Infertility: MythsVS Reality

By  , Jagran Cityplus
Nov 01, 2010

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Infertility affects at least one out of every eight couples. But a majority of people are still ignorant about this common condition. Dr. Sulochana Gunasheela seeks to dispel some of the common myths surrounding infertility.


The Myth: Infertility is primarily a female problem.

The Reality: Infertility is no longer regarded as "her" problem. What most people are not aware of is the fact that infertility is a female problem in only 35% of the cases, a male problem in 35% of the cases, a combined problem of the couple in 20% of the cases and unexplained in 10% of cases. Infertility treatment should focus on the couple together and recognize that they function as a team. It is imperative that both the man and the woman be evaluated during the process of infertility treatment.

The Myth: A 35-year-old woman can get pregnant as easily as a 25-year-old woman.

The Reality: Today, many women postpone childbearing to establish a career. They also tend to marry late. Women hear of female celebrities in their 40's having children and often believe that they can ignore their biological clock. Some women can wait, but not many. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, it is estimated that two-thirds of women will not be able to get pregnant spontaneously after 40 years of age.


A woman's fertility peaks at 20 and declines thereafter, dropping most rapidly after she is 38. A 25-year-old woman who is regularly having unprotected intercourse has an 86% chance of getting pregnant within a year. By the time she is 35, her chances drop to 52 %.

The Myth: Stress causes infertility.

The Reality: It is not possible for stress to cause a certain degree of infertility. In fact, approaching the doctor for problems of infertility and the compulsion of having to spend a lot of time on treatment can itself induce a lot of stress. It is very important to reduce the element of stress in both cases.

There are some women who have a hidden problem of the adrenal gland, which is caused due to a deficiency of an enzyme known as 21-hydroxylase. This enzyme is required in the route of conversion of cholesterol to Cortisol.


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