Fertility Fallacies Pt. 1

Issues surrounding getting pregnant can be difficult, and to be honest, downright embarrassing to address at times. While as a society we are becoming more open to discussing such things, many looming questions still exist. Perhaps that’s why a recent study out of New Zealand showed that 74 percent of women visiting a fertility clinic had an insufficient knowledge of fertility.

Here are seven commonly believed fertility fallacies:

1) I can wait until I’m 40.


It is becoming increasingly common for women to wait until their mid to late 30s to focus on family building. In 1970, approximately one percent of first-time mothers were 35 or older. In 2006 this number augmented to roughly 8 percent. This increase and other societal factors may lead women to believe that their fertility can last well into their 40s, but infertility increases with age.  Six percent of women ages 20 to 24 struggle with infertility. That number increases to 64 percent who are 40 to 44 years of age. (Eight Fertility Misconceptions).

Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are extending the age at which women are able to bear children into the 40s and even 50s, but even with those technologies, there comes a point at which a woman’s body is no longer able to carry a child to term. That time is still being defined and redefined as sciences in the reproductive field progress.

2) We shouldn't worry about how long it takes to get pregnant.


Infertility, for people under 35 years old, is the diagnosis after 12 months of regularly attempting to achieve pregnancy without success. Women over the age of 35 or with gynecologic or medical conditions (such as diabetes, or thyroid issues) should consult with a specialist after 6 months of unsuccessful attempts.

3) We are making attempts to get pregnant often enough.  

A very fertile couple in their 20s and in excellent health has a 25 percent chance of conceiving with perfectly timed intercourse in any given month. This success rate drops to 10 to 15 percent in a month if a pregnancy isn’t achieved in three months, and further decreases to five percent or less after a year.
Because of these odds, specialists recommend having intercourse every 24 to 48 hours during the most fertile four to five days in a woman’s cycle.

Stay tuned for Pt. 2 next week.

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