Wednesday, March 9, 2016
New research has suggested that the majority of young people feel that they don’t have all of the information they need about fertility. The results of a survey by leading fertility charity, Infertility Network UK, found that just 4% of 16-25 year olds think there is too much information about the way fertility declines with age. On the other hand, more than half of those surveyed said they feel there isn’t enough information about the biological clock available.
The survey also shown that people tend to overestimate the average chances of IVF success and unfortunately, underestimate the chances of miscarriage. Fertility is a subject that is seldom spoken about, yet research by Infertility Network UK shows that 1 in 6 couples in the UK struggle to become parents.
Because it is a subject seldom spoken about, many myths surrounding fertility exist. Many of the myths surrounding fertility have been around for years, but either do not have any evidence to support them, or have been medically proven as untrue. Here we dispel them.
Breastfeeding will prevent pregnancy
Having a child and breastfeeding does not render you temporarily infertile. Although you may be less fertile within the first few months after having a baby as your menstruation cycle will not start up again immediately, it is still possible to conceive.
Cough medicines help fertility
Some cough medicines contain ingredients to thin mucus, including the cervical variety, which can help conception. However, they also contain other ingredients, such as antihistamines, which can actually reduce your chances of conceiving.
Taking a contraceptive pill makes it harder to become pregnant in the future
Using a contraceptive pill will not affect fertility in the long-term. Women’s cycles usually go back to normal as soon as they stop taking the pill. You therefore shouldn’t need to worry about it affecting your chances of becoming pregnant, no matter how long you have been taking it.
It’s the woman’s fault if a couple can’t conceive
This is unquestionably false. If infertility is a problem for couples, there is an equal chance of it being on either side. The issue can also be related to the incompatibility of the two involved. Infertility is a medical condition that requires guidance and treatment from a doctor. Nobody is to blame if there is a problem.
Infertility is a mental condition
Again, this is absolutely not true. If there is a problem with fertility in a couple, it requires medical support. You will not automatically conceive by finding a way to relax.
You should aim to have children before you are 30
Fertility does reduce gradually as we age, but not as much as people think, and age is not the only factor. For those in their early twenties the chances of pregnancy is 20-25%, and for those over 35, it reduces by as little as 5%. You therefore won’t become completely infertile as soon as you hit your 30th birthday.
The reality is the average age for women to have children is steadily increasing, with 49% of children born in 2012 being born to mothers over the age of 30. It is important to remember that fertility is a very individual thing, and is affected by many different factors.
Most couples conceive as soon as they start trying for a baby
It isn’t often that conception happens on the first try. On average, it takes couples between 6 and 12 months to conceive, even if they are perfectly healthy with no fertility problems.
Weight affects fertility
This one can be true for both men and women. Being significantly underweight or obese causes hormone imbalances which affect the chances of conception. It is therefore in your best interest to maintain a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle.
Smoking affects fertility
Smoking can actually double the risk of infertility, and studies have shown that women and men who smoke are less successful or take longer to conceive than non-smokers.
Who should you believe?
It is important that you do not get too caught up with outdated stories when it comes to fertility and conception. Being too focused on following old wives’ tales can be extremely disruptive, and may reduce your desire to have sex, which, of course, will slash your chances of conception. The best course of action if you are worried about fertility is forget the false myths you find on the internet, and consult your doctor for support and guidance.
Do you know the five ages of female fertility?
14: most women have begun to ovulate once a month
21: female fertility is at or reaching its peak
28: female fertility is declining
35: female fertility drops steeply
42: the chances of being able to become a parent using your own eggs are vanishingly small.
If you haven’t been able to conceive for a year or more, fertility treatment may be an option. The correct treatment will depend on your age, your medical history and the reason for your fertility problems. Our dedicated GP can guide you through the whole process, as we are the only online pharmacy that offers an online doctor service and prescription for fertility treatments. If you think we can help, please get in touch.