Dispelling the Myths.
Common fertility myths include:
- A woman is fertile except when she has her period.
Fact: There is a 24 hour window after a woman’s egg is ovulated for it to be fertilised and implanted. If conception does not occur in this time a woman cannot fall pregnant for the rest of the month. Sperm can live 3-4 days or more within a woman’s fallopian tube and uterus to await ovulation so having sex daily 6 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation is the best time to try for a baby.
- Infertility is usually the woman's fault
Fact: In Australia, 40% of infertility is due to the female and 40% due to problems in the male, with the remainder being a combination of both or a due to cause that is unexplained. 95% of people who seek treatment however are female. There is a huge disparity between those who have the problem and those who get treated for the problem.
- IVF is the best way to get pregnant if a woman is having problems. How good are IVF Success rates?
Fact: Nationally we have a IVF success rate of 22.2% in Australia, this means that in every 1000 treatments 222 pregnancies will be recorded 2 weeks after embryo transfer. Live birth rate drops to 17% or 170 in every 1000 IVF transfers will result in a baby. Studies have shown that using Traditional Chinese Medicine can easily double these rates in a 4 month period.
- A woman can ovulate more than once in each menstrual cycle
Fact: Once you have ovulated, it won't happen again until the next cycle. In rare cases of two or more eggs being released it will always occur within 24 hours of the first one being released. Hormonal systems in the body control ovulation and one ovulation has finished it will not occur again until the following month.
- Low ovarian reserve ( AMH ) means a woman is running out of eggs.
Fact: A woman still has about 10000 eggs left when she reaches menopause. A woman diagnosed with low Anti-Mullerian Hormones are told their ovarian reserve is low. Low ovarian reserve has more to do with a woman’s egg quality and its ability to be fertilised than how many she has left. Doctors suggest that IVF is the only solution to this problem, however there is no science to suggest that IVF drugs or protocols have any influence on egg quality or its ability to be fertilised. Traditional Chinese Medicine has effective treatments to remedy poor egg quality and improve fertilisation. See our Low AMH page
- Ovulation only occurs on day 14 of the cycle.
Fact: Ovulation typically occurs 14 days before a woman’s menstrual cycle begins therefore ovulation times vary according to how many days a woman’s overall cycle is. If she ovulates on day 26 ovulation will likely be day 12, if she ovulates on day 32 she will likely ovulate in day 18 and so on. Optimal ovulation is preferably on day 14 and variances of more than 2 days ether side of this may be create issues in egg quality and fertilisation. See this ovulation tracker to find out when you are most likely to ovulate.
- A normal menstrual cycle is 28 days.
Fact: A typical cycle is 28 days however can vary dramatically if medical problems are present. Provided a cycle is between 26 and 31 days it can be considered normal and not problematic. Monthly variations in a menstrual cycle can be linked to fertility disorders and having them regulated is a sensible step to promoting fertility. See our Menstrual Disorders page.
- Orgasms cause ovulation.
Fact: Ovulation is part of the normal menstrual cycle. It is stimulated by several different hormones during the first half of the 28-day cycle. An increase in follicular-stimulating hormone makes several follicles, each containing an egg, develop in the ovary. Later in the cycle, the follicular-stimulating hormone level drops. The female hormone estrogen then stimulates one egg to mature inside a follicle. Luteinizing hormone then stimulates the follicle to release the egg, causing ovulation. Orgasms have nothing to do with this process.
- You won’t get pregnant if you have sex during your period.
Fact: It is commonly accepted that there are no known issues of a woman having sex during her period. If a woman is willing an orgasm may assist in alleviate emotional and painful problems during this time.