Busting infertility myths

Infertility is a complex and often misunderstood condition, which is why there's so much confusion surrounding it. Here are some common myths and facts to help dispel this confusion:

Myth: Ayurvedic medicines are harmless and better for treatment of infertility-related problems like low sperm count or poor sperm motility (movement).

Fact: People think that they can quickly solve the problem by taking easily and cheaply available ayurvedic medicines but what they don’t realize is that they are actually harming themselves and worsening their condition. A low count sample can be treated with ICSI and a poor motility sample with advanced techniques which are available only at a specialized IVF centre.

Myth: Painful periods can cause infertility.

Fact: Painful periods do not affect fertility. In fact, for most patients, regular painful periods usually signal adulatory cycles. However, progressively worsening pain during periods (especially when this is accompanied by pain during sex) may mean the lady may have endometriosis and may suffer from infertility.

Myth: IVF is the last resort for treating infertility.

Fact: IVF is in fact the first line of treatment for infertility. A couple, unable to conceive, even after one year of unprotected copulation, should immediately contact a specialized IVF centre.

Myth: Infertility treatment is expensive

Fact: In most cases, infertility treatment is simple, brief, and inexpensive. Timely treatment will mean basic treatment and minimal costs.

Myth: Infertility treatment causes multiples

Fact: Although fertility drugs do increase the chance of having more than one baby in a single pregnancy (because they stimulate the ovaries to produce several eggs) the majority of women taking them have singleton births. For instance, use of drugs for ovulation induction increase the natural multiple pregnancy rates from 1.5% to 7%.

(The writer is an infertility specialist)

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