When it Comes to Your Fertility: What is Fact vs. Fiction?

The week of April 22nd is National Infertility Awareness Week. It also happens to be my birthday week. Coincidence? I think not. I love talking about fertility. You could even say it’s “in my blood” to practice this type of medicine as my Dad and Grandfather did too.

I thought what better way to celebrate the week than to have a little fun talking about what’s fact vs. fiction when it comes to your fertility. Please bear with me as I got a lot of joy in planning this show and my jokes will crack me up but are not guaranteed to have you in stitches. That’s okay. As long as you’re learning something then it’s okay by me.

Okay, let’s get into it!

Fact or Fiction…

It’s easier to get pregnant after your first delivery.

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant with baby number two, then please ask more questions. Get checked. You’ve heard me on my Egg Whisperer soap box as I talk about this all of the time.

Here’s my recommendation:

After your delivery at your post-partum check-up, ask for your AMH level to be tested. Talk to your doctor about the most ideal interpregnancy interval based on what they know about you. If you’re 40 and wanting to wait until you try for another kid, then you may want to consider embryo freezing. I want you to be able to have the family size that you’ve always wanted.

One day I may not have to talk about these things if there’s something we can inject in the ovaries so we can continue to grow more eggs. Wouldn’t that be awesome if we didn’t have to freeze our eggs or go through IVF? Until that day, I will continue to spread the message to get your fertility levels checked and to think about fertility preservation options, early and often!

A miscarriage over age 40 means it’s easier to get pregnant again and you should keep trying.

Sperm doesn’t matter.

Women take prenatal vitamins. Men should take vitamins too! I recommend something like an antioxidant blend, vitamin D, CoQ10, fish oil. You can also do other things like making sure you’re not overheating (cooking) your balls, that you’re avoiding smoking, drinking, and marijuana. There are common sense suggestions.

In short, please pay attention to sperm quality. Nutrition is important too. Preconception well-being and paying attention to your fitness and lifestyle. These are so important on both sides, for women (eggs) and men (sperm).

You know the saying, “it takes two to tango”? Well, the same thing when it comes to making a healthy embryo it takes a healthy egg and sperm.

If you have one blocked tube, you can still get pregnant.

When we ovulate we don’t alternate sides. It’s like a flip of the coin and if you’re ovulating from a blocked side, the open side won’t pick up that egg. I’ve seen it happen once in ten years. It’s highly unlikely, but I know that it is possible, but it’s not wise to rely on that happening. Seek help! Talk about taking fertility pills to help yourself ovulate from the open side and hopefully that will help. If not, then that’s what IVF is for.

If you have two blocked tubes, you can still get pregnant.

You don’t need tubes to ovulate regularly. You don’t need tubes to have regular periods. People often ask me, “well — where does the egg go? What happens to it?” They have these ideas about eggs being these really big things — like a chicken egg — but that’s not how eggs are in a human body. An egg is microscopic. Think of it like water in the sunlight. When you see an egg and it doesn’t get fertilized and it has nowhere to go, it’s really not a big deal. When you have the egg white cervical mucus that’s not the egg coming out either. That’s your body’s natural response to estrogen levels as they rise during ovulation and your period? That’s not the egg either! That’s just the uterine lining coming out.

So when your estrogen level goes up and your progesterone level goes up, and then they both come down after ovulation, well the lining comes out. This is a totally natural process. Please don’t worry too much if you have a blocked fallopian tube as with the help of IVF you can still get pregnant.

Age of the sperm doesn’t matter.

Marijuana is totally safe and not harmful to your fertility.

You know the saying, everything in moderation. The same applies here. Chronic use of the chronic…that’s something I worry about with my patients. (Insert knee slap here). If your partner is dealing with so much going through IVF it can be stressful, but I urge you to find another way to deal with this stress. Go on walks, meditate, take melatonin, drink tea, but be mindful of what you’re doing and if it may harm your fertility.

If you look amazing, your egg quality is too.

As long as you see a fertility doctor and do IVF, you can have a baby.

You don’t need ovaries to get pregnant.

A man can have a uterine transplant.

IUI pregnancy rates are 50% or better.

I don’t need to know embryo quality.

An ovarian cyst means something is wrong.

IVF causes childhood cancer.

Eating French fries and pineapple core increases implantation rates.

Leaking fluids after sex means there is something wrong.

Orgasms are required to get pregnant.

You can skew gender based on when you have sex.

That’s it for this show. As always please reach out if you have any questions or topic suggestions for future shows.

Send me a note: email@eggwhisperer.com

You can also catch more of me and topics like this through the Egg Whisperer Show. The episodes are live-streamed on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter and on Wednesdays at 7 PM PST. Subscribe to the podcast too!

Fertility Doctor, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Egg Whisperer: www.eggwhisperer.com