If you’re experiencing infertility, you’re not alone. Doctors estimate about 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting or staying pregnant. And more than 7 million women receive infertility treatments over the course of their lives.
Infertility is a highly personal and often painful experience. People close to you may have good intentions, but they may lead you in unhelpful directions. And with so much information about infertility on the internet, it can be challenging to separate myths from facts.
At Progressive Women’s Health in Friendswood, Texas, board-certified OB/GYN Asia Mohsin, MD, and our team understand how hard it is to struggle with infertility and how personal the journey is for both men and women.
We’re committed to educating our patients and helping them take steps toward conceiving. In this blog, we help separate facts from fiction regarding infertility.
Fact: Infertility affects men and women equally, and much of the time infertility stems from a combination of issues from both the man and woman.
Despite the rumor that most causes of infertility lie with the woman, both men and women can contribute to infertility, as the following statistics show. About 35% of the time, doctors identify a male factor as the cause, and 35% of the time they link the cause to the woman.
In about one-fifth of infertility cases, problems with both genders lead to infertility, and about 10% of the time, doctors cannot explain why the couple is experiencing infertility.
Fact: Fertility is a physical problem.
Stress contributes to some cases of infertility, but infertility is always a physical problem and a medical condition. Positive thinking, taking a vacation, and changing your mindset aren’t enough to solve infertility.
Fact: Both men and women experience changes in fertility as they get older.
Age is a factor for both men and women. Male or female, your fertility decreases as you get older. For women, your reproductive peak happens between your late teens and late 20s. Once you hit age 30, your fertility declines and drops off rapidly at age 35.
A healthy 30-year-old woman has about a 20% chance of getting pregnant each month. By age 40, that drops to 5% per menstrual cycle. If you’re in your 30s or 40s, it’s possible to get pregnant, but your age could play a role if you’re having trouble conceiving.
Male fertility also declines with age. Unlike women, who cannot conceive after menopause, men can technically father children at any age. However, as men get older, the shape and movement of their sperm can decline and problems related to erectile dysfunction can increase.
Fact: One of the biggest factors in your fertility is your overall health.
If you’re struggling with infertility, it’s time to look at your lifestyle. While not every case of infertility is linked to overall health, much of the time it is the crucial factor or a contributing factor.
Eating a healthy diet rich in plants and unprocessed foods can help your body prepare for pregnancy and a healthy baby. This can also help you maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or underweight can lower your chances of getting pregnant.
Other health factors that can contribute to infertility include smoking, alcohol and drug use, not exercising, not managing chronic conditions, and not taking recommended vitamins and supplements.
Fact: Adoption doesn’t cure infertility.
While adoption is a wonderful way to build a family, it doesn’t cure infertility. Some couples who adopt may have a “surprise” and a much-welcomed pregnancy, but this only occurs in about 5% of cases. Choosing adoption is a great way to welcome a baby or child into your life, but it’s not a treatment for infertility.
If you’re struggling with infertility, get the facts from Dr. Mohsin and the team at Progressive Women’s Health. Dr. Mohsin approaches every patient’s infertility on a case-by-case basis, with customized treatment options for every situation. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Progressive Women’s Health today. We also offer telemedicine appointments.