Did you know that one in six couples is considered infertile? This means that over a year of trying to get pregnant by unprotected, well-timed intercourse – or six months if the woman is over the age of thirty-five – the couple can’t get pregnant. If, then, you and your partner are struggling with infertility, you should know that you aren’t alone. In fact, infertility is such a huge problem these days that scientists and practitioners are coming up with ever more ways to restore fertility in both men and women. If you are overwhelmed by all the infertility treatments out there, know that there isn’t one single infertility solution that works for every couple. Instead, your best bet is to keep your mind open to all the different possibilities.
There are lots of old wives’ tales and myths surrounding infertility, which isn’t a strictly modern problem. Sometimes you may hear that it’s all in your head, and other times you may hear that you’ll eventually get pregnant if you adopt first. In the end, many things that are said about infertility are untrue, and, in fact, scientists are uncovering new causes of and solutions for infertility every day. If you are researching ways to restore your fertility so that you and your partner can conceive, you need to know about the myths that some people will tell you.
#1. Assisted Reproductive Technology is Risky and Expensive
While you should carefully research ART procedures before you go through them, you should also know that if you choose a good clinic and doctor, you won’t be risking your health, and many forms of ART aren’t unaffordable. This is not to say that you won’t have to pay for ART because you most certainly will, but it does mean that most people can afford some of the more basic procedures, which come with very little risk.
#2. Traditional Doctors are Against Alternative Treatments
The fact of the matter is that more and more scientific studies are turning up evidence that some alternative treatments – such as acupuncture, talk therapy, group sessions, and stress management techniques – actually do improve a couple’s chance of getting pregnant. In the face of this evidence, many infertility clinics are actually supplementing their ART treatments with alternative medicine, including acupuncture.
#3. Alternative Therapies Don’t Work
One study by an infertility doctor in India showed that certain herbal, natural treatments can enhance sperm count and viability in infertile men. Several other studies, including one published in Therapy Today, indicate that relieving stress, which lowers the body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol, can help women become more fertile. Another article in the Indian Journal of Medical Research links stress and poor sperm quality, although the article says the relationship between stress and infertility in men deserves more research.
There is plenty of evidence out there that alternative infertility treatments do work. In fact, one study on acupuncture and infertility showed that the therapy helped increase certain hormones in women that made them more fertile and more likely to carry a pregnancy to full-term. This is, of course, why many clinics are beginning to incorporate acupuncture into their infertility treatments.
#4. We Should Stick with One Type of Treatment
There are so many treatment options out there that have shown positive results for infertility that you would be silly not to keep an open mind about everything. This will, of course, take a little more time on the front end as you research various infertility treatments, but the best way to find a solution that works for you is to try whatever you can in a systematic, logical manner. For most couples, this simply means starting with the less invasive, more affordable treatments and work your way up to the very expensive procedures as a last resort. For all couples, this means being open minded about the treatment possibilities that are out there today.