Many couples think they will get pregnant quickly when they start trying for a baby. They may not realise the key factors that will affect their chance of success.
There are many myths and misconceptions around fertility. As Singapore’s fertility experts, we can help dispel some of the common myths around male and female fertility.
Myth: We're both healthy, so we won't have any problems conceiving
Truth: Healthy people can still have issues affecting their fertility. Medical conditions and genetic disorders can affect fertility, whatever your age.
The most important factor affecting your ability to conceive is the woman’s age. Once a woman turns 36, her chance of conceiving naturally is half what it was when she was 20. By the time a woman is 41, her chance of conceiving naturally each month is around 5%.
Myth: ‘The Pill’ affects your fertility
Truth: Most of the time contraceptive use (such as ‘The Pill’) does not affect a woman’s fertility long term. The real factor that affects a woman’s fertility is her age. So if you stop taking ‘The Pill’ and start trying to conceive in your late 30’s, then your fertility will have naturally declined to half of what it was in your early 20’s.
Myth: Regular periods are a sign of ovulation
Truth: Around 15% of women can have regular periods without ovulation and this will therefore affect the ability to conceive naturally. However, fertility specialists can offer treatments that will improve your chance of conception to help you have a baby.
Myth: Abstinence will create better sperm
Truth: Being abstinent will increase sperm numbers but decrease sperm quality. There will be more semen but this semen will contain damaged or dead sperm, unhelpful when trying to conceive.
Myth: Miscarriage can be caused by excessive stress, travel or exercise
Truth: Sitting for prolonged periods of time will affect sperm function.
Truth: Sitting for prolonged periods of time, such as may be the case for cab or truck drivers, causes an increase in temperature around the testes. This increase in temperature will in fact affect sperm function.
Dr Fong Yang, fertility specialist, dispels some common myths around male and female fertility.
If you’ve been trying for 12 months or more (or 6 months if you are over 35 years of age), we recommend you seek advice from one of our fertility doctors.