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5 fertility myths that may impact your path to parenthood

Expert tips from Dr. Ginevra Mills, MD FRCSC, Olive Fertility Victoria
Dr. Ginevra Mills is a reproductive endocrinologist at Olive Fertility Victoria. Photo via Jen Steele Photography

Discover the insights of Dr. Ginevra Mills MD FRCSC, GREI, a renowned Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Specialist at Olive Fertility Centre Victoria. With her expertise as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UBC, Dr. Mills shares five prevalent fertility misconceptions that may affect your path to conception. Uncover the truth and boost your chances of starting a family with confidence:

Myth #1: Infertility is uncommon

Fact: Did you know that 1 in 6 individuals trying to get pregnant will have trouble? That number increases to more than 50% if the woman is over the age of 39.

Myth #2: Fertility is only a woman’s issue

Fact: Studies show that 40% of infertility is caused by female factors, 40 % by male factors, and 20% by a combination of both. 

Myth #3:  A woman’s fertility doesn’t significantly decline until after age 40

Fact: A woman’s fertility peaks at age 25 and declines from there. There’s a sharp decline after age 35 and by 43, most women are unable to conceive naturally. As a result of this misinformation, some couples wait too long to start trying and miss their baby-making window. 

Myth #4:You should try for a year before consulting a fertility specialist

Fact: For most women under the age of 35, Olive Fertility recommends trying for one year of regular unprotected intercourse prior to having a fertility evaluation. For women over 35, the recommendation is to have a fertility evaluation after 6 months. 

If you are over 40 or have any health issues like PCOS, irregular periods or endometriosis, or if your partner has a history of infection (e.g., mumps), injury or surgery on his testicles, you may want to ask for a referral to a fertility specialist as soon as possible. 

Myth #5:In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is the only treatment for infertility 

Fact: Many treatments that are used to help a couple conceive are fairly simple and involve minimal or no expense. 

Often, medications or just counselling can help solve the problem. In some cases, the solution requires more advanced technology such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

For most couples who have difficulty conceiving, advances in medical treatment have made it possible for them to have a baby. In B.C., consultations with a fertility specialist, as well as initial investigations for infertility, are covered by MSP. 

Olive Fertility Centre is one of Canada’s leading IVF and prenatal diagnosis centres. The clinic offers inclusive fertility care for those with primary or secondary infertility, LGBTQ2SIA+ persons, and people needing donor sperm, donor eggs, egg freezing, and beyond.

Photo via Jen Steele Photography

Did you know that 1 in 6 will have trouble getting pregnant and that number increases to > 50% for women over 40?

The good news is that advances in fertility treatment have made it possible for most couples and individuals who are having difficulty conceiving to have a baby. Women should speak to your doctor if:

  1. You are < 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for 12 months or more
  2. You are > 35 and have been trying to conceive for 6 months or more
  3. You have been diagnosed with endometriosis or have had a previous pelvic infection or sexually transmitted infection
  4. Your partner has a history of infection (e.g. mumps), injury or surgery on the testicles, difficulty with erection or ejaculation, or has been diagnosed with a sperm problem. 
  5. You have irregular menstrual cycles
  6. You or your partner has a health problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or a history of cancer treated with radiation or chemotherapy.

Olive Fertility offers patients the option to book a same-day, no-fee, virtual referral appointment. The referral will be automatically sent to Olive Fertility and a member of our intake team will contact you shortly thereafter to book your fertility appointment.