Saturday, April 30, 2011

Busted! Infertility Myths

Today on Infertility MythBusters, we are honoring National Infertility Awareness Week by busting some infertility myths. Every single one of these myths represents something said to me at some point in our journey. Time to get to the truth. Let's get started.

If You Try Long Enough, You'll Get Pregnant
Infertility is a disease, not a temporary condition. Like Lady Gaga said, I was born this way. It's like telling someone their flat arches will get better in a little while.

Processed Food Makes Women Infertile
If this were true, all women would be infertile. In America, we've all eaten processed foods. Our mothers did. And our grandmothers did and probably our great grandmothers too. That's enough time to make us all infertile. And guess what - we're all not.

You'll Get Pregnant If You Relax
TMI alert...we've been married for nine years, ten months, and 22 days. Aside from about a six month period, we have not used birth control. During our marriage, we've had a lot of fun, gone on two cruises, and being DINKS (dual-income, no kids) we didn't have a ton of financial burdens. So if someone thinks we haven't been relaxed for a single month during that time, they are just dumb. Nobody would tell someone with cancer to "just relax" and they will be healed. Infertility is a physical problem, not psychological.

Adopting a Baby Fixes Infertility
Adoption fixes childlessness. It does not "fix" infertility. The disease and all the symptoms are still there.

If You Were More Righteous/Paid More Tithing/Went to Church More/Were a Better Person, You Wouldn't Be Infertile
Besides being super judgmental, this is dumb. People who subscribe to this ideology must think that the Octomom is ready for sainthood. There are plenty of really immoral, crappy women who get pregnant all the time. This myth is one of the most hurtful, offensive of all.

If I'm Healthy and Young, Infertility Won't Be a Problem
It's true that as all women age, fertility declines, but diseases like endometriosis, low sperm count/quality, and polycystic ovarian syndrome can inhibit fertility anytime.

Infertility Is the Female's Problem
Remember when Henry VIII kept killing his wives because they kept giving birth to girls and he just knew it was the woman's fault but really we know that the man's sperm is what determines the gender of a baby? Saying a woman is always the reason a couple can't conceive is just as dumb. Thirty percent of diagnosed fertility problems are because of female fertility problems, thirty percent are because of male fertility problems, ten percent are from a combination and thirty percent are undiagnosed.

graph from

You'll Get Pregnant When You Adopt/Put in Adoption Papers
Nope. Hasn't happened to me. Hasn't happened to a LOT of people I know. Although I know this happens for some lucky couples, it's coincidence and has nothing to do with their adoption experience. We had people say this to us when we decided to adopt. It belittles adoption - like the only reason to adopt is to trick your body into giving you a biological baby. It hurts my heart that anyone would think this of our adoption and our little Joci.

In Vitro Fertilization Is the Only Way to Have a Baby If You Are Infertile
There are many different treatments, many as simple as taking a pill. And there are alternative stuff too like acupuncture, reflexology, etc.

Thanks for joining me for this episode of Infertility MythBusters!


Shellie said...

Thanks for such a great post. Although I wasn't really on board with believing/thinking those myths before hand it was nice to learn the hard facts. :)

UK Yankee said...

Bravo! Thank you Lara!!

Beckie said...

I love your honesty! -- and detest some people's narrow mindedness.

kelley said...

"If You Were More Righteous/Paid More Tithing/Went to Church More/Were a Better Person, You Wouldn't Be Infertile"
People seriously say this? Who are these people? I want to slap them across the face.
In dealing with social services cases, I can attest that personal righteousness has nothing to do with your ability to get pregnant. It would be awesome if it did because then we wouldn't have all these babies being born to 14 year olds or tripped out druggie parents and all babies would be born to loving, mature, faithful parents. But God does have a plan for every child that comes to this earth. And that is why adoption is so outstandingly beautiful and vital to God's eternal plan for his children.

Stacy said...

I'm glad to know that infertility is just as likely to be related to the man as to the woman. Thanks for enlightening me!

Rachel said...

I do struggle to believe that there are real people who think that fertility is a righteousness thing. Those people are ignorant and sheltered.


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