Top Ten Myths about Infertility

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Top Ten Myths about Infertility

  1. 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.
  2. 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, were ambivalent about becoming a mother, your husband plays Dungeons and Dragons (honest to goodness was told to one of our community members), etc.)  Fault has no place when talking about a disease.
  3. Infertility is only a problem for older women who made the decision to wait to late to start a family.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Infertility treatment is always successful.
  7. Just keep trying, look at ______(fill in the blank with the name of any 40 something actress), she just had twins.
  8. All this “trying” must be fun! *wink*
  9. Adopt, then you’ll get pregnant.
  10. 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.

23/03/2010 | by Fact Sheets | Categories: Infertility, Infertility Resources | 20 Comments

20 Responses to Top Ten Myths about Infertility

  1. Avatar Christine Rhyner says:

    Yes! I can relate to all of these including “Chiropractic treatments worked for me,” “Stand on your head after intercourse,”–can’t believe that one still lingers and “There must be sin in your life preventing you from becoming pregnant,”–as if there are only perfect potential parents out there reproducing–NOT.
    I think many people like to “fix” and “do.” When we present a problem to others, they like to jump in with solutions…for a while. Then, for me, people just became downright uncomfortable w/my infertility and didn’t want to talk about it — felt like I had a scarlet letter “I” stamped on my head!
    But my infertility issues began in college (or possibly even before that) when I had major surgery on my ovaries for Endometriosis. I blamed myself for letting it get to that point but I seriously had no idea what was wrong with me as I writhed in pain each month. I was scared, had no insurance and never heard of endometriosis. After my diagnosis and surgery, I could find but one book about it at the time which referred to Endo as “The career woman’s disease.” I was proof it is not!
    I talk about these infertility comments and questions in my book, including things like, “You just don’t have enough faith to become pregnant!” my OWN misconception that people who adopt MUST be infertile and more. I know what it’s like to bounce back and forth with blaming oneself, feeling hurt by others’ judgment and criticism, being angry at God, going thru the endless cycles of hope and despair, feeling like fertility doctors were not taking the right approach by refusing to do IVF with less than 3 or 4 eggs at the time, and feeling like a freak of nature for my body not being able to do that which comes so naturally to so many…a tough road. But this is a great place to realize and be comforted by the fact that you are not alone.

    • Dawn Davenport Dawn Davenport says:

      Christine, I think the ones that bother me the most or like the one you mentioned: “There must be sin in your life preventing you from becoming pregnant,”. ARGHHH!!!!!!

  2. Avatar Christina says:

    great list! thanks for sharing. i’ve experienced them all! my most hurtful, though, has been after having our miscarriage. almost every person says, “well, it was probably for the best,” after they found out our little girl would have had down syndrome. sorry, but NO! it’s not for the best! the best would have been to have her with us, living, blessing everyone around her…whether that was with a disability or not. so frustrating!

  3. Avatar Debbi says:

    Dawn, I follow you on twitter and just had to check this posting out. Here’s a myth that I am sure some have heard before.

    “Here is another myth that really needs to be ‘busted’. “Infertility is only a worry for older women.” Unfortunately this just is not true, fertility begins to decline in the late 20’s and significantly declines after age 35. In my book, as I get older, 35 still seems pretty young to me. Although age can be a factor in infertility, I have known 18 year olds that needed treatment just as much at 38 year olds did. Infertility can happen at any age.”
    Thanks for all you do, keep up the good work.

    • Avatar Dawn says:

      Debbi, you are so right. The assumption is that all infertility comes from people choosing to wait too long to start trying to conceive. That is simply not true.

  4. Avatar Allie says:

    Hi Dawn,

    I just wanted to thank you. It is obvious that you care so deeply, not only about the issues you write about, but about how people are affected by them. It seems that so many times, I will read the title of the blog post you have just created and think “How did she know??”, and I am sure there are many others who feel the same. Infertility is so isolating and can feel incomprehensible at times. , Having your wise voice as a resource is a great comfort. Thank you again!

  5. I have heard pretty much all of these. I heard #9 (adopt, then you’ll get pregnant) most of all. I always answered, “I certainly hope so. I’d love to have more children and a healthy pregnancy is profoundly easier than any kind of adoption.” I feel compelled to enlighten others when they say these things, but I always try to err on the side of kindness, because, like many of you mentioned, I do think most folks mean well.

  6. oops – my link for my blog was wrong in my comment – i’m a dork.

  7. i get “adopt and you’ll get pg” from my family – because it happened to my own mother (got rest her soul). she and my dad were married for 4 years, it was the ’50s, and no babies. so they adopted my brother when he was two. six months later…pg with my sister! ARG!! of course, it was another 14 years of unprotected sex before i came along…because the woman clearly had reproductive issues that adoption didn’t solve!!

    i’m glad to see that you have demb on this site! infor is pretty thin on this family building option!


    • Avatar Dawn says:

      Sparkly, we have been told that we have the most resources “out there” on donor embryo. We have done two radio shows on this option as well.

  8. Avatar Liddy says:

    My least favorite, is an adaptation on #8. When someone found out that E had the fertility problem. She said, “If you wanted a child that badly, you should have married someone else.” Umm… yeah thanks for that tip. ARGH!

    Liddy from
    No. 144: the unfair struggle (male-factor, speedskating, life)

    • Avatar Dawn says:

      Liddy, I wonder if they would have said that to E about you if the problem had been reversed? “Hey, buddy, you could always dump her and find a more fertile woman if you really want kids.” Sensitivity seems to be in short supply with some folks!

  9. Avatar chris says:

    #9 gets me every single time, Dawn! I still hear from the same people, over and over, are you pregnant yet? Um, HELLO, DO NOT WANT TO BE!!!!! Have a beautiful daughter and another 3yo on the way….NO MORE!!!! I try to gently tell people that not everyone who adopts gets pg and that lots of times it is a miracle when that happens and that is why they hear about it, not because adoption is a fertility treatment.

    • Avatar Dawn says:

      Chris, I know what you mean. The reason is is noteworthy is that it happens so seldom. Also, the assumption is that after you adopt you still crave or strongly desire to get pregnant. While this is true for some, it is not true for all.

  10. Avatar Nichole says:

    OMG Sara – that is horrible! Your poor friend!

    Thank you for posting this! It doesn’t seem like I will ever be able to really educate all of my friends and family, just when I feel like we are on the same page, they go and say something that makes me want to crawl out of my skin!

  11. Avatar Sara says:

    A friend conceived after taking clomid. Her inlaws see the son as a result of fertility treatment and therefore as not part of the family. They hope that her next pregnancy will be a “real son” conceived “naturally.”

  12. Avatar Wishing4One says:

    What a great reminder of the crazy things people say. I think alot of times they do not say these with bad intentions, they just don’t know what to say. Ok I know a few people may have ill intentions but I bet the majority don’t. Great blog by the way. Happy iclw.

    • Avatar Dawn says:

      I absolutely agree that most times people do not mean to hurt, they are simply ignorant. Hence, EGAD Infertility Day. We will wipe out ignorance one ignoramus (er um, I mean one ill informed person) at a time.

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