that pregnancy is not occurring. In the case of fertility issues, a woman may not conceive because or wrong timing of intercourse or low sperm count. So before believing that expensive diagnostic tests are needed, a doctor should order a simple inexpensive semen analysis and charting of the woman’s fertility signs should be used to identify the most fertile days and time for her to conceive.
Myth 5: Body temperature is the best sign to indicate fertility
Physicians tend to focus on basal body temperatures to determine the time when intercourse will mostly likely lead to impregnation. Often times cervical fluid is completely ignored despite it being the key sign for timing intercourse.
In reality, by the time the body temperature increases, the egg has already been released and is already dead. Despite this, the body temperature is very useful to determine patterns of ovulation and conception.
Myth 6: Fertility tests are always appropriately timed to measure ovulation and are always accurate
Based on the notion that day 14 is the day ovulation occurs, many fertility tests, including the postcoital test (PCT) and endometrial biopsy can be mistimed and can therefore be unreliable. Further, the hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is costly and potentially painful and should not be performed before a woman thoroughly understands cervical fluid signs that indicate if and when ovulation is occurring. A test is only useful when it is timed correctly and its results are reliable.
Myth 7: Ovulatory drugs, such as Clomid, are always a solution for infertility
Clomid acts by triggering egg development in the ovaries. However, it also dries up the cervical fluid, which is essential for transporting sperm into the cervix for pregnancy to occur. In other words, Clomid can actually help or hinder a pregnancy! Nonetheless, for women who are ovulating, Clomid can help by prolonging the luteal phase (just after ovulation) and increase the chances of pregnancy. Still, the use of ovulatory drugs should be an informed decision and not a routine step and ways to overcome the side effects should always be discussed prior to taking them.
Myth 8: Ovulation prediction kits are reliable
In reality, the results of ovulation prediction kits can be misleading and they also do not determine fertility.
Myth 9: You are infertile if have a miscarriage
The inability to conceive and miscarriage after conception are two completely different problems that require different treatments. Women who do conceive but then miscarry are fertile, but experience other problems, such as short luteal phase.
There are many myths out there, leading women to believe they are infertile while in reality, they are not. In addition, diagnostic tests are often costly, uncomfortable and even inaccurate. That is why it is of utmost importance that a woman learns how to chart their three fertility signs, so they can become active participants in their own health, decrease feelings of vulnerability, and increase chances of pregnancy. Moreover, women who chart their own fertility signs know their body better and can identify gynecological irregularities key to their overall health beyond any fertility issues.