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FERTILITY MYTHS 

1. Being either underweight or overweight is clearly linked with lowered levels of fertility.
TRUE. Your BMI or Body Mass Index determines your fertility and your chances getting pregnant.  The evidence in recent years is that obesity is clearly linked with less fertility and a longer time to conception. This also applies to men.  Having a body mass index less than 18 or over 32 is often associated with problems ovulating and conceiving, as well as problems during pregnancy.

2. Regular menstrual cycles are a sign of regular ovulation.
USUALLY BUT NOT ALWAYS. Having regular menstrual cycles between 21 and 35 days is usually a sign of regular, predictable ovulation. Women who have irregular menstrual cycles, irregular menstrual periods or no menstrual periods do not ovulate regularly or not at all. Irregular or absent ovulation is usually associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

3. Basal temperature charting predicts ovulation.
INCORRECT. Basal body temperature (BBT) charting involves taking your temperature each morning before getting out of bed. With BBT you check whether your basal temperature rises, which is a sign of ovulation and that progesterone is being produced in the corpus luteum. BBT is good to check if you did ovulate and when. Because your temperature rises after ovulation has already occurred, with BBT you cannot predict ahead of time whether ovulation is going to happen. A better method is to use over-the-counter urine ovulation predictor test kits (OPK) which test for LH the hormone that rises shortly prior to ovulation.

4.Most cases of infertility are due to female causes
WRONG. Most cases of infertility are caused by male infertility, abnormal sperm counts and functions. That is why a sperm evaluation should be the very first infertility test when checking a couple's infertility.

5. Your fertility is mostly determined by your age and how many eggs you have at birth
CORRECT. The older you are the less fertile you become. The quality of your eggs determines your fertility The number of eggs you have at birth determines the length of time you will remain fertile. At birth, women have about two million eggs in their ovaries. For every egg ovulated during your reproductive life, about 1,000 eggs undergo programmed cell death. Other things, such as smoking cigarettes and certain types of chemotherapy, can accelerate egg cell death and promote an earlier menopause.

6. If you have a blocked fallopian tubes, you have physical symptoms.
INCORRECT. About 10 percent of infertility cases are due to tubal disease, either complete blockage or pelvic scarring causing tubal malfunction. Endometriosis can cause a blocked fallopian tube. One major cause of tubal disease is a prior pelvic infection from a sexually transmitted disease such as chlamydia. These infections can cause so few symptoms that you may be completely unaware your tubes are affected. This is why fertility physicians will order a dye test of the tubes, called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), if you have been trying and failing to conceive for 6 months or longer

7. The right diet can improve your fertility
MAYBE. There is some scientific data showing that a particular diet or food promotes fertility. One limited study did suggest a Mediterranean diet with olive oil, fish and legumes may help promote fertility.

8. Stress causes infertility
SOMETIMES IT CAN. In rare cases of physical or emotional distress, women may have irregular ovulation. Conceiving while on vacation is likely less about relaxation than about coincidence and good timing of sex.

9. Having fathered a pregnancy in the past means that he has no problems
WRONG. Male infertility is a major cause of infertility overall. Sperm counts can change quite a bit with time, so never assume that a prior pregnancy guarantees fertile sperm. Obtaining a semen analysis is the only way to be sure the sperm are still healthy!

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About Dr. Amos

Dr. Amos Grunebaum, MD

The creator of BabyMed is Dr. Amos Grunebaum, an Ob-Gyn doctor who also developed FertilAid and the Dr. Amos 12-Step Fertility Program.
Please find his favorite BabyMed pages on this dashboard HERE, his Medical Favorites, the Dr.Amos Blog, and his online Fertility & Pregnancy Book  
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