The Truth About Infertility

There are many misconceptions associated with male and female infertility. Dr. Belinda Yauger, an OB/GYN at University Health, debunks common myths around infertility.

Myth: Infertility is rare.

Fact: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 5 couples can't get pregnant after one year of trying.

Myth: Infertility only affects women.

Fact: Infertility can occur in both men and women. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development states that about 9% of men and around 11% of women in the United States experience infertility.

Myth: Using birth control can cause infertility.

Fact: This journal article published in the National Library of Medicine studied 14,884 women who stopped birth control and tried to get pregnant. Of those women, 83.1% got pregnant within the first year of stopping their birth control, which is an expected rate of pregnancy.

Myth: Infertility cannot happen to young people.

Fact: Infertility affects people of all ages and genders. There are many reasons why male fertility and female fertility are affected. Here's a list of risk factors that increase your risk for infertility from the CDC.

Myth: Conception is easy after your first baby.

Fact: Secondary infertility is a phenomenon in which some couples have difficulty after previously giving birth without fertility medications or treatments.

Myth: There is a blood test to see if you can get pregnant.

Fact: Your provider will need to know your medical and sexual history before determining the appropriate tests to diagnose infertility. The Mayo Clinic outlines the different types of tests that you may get. There is no one test that will tell you if you will be able to get pregnant.

Myth: Couples should always try for a year before being evaluated.

Fact: The American Society of Reproductive Medicine states that women over 35 years old should see a fertility specialist after six months of trying to get pregnant, and women over 40 should be seen even sooner. Women under 35 years old should try for a year before seeking assistance if they are having regular menstrual cycles and have no known major fertility factor.

Myth: Fertility treatments use up your eggs faster.

Fact: According to, you are born with all the eggs you will ever have in your ovaries. Each month your body has multiple eggs ready – one will be ovulated, and the remainder will be lost. Fertility treatments use a process called ovarian stimulation to help more than just one egg develop each month.

Myth: Female masturbation causes infertility.

Fact: Female masturbation does not affect your fertility. Masturbation is normal and has no impact on your ability to get pregnant.

Infertility Experts at University Health

Fertility specialists can help guide you through testing, diagnosing and treating infertility for men and women. If you believe you may be experiencing infertility, speak with your doctor.

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