National Infertility Awareness Week: Dangerous Infertility Myths

dangerous infertility myths

Chances are if you are looking to add to your family through adoption, you may be struggling (or have been struggling) with infertility. You are not alone—about one in eight couples in the U.S. face infertility. 

When first coming face to face with an infertility diagnosis, families are often subjected to a wide-range of misinformation online, which spreads from the misconceptions, half-truths, anecdotes, and downright myths. This can come directly from in-person or online support groups, social media influencers, and Google. Sadly, this distortion of the truth is not just limited to online spaces—they can also be spread from people we know, like close family or friends.  

Here are the top five myths you may come across regarding infertility. 

Anecdotes from family and friends

One of the first people you may turn to for advice when starting the infertility journey are close family or friends. While they may offer great support, they may offer some unsolicited (and maybe downright incorrect) advice. This could include statements like, “Stop stressing about it! Once you stop worrying, it will happen… like it did for me,” or “Kyle and I started the keto diet, and we were pregnant in three months.” You can also easily find similar stories on social media spaces, like Facebook groups. While they mean well, your friends and family members are not your doctors, and your life experiences will not be the same as yours. 

Fertility Foods

We all have heard the famous fertility myth of eating oysters! While there is no specific food or diet that will magically boost your chances of conception, a nutritious and well-balanced diet can certainly help support overall health, including reproductive health. However, food choices alone will not reverse an infertility diagnosis. There is no magical food that will promote an increase in sperm production, nor reverse the damage of endometriosis.

Medication

There are so many myths surrounding medications and infertility. We are not going to pick apart each one of these in the short blog. But know that your doctor, who has the experience and knowledge in infertility diagnoses and fertility treatments, will talk with you about your concerns. Reading personal experiences of medications from Dr. Google will not help you, nor your doctor, get you closer to finding a solution.

Misinformation in the Media

At 48, Hillary Swank recently gave birth to twins. That did not happen without the help of fertility treatments. Regardless, many people may be led to believe that waiting until you are 40, 45, and even 50 to have children is entirely possible. The reality is (for women in particular) fertility declines dramatically after the age of 35, and many have to resort to egg donation to have successful IVF cycles. Other social media influencers may tout specialty teas, lifestyles, or treatments that helped them achieve pregnancy—which in reality was not the only route they took. 

IVF Treatment Success

One of the most harmful myths when it comes to infertility is that you will achieve pregnancy if you pursue IVF. Many hopeful families do pursue IVF, only to be left without any baby, or sometimes even without a single embryo. There is no 100% guarantee with IVF, or any fertility treatment, that you will walk away successful. 

Many families have chosen adoption, foster care, or decide to be childless because IVF was not successful for them. 

For some families who have been diagnosed with infertility, or were told they would never be able to carry a pregnancy, have found success through Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program. This can be an amazing, cost-effective, family building option you may have been looking for! 

To learn more about embryo adoption through Nightlight, visit Snowflakes.org.