For whatever reason, infertility is a much misunderstood disease. I’ve often pondered why. Is it because it deals with procreation and therefore is hush hush? Is it because it is invisible—no one knows whether your lack of children is by choice or illness? I’m not sure, but misunderstood it is. I frequently hear that infertility isn’t tragic or really even a disease since it can be “so easily cured by just adopting”. My response to that statement is well known.
I may not know why, but I do know that myths abound about the disease of infertility. In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I’d like to share my Top Ten Infertility Myths. Please add your own in the comments!
- Just relax. OK friends, if relaxing were enough to do it, we’d all get pregnant the first month we ditched birth control, bought that really good bottle of wine, and lit the candles.
- It’s your fault because _________ (Take your pick: lived the fun life and postponed starting a family, had sex too young, work too much, enjoy sex too much (or is it too little?), are overweight, are underweight, don’t like your sister’s kids, were ambivalent about becoming a mother, etc.) Fault has no place when talking about a disease.
- It’s usually caused by a problem with the woman. I can’t tell you the number of people I talk with that go through invasive and expensive testing of the woman, only to find out from a simple and cheap sperm analysis that the problem is with the man.
- Your Ob/Gyn can handle most fertility problems. Although your initial consultation and treatment can start with your gynecologist, after 6 months (over 35) or a year (under 35) get yourself to a reproductive endocrinologist.
- Infertility treatment is always successful.
- Just keep trying, look at ______(fill in the blank with the name of any 40 something actress), she just had twins.
- All this “trying” must be fun! *wink*
- You are selfish to want to be pregnant or to create a child with your spouse.
- Adopt, then you’ll get pregnant.
- All these new fangled treatments like donor egg and surrogacy are against nature. If God wanted you to be a parent, you would get pregnant.