World Infertility Awareness Month: Debunking Infertility Misconceptions
June marks World Infertility Awareness Month. As Cryoport Systems has been a crucial part of the supply chain management of intended parents’ precious materials for over a decade, we want to take the time to shed light on the struggles shared by millions of couples worldwide who are trying to conceive. Infertility is a complex medical condition that many people experience, yet it remains shrouded in misconceptions and myths. To help promote understanding and support, here’s a look at three common myths surrounding infertility and the factual information that debunks these falsities.
Myth – Infertility is solely a woman’s issue.
Fact – Infertility affects both men and women.
The idea that infertility is solely a woman’s issue is possibly the most pervasive myth that surrounds infertility. However, infertility isn’t only a problem for women. Infertility can and does affect both men and women equally. According to the National Institute of Health, approximately one-third of infertility cases can be attributed to female factors, one-third to male factors, and the remaining one-third to a combination of both or unexplained causes.
The Mayo Clinic states that infertility in men can be caused by various factors such as low sperm count, abnormal sperm shape or movement, hormonal imbalances, genetic disorders, or previous medical conditions. The idea that only women are responsible for infertility can be hurtful and can lead to misplaced blame. The truth is that infertility can affect every individual no matter their sex and that treatments exist for both men and women to help with fertility issues.
Myth – Age isn’t a significant factor in fertility.
Truth – Age is a crucial factor in fertility.
Another common misconception is that age doesn’t significantly impact a person’s fertility. However, age plays a vital role in intended parents’ ability to conceive. Women are born with a finite number of eggs, and their quantity and quality decline as they age. Your Fertility reports that by the age of 35, a woman’s fertility starts to decline, and by the age of 40, conceiving becomes significantly more challenging. Men are also affected by age-related fertility decline, although not as dramatically as women. The Better Health Channel says that sperm count generally starts to decrease around the ages of 40 – 45. As males get older, the overall risk of miscarriages and fetal death also increases. Additionally, there’s a higher risk of babies being born with abnormalities and/or certain health conditions as men age. Today, there are medical advances like freezing reproductive material that can help intended parents achieve parenthood despite their age. As always, seeking medical advice is always the best way to discuss your fertility prospects.
Myth – Serious medical conditions are always the cause of infertility.
Truth – Infertility can be caused by various factors not exclusive to serious medical conditions.
There is a common misbelief that infertility is always caused by a severe medical condition or genetic disorder. While some cases of infertility may be linked to underlying medical conditions such as ovulation disorders and cancer and its treatment, there are other factors that can contribute to fertility challenges.
The Mayo Clinic states that lifestyle habits like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, and a poor diet can impact fertility in both men and women. Plus, environmental factors outside of a person’s control such as the exposure to toxins, pollutants, and certain chemicals can have drastic effects on one’s reproductive health. It’s important to remember that infertility is a complex issue that sometimes doesn’t have a single cause. Fertility specialists like our trusted partners can help intended parents identify and address the specific factors affecting their fertility.
Cryoport Systems is proud to have a hand in helping thousands of intended parents realize their family dreams through processes such as IVF. This World Infertility Awareness Month, remember that infertility is a complex issue that doesn’t always have a straightforward answer. Speak to a specialist to discuss your specific questions on what myths surround infertility. To learn more about Cryoport Systems’ reproductive material supply chain management solutions, reach out to us on our website.