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Houston Fertility Journal

5 Infertility Myths That Should Send You Running For Cover

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 10, 2017 11:00:00 AM / by Center of Reproductive Medicine   

Center of Reproductive Medicine

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You will find that any health condition you research online comes with a slew of myths and rumors that are incredibly untrue. They range all across the board, from little paranoias turning into serious conversations, to exaggerations and outrageous claims.

It is so frustrating because many people are having a lot of trouble figuring out why they are unable to conceive. These outrageous ideas are only fueling the fears that run through their heads. Hopefully, if you have come upon these claims that we are about to discuss, you would already have figured out that they are simply just too ridiculous to be true. After all, in this article we are mainly addressing the most extreme types of myths.

Yet, we will also attempt to reroute the thinking on these myths so you can actually take some true knowledge away from your time investigating these topics. The main message is: don’t worry, the claims below are actually a bunch of hooey. Do not waste your time on stories such as these. Instead, turn your questions toward the people who can provide you with the truth.

Below are 5 infertility myths that might just send you running for cover. But as far as these ones are concerned, have no fear, the coast is clear.

Myth #1: A Woman’s Education Causes Infertility

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Oh boy. See what we’re saying? This was once actually proposed by people and believed to be true. This was, of course, around the time when women started to develop more interest and vigor toward going to school and getting a degree. But knowledge holds too much power, and some men just did not like the idea of a powerful woman.

A particular book was written in 1876 regarding this, named Sex In Education: Or, A Fair Chance For Girls. Written by a Harvard physician, the book claimed that women who went to college were ‘putting their fertility at risk because all of the energy normally reserved for reproduction would be wasted on the brain’.

Well, besides the fact that this clearly was a ploy to keep women in the home, the statement is just incredibly untrue. In fact, a stimulated brain that is working for an education promotes a healthy and happier human. Studies are showing that women who are in good health and experiencing less stress seem to be more successful at achieving pregnancy. Yes, there is a lot of speculation about stress contributing to infertility.

When you think about it though, how has stress ever helped you with anything in life? Fill your life with the things that give you peace of mind and then everything else usually tends to fall into place.

Furthermore, curb your stress with things like:

  • gentle exercise
  • pleasurable reading
  • humor
  • relaxation tracks or cd’s
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • taking walks
  • bubble baths
  • massage

Myth #2: Chug Cough Syrup To Help You Conceive

This idea started in the 80’s. Apparently, one of the common ingredients found in cough syrup, guaifenesin, was found to be a ‘fertility booster’ because it has the ability to thin the cervical mucus and allow easier travel for the sperm to get to the eggs. Yet, these studies were never proven to be true.

Also, cough syrup is actually quite bad for you in excess… so if anything, it’s not good for your fertility. If you’re looking for some adjustments to help promote your dietary health and fertility, consider the following:

For Women:

  • being underweight or overweight can make it more difficult for a woman to get pregnant
  • too much caffeine and alcohol intake can impair a woman’s fertility

For Men:

  • submerging your reproductive parts in overly hot environments can be harmful

For Both:

  • smoking can impair both a woman and man’s fertility. For women, it affects how receptive the uterus is to the egg. For men, it can reduce the production of sperm and harm their DNA

Myth #3: Couples Have No Hope If They Are Infertile

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First of all, no matter what happens, there are many childless couples that find a way to stay happy together by exploring the many joys of life. When it comes down to it, if you have a strong bond with your significant other, infertility shouldn't get in the way.

Plus, there is no need to give up on your dreams of having a family together. You can find family in many shapes and forms.

If you are bent on having a child of your own, there are a number of fertility treatments that are available to you, such as:

  • in vitro fertilization  
  • artificial insemination
  • intracytoplasmic sperm injection
  • fertility drugs
  • donor sperm
  • donor eggs
  • donor embryos
  • surrogacy
  • reproductive surgery
  • gamete intrafallopian transfer
  • zygote intrafallopian transfer

Myth #4: Cellphones ‘Cook Men’s Sperm’

Okay, there are a lot of facts out there about how cell phones and electronics can be harmful to your health. This one is pushing it a little too far, don’t you think? The Telegraph recently came out with an article claiming that cell phones are ‘cooking men’s sperm’ because, if you keep the cell phone close to the testicles, it can lower sperm levels and make conception difficult.

This is just reaching too far for another statistic about the overuse of cellphones. After all, how many men have their cell phones constantly propped near their testicular region?

If you are concerned about the harm that has been done to you or your partner’s sperm, what you should look out for is:

  • certain antibiotics
  • varicoceles (varicose veins in the testicles)
  • infections gone untreated
  • radiation and other cancer treatments
  • fevers
  • high stress
  • testosterone deficiency
  • tobacco use
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • low sperm count
  • slow sperm movement
  • abnormal shape or size of sperm

Myth #5: Believe Everything You Read On The Internet

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This is the most dangerous of them all. This is where people really get trapped and afraid for their lives. Google something you are worried about, read that bogus article, and you are left panicked and buying supplements that only cause your stress to heighten. It is so easy to be tempted into.

Computers are way more accessible than an appointment with a specialist, but is the stress that comes with that really worth it? Do yourself a favor and spare yourself the unease of reading faulty facts. When you think you have an issue, the best thing to do is go straight to the sources you have no doubt are trustworthy.

Some examples of these would be:

Get Your Facts Straight

The causes of infertility can be in the male, female, or both partners. For the males, it is usually because of:

  • abnormal sperm production or function
  • problems with how the sperm is delivered
  • certain exposure to environmental factors
  • damage from cancer or cancer treatment

For the females, it commonly has something to do with:

  • ovulation disorders
  • uterine or cervical abnormalities
  • fallopian tube issues (like blockage or damage)
  • endometriosis
  • primary ovarian insufficiency
  • pelvic adhesions
  • damage from cancer or cancer treatment

Both genders should also consider:

  • age
  • tobacco use
  • alcohol use
  • bodyweight management
  • exercise issues
  • diet

Look To The Experts

For anymore questions or myths that you are worried about, check out this free copy of our ebook: Getting Pregnant 101: Facts, Myths, and Secrets to Fertility. You can also set up an appointment directly through our website by clicking: set up an appointment. Our fertility specialists are dedicated to helping you find the truth about the state of your health and fertility.

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Topics: Fertility Myths

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