EGGS, GENES, HOR­MONES AND FER­TIL­ITY TRUTHS

Friday - - Health -

Dr Diana Kayal de­bunks some in­fer­til­ity myths. Age: This is the sin­gle most im­por­tant fac­tor in de­ter­min­ing your fer­til­ity, ir­re­spec­tive of how healthy your lifestyle has been. Fer­til­ity sig­nif­i­cantly di­min­ishes af­ter the age of 30, even if a woman al­ready has chil­dren. ‘The num­ber of women fac­ing sec­ondary in­fer­til­ity [in­abil­ity to have an­other child] has seen an alarm­ing in­crease,’ she says. Birth con­trol: In gen­eral, hor­monal con­tra­cep­tion will not harm fer­til­ity in the long term. ‘IUDs are oc­ca­sion­ally as­so­ci­ated with pelvic in­flam­ma­tion, which can af­fect fer­til­ity, but is un­com­mon.’ Ge­netic/fam­ily his­tory: Genes and fa­mil­ial his­tory only play a role when as­so­ci­ated with a med­i­cal con­di­tion that could lead to in­fer­til­ity. ‘For in­stance, if there is a fam­ily his­tory of di­a­betes, thy­roid or PCOS, it could lead to an in­creased risk of in­fer­til­ity is­sues.’ Egg sup­ply: A low ovar­ian re­serve doesn’t mean you can’t get preg­nant. ‘It just means you have less time to do it, as the quan­tity of eggs in your ovaries de­clines over time. This doesn’t mean the qual­ity of your eggs isn’t good.’ Hor­mone med­i­ca­tion: There is no ev­i­dence to show that tak­ing ovary-stim­u­lat­ing med­i­ca­tion dur­ing IVF leads to ovar­ian can­cer. It doesn’t de­plete egg sup­ply and won’t lead to an early menopause.

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