Is Infertility a Women's Problem?

This is a commonly held belief. However, among couples who suffer from infertility, in 30% of the cases, infertility issues are related to women and 30% in men. In the rest, both partners could have problems or it could be due to ‘unexplained’ reasons. Since this is a very personal and sensitive issue, the public, healthcare professionals and the media have failed to address this issue as a disease.

Did you Know that your Health, weight and Lifestyle can affect your Fertility?

A  nourishing diet, a regular exercise regimen and a stress free lifestyle are important to conceive. Being underweight or overweight can both affect fertility and it’s important to keep a check on body weight through exercise and diet. There are many techniques to achieve these goals but consult a doctor before you start.
One out of five couples with infertility issues suffer from ‘unexplained infertility’. This can be quite frustrating to deal with especially after having completed a full check-up. However, the good news is that this can be treated. Consult an infertility specialist.When a couple has trouble conceiving, the common advice from well-meaning relatives and friends is ‘Just relax’. However, it’s not as simple or easy as that! Over 90% of couples suffering from infertility have a medical problem and it’s not stress related.

Being young assures you of Fertility.

This is a myth. While it’s a fact that fertility decreases with age, merely being young does not ensure fertility. There are cases of couples in their twenties who have fertility problems and paradoxically women in their early forties who have delivered healthy children.

If a couple has an Infertility Problem, it’s the woman who is always to blame.

No, this is a completely false belief. The problem could be with either of the partners. Sometimes there are problems with the man’s sperm count or sperm motility and this causes infertility.

Your Infertility is the result of your actions like eating unhealthy food or that you are too fat or too thin.

While infertility could be caused by bad lifestyle factors such as these, thankfully these are reversible. Once you get back on track with a healthy well-balanced diet and treatment if necessary, your fertility is restored.

When you are facing infertility problems, it’s important that as a couple you stand by to support each other. The fact is that sometimes even parents fail to be understanding and could even get into arguments on treatment options. Sometimes, they are also are caught up with their personal issues, they may not empathise.  You may also find it difficult to deal with friends who have kids or are in the process of having kids, this is natural.

Will Infertility treatments affect my career?

With a little planning ahead, you can ensure that it does not impact your career. You may have to come in for early morning appointments and sometimes sudden appointments. However, you can manage this by planning your day and enlisting the help of colleagues as a backup when you need to suddenly visit the hospital.

Is Infertility a Curse from God?

This is a very sad belief that many have. You may find some people blaming it on the sins of a previous birth or saying that God is angry with you. However, this is not the case, most cases of infertility can be treated with modern medicine and the advances in Science and technology.

How do you cope when you come to know of your Infertility?

It’s normal to feel upset, stressed and even depressed. You may even wonder what you did to deserve this. The stress could be increased by the queries of society and family, the tests, your emotions and other factors. However, it’s important not to let this pull you down. Consult an infertility specialist and start treatment immediately. Today’s advances in Science and technology have helped millions achieve their dream of having a child and it could soon be you.

Are you getting obsessed with your Infertility?

On hearing about their infertility, some couples believe that if they work ‘hard’ enough they will be able to conceivebut sadly it does not. They spend hours poring over books and magazines to find out more about their condition. While it’s good to learn facts, this us definitely not going to help in conceiving. A proper planned medical treatment is the only way to get results.

How can you help yourself handle your Infertility?

Lean on pillars of support like family and friends, share your feelings with them, this will help you de-stress. Free yourself from any unwanted chores and pressures. Slow down your work pace a bit. Try to include stress relieving activities like yoga, meditation, exercise and prayer into your daily routine. Get at least 8 hours sleep a day.

Should you reveal your Infertility to your boss and colleagues?

This is a personal choice though you may have to take your boss into confidence, so he or she is supportive of your treatment. Sometimes you may need to make hospital visits during office hours or have to take a few days off and having your boss in the loop helps. Revealing it to your colleagues is optional. The treatment is not likely to impact your work performance though.

Can Infertility impact your sexuality?

If you allow it to, it can. Infertility can sometimes result in loss of self-confidence and even the most sexually active couple can feel desensitized. Feelings of sadness and confusion can overwhelm you so much that you lose interest. To combat this, couples must try to get creative and enjoy sex for the pleasure of it, rather than feel pressured to achieve the goal of pregnancy. They must connect with each other emotionally as well.

Should you feel embarrassed about Infertility?

It’s a personal and sensitive issue but infertility is not something you need to feel ashamed about. It’s also commoner than you think. One in six couples suffers from infertility. You do not have to keep it hidden, you can share it with family and friends.


Should you wait for one full year before you seek treatment for Infertility?

Strictly speaking you should wait for a full year of unprotected sex for conception. However, you could seek the services of an infertility specialist earlier for diagnosis and treatment if needed in certain cases. This is in case you are a woman over 35, suffer from irregular periods, fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic adhesive disease, ectopic pregnancy or recurrent miscarriages. In the case of men, a history of surgery, infection or trauma to the genital organs calls for a check-up.


Are Infertility tests expensive and time consuming?

No, this is wrong. In the woman, a few tests like the diagnostic evaluation of the ovulatory status, uterine and tubal status are required and semen analysis in the man. There are not very expensive and can be very easily completed within just a month.

Semen analysis is not necessary. It’s needed only if the woman has been declared free from any Infertility problem.

This is wrong, in most cases, there is the chance of a male factor too playing a role in infertility. The earlier this is detected and treated the better.  Consult an infertility specialist for early diagnosis and evaluation.


Is every kind of Infertility treatment expensive?

This is a complete misnomer. There is a wide range of infertility treatments available. Depending on your history and diagnosis, there are different treatments to suit your specific infertility problem. The proper guidance and mode of treatment can help in optimizing costs of treatment.


Do Infertility treatments involve daily visits to the doctor?

No, most treatments would involve a few visits but these are usually short and will not interfere with the daily routine of your life.

22. Do infertility treatments carry a high risk of getting pregnant with multiple pregnancies?

This depends on the mode of treatment. The risk of multiple pregnancies is very low in some centres that specialize in infertility treatments. Since they are focused on also achieving optimum health for the mother and child, they would take care of these.

23. Do most places that treat infertility take 2 months to give out an appointment?

This of course depends on where you are heading. However, ideally you should be able to get one in a leading hospital within a month.


Age is not a factor that affects Fertility.

This is a misconception. A woman’s age plays a major role in determining how successful the attempts at pregnancy would be. Once a woman crosses the age of 34, fertility starts declining. Pregnancy starts declining even more by 40 and are rare over 42. The celebrities over 40 who get pregnant in many cases use IVF methods.

25. Do men without sperms and women without ovaries or a uterus have a chance of becoming parents?

Men who do not have sperm in the ejaculate, a condition called azoospermia can still father a child if there are sperms in the testicles. Women without ovaries or uterus can have a child through third party reproduction which involves the use of anonymous donor oocytes.


Many people think that if you are healthy, age will not affect your fertility. Having children late is no problem nowadays because of assisted reproduction technologies like IVF.

This is a completely wrong idea. Though habits like smoking can impact your fertility, merely living a healthy lifestyle cannot stop your biological clock. The first signs of fertility decline start by 2, by 35 this speeds up and by 40 it dips even further. Though there are technologies like IVF, when it comes to age related infertility, there are no guarantees that one can conceive.


If you lead a healthy life, do you have to worry about Infertility?

No, even if you lead a healthy lifestyle where you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercise, maintain your weight and so on, you may still face problems of infertility. Infertility has no co-relation to a healthy lifestyle.

Once you have a child, having a second will never be a problem.

Having had one child is no guarantee of being able to conceive again. Some couples get affected by Secondary Infertility, where they have one child but are unable to have another.

If you keep doing regular treatments will you definitely get pregnant?

It’s not about just going on with treatments. While a regular schedule of treatment can result in conception for most couples, there are a few for whom this is impossible. In this case, once the doctor has asked them to stop treatment, they must stop. Instead they must think of alternatives like adoption or a life without kids.

Does fertility have anything to do with your parenting capabilities?

Definitely not. However, couples who have overcome infertility and had a child are likely to appreciate their bundle of joy better. That’s because of the extra effort they have had to put in.