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5 Misconceptions about Conception, Explained by a Trusted Boston Fertility Specialist

Infertility is something that millions of Americans struggle with and it can make their journey to parenthood a stressful, uphill battle—but it doesn’t have to be. We spoke with Dr. Alison Zimon, Co-Founder and Co-Medical Director of CCRM Fertility Boston, for helpful insight into fertility and treatment options.

CCRM Fertility is a global leader in fertility science, research, and treatment with a network of  award-winning physicians giving prospective parents the tools, knowledge, and care they need to reach their family planning goals. According to Dr. Zimon, here are some things you should know.

Many people don’t fully understand their fertility health

CCRM sent out a survey earlier this year to find out how much we really know about our fertility health. As it turns out, we may have a lot to learn. The survey found that approximately 71% of New England adults admit to feeling “uninformed,” “clueless,” or only “somewhat knowledgeable” about their fertility health.

This means that many people may be living in the dark about fertility struggles or fertility in general. An appointment with an expert like Dr. Zimon or just an hour spent watching one of CCRM’s countless educational videos could change someone’s whole perspective.

Knowledge is power: Learning about your fertility is a promising solution

Many people think they will never conceive after they have spent months or years of trying. But Dr. Zimon says that people just need to learn about their options in order to have reproductive success. “CCRM Fertility believes that there many paths to parenthood and most often there is a treatment or technology that will lead to success,” says Dr. Zimon.

“I believe a lot of people are not well informed and aren’t aware that their age, how long they have been trying or other health issues may require fertility treatment support,” she says. “Or [they] are not knowledgeable of the wealth of fertility treatment options available.” Because fertility is unfortunately a time-sensitive issue, Dr. Zimon encourages people to seek information, ideally by meeting with a fertility specialist.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there

The CCRM State of Fertility survey also found that many people are stuck in misconceptions when it comes to fertility. This means, first and foremost, that education around fertility needs some improvement. Information is a powerful tool, but Dr. Zimon knows it can be both harmful and helpful depending on your source of information. 88% of New Englanders believe stress has a negative effect on fertility, and 57% of respondents believe taking birth control pills can cause infertility. Neither of these are true.

“At the very least, I hope people seek information, ideally via meeting with a fertility specialist, and use this information to create an ideal and well-informed reproductive plan so they can map out and eventually realize their family building goals,” she says.

Fertility specialists can serve a whole host of needs

“So many fertility issues and goals can be addressed by working with a fertility specialist,” says Dr. Zimon. People trying to set reproductive goals can complete a fertility assessment when they come to CCRM. If they have a low egg reserve, medical issues, sperm abnormalities or genetic concerns, or if it’s been six-to-12 months of trying to conceive with no success, Dr. Zimon says they should seek care with a specialist.

“Also, a fertility specialist can assist with many options in alternative family building and fertility preservation including egg freezing, embryo freezing, reciprocal IVF and donor egg, donor sperm, and gestational carrier use,” says Dr. Zimon.

If you’re struggling, it’s not your fault

Struggling with infertility can be an incredibly discouraging experience. Dr. Zimon has seen patients place the blame for infertility upon themselves, thinking they are too stressed, not trying hard enough, aren’t healthy enough, or are just “broken.” “This can be very isolating and anxiety-provoking,” she says. “While better health and wellness is a key goal in fertility treatment, infertility is very much a medical diagnosis that requires treatment, and one can’t just ‘try harder’ to solve it and get results.”

Dr. Zimon says many people wish they had gone to CCRM sooner, surprised at the success of treatments. “I really aim to empower people to learn as much as they can and as early as they can about their own fertility potential and their options.”

To learn more about CCRM Fertility, read about treatments, success rates, research, and more, visit ccrmivf.com/boston.