The continuation of life is a natural instinct for any organism. This is probably why you hear so many myths about fertility. Some of these are rooted in scientific facts, while others are quite ridiculous. The myths about both male and female fertility are very common and may cause undue concern and problems. Here are the top 6 fertility myths debunked:
- You cannot get pregnant after the age of 35
As menopause approaches, infertility does decline because the female is born with all the eggs that she will have. The quantity and quality of the eggs declines after the age of 35 and dramatically after 40. The truth is that it does get difficult to conceive after the age of forty, but women between the ages of 35 and 39 do conceive even without the help of assisted reproductive technology.
- Getting pregnant can be difficult or delayed if you used to take birth control pills
This is a widespread myth but entirely baseless. There is no delay in pregnancy that is caused by having used birth control medication. Once you stop taking the pill, your body resumes its natural hormonal cycles within a few weeks, and it is highly unlikely that you will experience problems with ovulation. The birth control medication is formulated in such a way that it has no lasting impact on your fertility or your body in any manner.
- Good health and exercise can help you get pregnant even at an older age
A healthy lifestyle is helpful for conception, but it has its limits. Your ovarian reserve is the be all and the end all when it comes to getting pregnant and after the age of 40, your chances of conceiving dramatically reduce. Peak fertility for a woman is in her early to late 20s and starts to decline in her early 30s.
- Your family history determines your fertility
Genetics is not often seen to affect fertility. If there is a history of infertility in your family, there is no medical reason to assume that is will extends to you. Also, you may experience delays and difficulties in conceiving even if you have already been pregnant or even given birth, before.
- Men are fertile for as long as they can ejaculate
Men also experience fertility problems after the age of 40. Even if you have fathered a baby before, there is hardly any guarantee that you can again at an older age. This is because the production of semen with good sperm quality and numbers drops after 40. Furthermore, for men at an older age, the chances of developmental problems increases in the child.
- Alcohol can cause infertility only in women
Excessive drinking does lead to irregularity in ovulation cycles in females, and so reduces your chances of conceiving every month, but it is not true that male fertility remains entirely unaffected by this habit. Alcohol can also have adverse effects on the process of sperm production and also affects the levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone.
There are some lifestyle factors which affect fertility. For example, smoking affects fertility in both genders. Even high quantities of caffeine should be avoided if you are trying to get pregnant. However, if the infertility is associated with a treatable cause it may be reversed. So, it is best to consult a doctor who specialises in gynaecological problems instead of relying on myths.