Debunking the Myths and Misinformation About Secondary Infertility
Secondary infertility is a couple's inability to conceive a child after already
having previously conceived a child together. This can be an extremely stressful
situation for a couple, especially given the prevailing myths and misinformation
about this condition. The top nine myths about secondary infertility are debunked
- If you've been pregnant before, you'll be able to get pregnant again-
don't worry! Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.
At least one factor has definitely changed since your last pregnancy- your
age! Other factors may have changed as well- in you, your partner, or both
of you. Some factors you may be aware of, others that you may not.
- If you haven't gotten pregnant in a year of "trying" and you've
already had a child, you have secondary infertility. Yes and no. You may
have secondary infertility if this is the case, but you also may have had
bad timing. Discuss this situation with your physician and try one of the
techniques to identify your most fertile days.
- If you are over 35, you automatically need an infertility work-up right
away. Fertility does decrease over time, but if you and your partner are
healthy, don't have any of the risks, and if you are still having regular
periods, you don't need an infertility evaluation just because you are 35.
Discuss any concerns you have with your gynecologist at a preconception visit.
- Everyone else seems to get pregnant at the drop of a hat. More than
six million women of childbearing age in the United States are experiencing
infertility right now and many of them have secondary infertility. It's not
something that couples generally talk about, however. Support groups such
as RESOLVE or on-line communities focused on infertility can help you feel
less isolated and may offer useful information sources for you.
- Infertility is a women's problem. This is untrue. It surprises most
people to learn that infertility is an equally a female and male problem-
and often a combined problem. It is essential that both the man and the woman
be evaluated during a thorough infertility evaluation.
- It's all stress! Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive
system. While relaxation techniques may help you and your partner with your
overall quality of life, the stress you feel is often the result of infertility,
not the cause of it.
- If you adopt a baby you'll get pregnant. While there are many anecdotes
of this happening, there is no data to support it. For many couples with secondary
infertility-as well as for their children-adoption is a terrific option. Many
couples with secondary infertility have chosen other options, however, such
as exploring medical treatments and interventions (from artificial insemination
to in vitro fertilization or surrogacy) or electing not to have other children.
- Maybe you two are doing something wrong! Infertility is a medical
condition, not a sexual disorder, although certainly sexual disorders can
contribute to infertility. In many cases, the issue is one of timing, not
- Viagra can help women with infertility conceive. While this is an
area that is currently being researched and has gotten some media attention,
it's an area that is still experimental. WOMEN: DO NOT SELF MEDICATE
WITH VIAGRA IN ORDER TO ENHANCE YOUR FERTILITY! (Or for any other
reason). And men should only use Viagra for its approved indication under
the supervision of a prescribing physician
Created: 12/12/2003  - Donnica Moore, M.D.
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