When a couple is facing a problem in having a child, a general trend is to blame the woman for being infertile. In fact, it is not wrong to say that infertility is a potential medical problem and a social problem too. Unfortunately, various cultural customs and blind faiths still prevail, making it all the more difficult for women to plan assisted reproductive procedures.

It is imperative that lack of knowledge and belief in age-old tales have made people ignore scientific facts. But not anymore. It is time to gather knowledge and spread the knowledge so that the myths don’t hold women as the responsible entity for infertility.

Myth #1: Infertility is strictly a female problem.

It’s true that women bear children in their bodies. But it’s not true that the child happens because of the woman only. It takes one sperm and one ovum to create the embryo. Naturally, it’s a disgrace for a society where people still believe that infertility is a women’s problem.

Infertility has never been a gender-specific condition. It can affect both men and women.

  • The male partner can have a low sperm count that is hindering the fertilization process.
  • If the motility of the sperms is not high, or below the standard rate, it cannot swim the entire distance from the vagina to the uterus to wait for the egg to release.
  • What if there is a problem in sperm morphology? For instance, if the sperm cap is irregular, the sperm can never penetrate through the membrane of the ovum.
  • Sperm concentration and the number of spermatozoa will also matter equally for conceiving.

Thus, you must have begun to understand that the males can have major fertility issues too, leading to infertility and failed attempts to conceive.

Myth #2: Men are always fertile, unlike women.

All of you know that women have a short fertility window. But that never implies men can be reproductively active as long as they live. As a woman starts approaching menopause, her reproductive abilities start decreasing. Similarly, when a man reaches the age of 45, the sperm count begins to decrease.

If you read the different research studies, you will see that women suffering from miscarriages or premature delivery often have older partners. There is a high chance of genetic disorder in the child if a couple plans to have a child when the man is above 70 years. So, both males and females have a healthy reproductive phase. Infertility sets in with aging and is not based on sex.

Myth #3: Women should lead a healthy lifestyle for being fertile.

Nowadays, the stress factor is a major concern in men and women leading to increased cases of infertility. It’s scientifically incorrect to say that infertility happens in women only when the woman leads an unhealthy life.

  • Smoking is equally injurious to reproductive health in males and females. The next time you hear someone saying that women should not smoke to avoid infertility, do remind them that the same theory applies to men also. Sperm count decreases owing to smoking and regular consumption of alcohol.
  • Stress factor causes many hindrances in conceiving. When the male counterpart is always under stress, the sperm quality or production won’t be normal.

Thus, infertility will set in, if a man or a woman leads a stressful life.

Myth #4: Fertility treatments always work

It is definitely a great news that people are now becoming aware of the various ways of infertility treatment. Simultaneously, there is a thought process that you can get pregnant the moment you undergo a procedure like IVF or IUI. 

It’s important to accept that the treatments may fail once, or even a few times before you taste success. And the failure is jo way due to the females only. There can be infertility issues in men that will make it challenging to succeed in the treatment process. However, the latest tools and technology along with the perseverance of fertility specialists can help you to become parents in the future. 

Myth #5: Infertility treatments are for women only

Many people think that the infertility treatment procedures are for dealing with the female issues only. It’s absolutely wrong. Although women have to undergo a few more tests than men because women will bear the child in the uterus, it does not imply that the treatment is for the specific gender only. 

The process will involve both the man and the woman as it is a process of assisted reproduction. For example, if there is a problem in the motility of the sperm the specialist can simply introduce the sperm into the uterus of the woman with the help of the IUI technique. 

Besides, the doctors can offer many valuable suggestions that will help to lead a better life and be a part of a successful journey to pregnancy. So, spread the word that infertility issues are never a gender-specific problem. 

Author's Bio: 

Dr Archana Agarwal

MBBS, Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO)
ENT/ Otorhinolaryngologist
22 Years Experience Overall (20 years as specialist)