Debunking Fertility Myths -Fertility has been considered to be a taboo for a very long time in the society, but, with changing times, this is changing dramatically. Women are coming out in the open and discussing these issues with their family and the society and not hushing matters up in a doctor’s cabin. While understanding and knowledge around fertility is extremely important, it is crucial to acquire correct information and not become a prey to myths floating around. Superstitions regarding fertility have always existed solely because it was a topic which people never spoke about in the open.
“Someday men will learn to irrigate and spread fertilizer instead of praying for fertility.” ― Warren Eyster, The Goblins of Eros
Listed below are a the most popularly believed myths and why you shouldn’t rely on them anymore:
Myth: If you have given birth to one child already, you don’t need to worry about infertility
Reality: This is a very common myth held by most women around the world and nothing could be far from the truth. According to a study done by a popular IVF hospital, about 30% of women have trouble conceiving the second time. This could happen due to various reasons including the women suffering from PCODs, becoming obese, the man facing an issue of lower sperm count and even smoking.
Thus, if conceiving a second child seems difficult, you need to consult a gynecologist and find out the exact reason for the cause of infertility.
Myth: Fertility is only a woman’s issue
Reality: In most cases of not being able to conceive, it is the women who is labelled infertile. What we often forget to take into consideration is the fact that men can be a victim to infertility issues too. A lot of men face common issues of low sperm count or incorrect movement of sperm due to the shape which are big hindrances to the reproductive process. A few men also face issues like varicocele (swelling of testicular veins), infections like gonorrhea and orchitis, hormonal imbalances, chromosome defects and Celiac disease (gluten sensitivity) which result in infertility.
Myth: Using lubricants while trying to conceive will not hinder with the process
Reality: Lubricants make intercourse more pleasurable; however, the standard lubricants are loaded with substances which can damage sperm cells and affects the mobility in vitro. This slows the process down. If you absolutely need to a lubricant, Pre Seed should be your pick as it causes the minimum damage to sperm movement. Doctors also suggest that instead of store-bought lubricants, it is better to opt for natural ones like olive oil, mustard oil and canola oil.
Myth: It is difficult to get pregnant if you took birth control pills in the past
Reality: This myth has often been propagated by gynecologists and doctors as well. After going off the pill, women believe it takes about six months to a year to conceive which is absolutely untrue. You can get pregnant right after you stop taking the pill. However, if you haven’t started getting regular period in over three months, you should go to doctor as your eggs may have been affected due to other reasons.
Myth: Certain sex positions increase the chances of conceiving
Reality: Having sex in certain coital positions do not increase your chances of getting pregnant. This myth arises from “in some positions, the penetration is deeper”. The former sentence might be true but lifting your legs up in the air or some other position suggested to you are not going to affect your chances of getting pregnant in any way. Hence, you can continue having intercourse in the positions you like and not force yourself to act as a gymnast just for the sake of getting pregnant.
Myth: Foods have no role in accelerating your pregnancy or increasing fertility. Always choose expensive vitamins over age-old, traditional methods.
Reality: If you go back to your roots, you will observe that during olden days, women followed the path of Ayurveda which is natural and effective in boosting fertility. To be able to conceive without hassles “artava dhatu” in your body needs to be activated. This can be done by avoiding spicy foods which affect the coolness of your body and eating foods like broccoli and herbs like Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa), Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris) and quinoa which help in regulating the hormonal balance. Ayurveda also recommends that you eat loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, right kind of dairy, healthy fats and citrus laden foods to get rid of hormonal and infertility issues.
As mentioned in this article, most of the myths have been propagated due to lack of correct and complete knowledge. Before believing something we hear from midwives and even doctors, it is better to confirm it through credible sources. If you follow a healthy lifestyle devoid of stress, fertility and hormonal imbalances shouldn’t be an issue for you.
We are not trying to over simplify issues of fertility neither be insensitive towards it. What is important is to be wary of the myths, and take an educated scientific approach towards treating infertility if it is something you are battling with.
Written byNiharika Nandi
Niharika Nandi is a media trainee who loves exploring the fields of photography and baking simultaneously. She’s a self-proclaimed professional bathroom singer and believes that caffeine runs through her veins. This adrenaline junkie loves to pen down a million thoughts gushing through her mind at any instant and is very vocal about LGBTQ rights.