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Myths about Infertility in India

Out of pure curiosity, I started searching about information regarding multiple birth and fertility treatment. In the era of quadruplets and octomoms and families of 18, one can easily understand how could people have misconceptions about infertility and its treatment. While I was going through all these details, I also came to know about the myths and misunderstandings regarding reproductive challenges and assistance. Many people do not understand the difference between truth and fiction when they talk about infertility and I choose this blog as a medium and a forum to address some of these myths and also try to find out the truth.

One of the most common notion about IVF is that it leads to multiple births. The transfer of multiple embryos do increases the chance of multiple births, but the reputed reproductive endocrinologist transfer the smallest number of embryos possible to achieve a successful pregnancy. For example, my RE would transfer only 2 (3 for above 35 years of age) and repeatedly said that his aim is to help us conceive with one healthy child.

Another myth associated with infertility is that it is always the women who are to be blamed for it. It is always her fault. When I started opening up to people about our unsuccessful attempts to conceive, it seemed that almost everyone had the same notion that it was because of me that we were not able to give birth to a child. Though, in our situation we had female factor fertility but people had to be educated somehow. The bitter reality is, according to American Society for Reproductive Medicine, female factor infertility is for 35 percent, for male it is 35 percent, 20 percent combined issues, and in 10 percent of cases the problems for conceiving are unexplained. This proves and highlights that it is not “only” a female issue and she is not solely responsible for it.

Another very popular misconception in India,that people have is that infertility issues are rare and people can conceive easily. This is so not true and it unfortunately, also make people believe that people with infertility problems or those who are struggling to conceive are different and abnormal. According to Centers for Disease Control, more than 6.1 million people who are in their reproductive age (10-15%) experience infertility. It is a surprising truth that when you talk and open up with people about your infertility problems and experiences related to it, you can find more of your friends and acquaintances going through the same problems as you are.

In India,People have a false notion that if they are younger than 35 years and have previously successfully conceived and already have a child; they think that they aren’t really infertile. These myths are simply not true. Both male and female can develop fertility issues in between unsuccessful attempts of having another child and already having a child. Secondary infertility rates are high on numbers, occurring in over 1 million people. A woman is considered infertile if she is not able to conceive successfully over a year. 10% of the women who is in the age group of 35 experiences infertility.

It is needless to say about the list of misconceptions that people have regarding infertility and its treatment. I had an exposure about this topic when I was going through the infertility treatment, and I was not alone or abnormal- hopefully this information helps you too.