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Facts and Myths About Female Fertility

Facts and Myths About Female Fertility

There are numerous myths and facts about female fertility. Here some are listed.

Fertility is actually classified in 2 ways – primary and secondary. Primary fertility is when a woman is trying to have her first child. Secondary fertility is defined when a woman is trying to have a baby after her first child.

Here are some facts about female fertility:

  1. Fertility affects female and male reproductive systems equally.
  2. Ten percent of women in the U.S. between the ages of 15-44 are infertile. This translates to more than 7 million women.
  3. The main causes of female infertility are problems with ovulation, poor egg quality, and fallopian tube damage and/or blockage.
  4. Up to 90% of female infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures.
  5. Fewer than 3% of infertility cases need the use of reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
  6. Of those couples treated for infertility, 67% will go on to have a baby.
  7. Infertility risks increase with:
    • Age
    • Smoking
    • Excessive alcohol use
    • Drugs
    • Stress
    • Poor diet
    • Diet and exercise
    • Sexually transmitted diseases
  8. A woman’s fertility peaks in the early and mid-20’s, after which it starts to decline. Women in the 30-34 age range have an 8% chance of infertility, at ages 35-39 infertility jumps to 15% and women over 45 will have no live birth in 50-80% of the time.
  9. A woman’s weight affects her ability to conceive. 12% of all infertility cases are related to weight issues. Being undernourished or over excised can limit your ability to conceive because a minimum of 22% of body fat is needed for normal ovulation and reproductive competence. On the other end of the scale, being overweight can alter sexual hormone chemistry and prevent ovulation.
  10. The type of birth control you use can affect your ability to conceive. But, if you use oral contraceptives, you can get pregnant quickly after using them due to an ovulatory rebound effect, resulting in a super-fertile period.

Some general myths about fertility are:

  1. Having sex every day decreases conception chances by lowering sperm count. (Having sex every day actually increases your chances of conception.)
  2. Wearing boxer shorts matters. (Men can wear any type of underwear as long as they stay cool.)
  3. Sexual positions matter. (Sperm typically reach their target no matter what position you use during intercourse.)
  4. Lubricant will help transport sperm to eggs. (Actually, lubricants can create an inhospitable environment by changing the vagina’s PH balance.)
  5. Vitamins and supplements should be started after becoming pregnant. (Folic acid should be taken BEFORE and DURING pregnancy to prevent birth defects. DHEA should be taken for at least 6-20 weeks beforehand to increase the chance of conception).

Having a good understanding of your fertility factors and being aware of your own needs and goals will prepare you to make the best actions and decisions that suit your wishes and desires.

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