Test Your Knowledge

Fertility Facts: Test Your Knowledge

Can you recognize a fertility myth versus a fact?
Take the quiz to test your knowledge!

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Ok. You know you want kids, but until you are feeling that baby fever, there's no point in talking to a doctor about your fertility, right?

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Regardless of what stage of life you’re in, you can always become more educated about your fertility and factors that influence it now…and those that could in the future. Make sure you’re informed and prepared when the time comes. And, based on where you are in the family planning stage, consider having a preliminary conversation with your doctor to learn more.

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True or False: Women are the ones who carry babies, therefore, infertility must be their fault.

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Infertility is not always caused by the female. In fact, it surprises most people to learn that infertility is caused by the female in one-third of cases and the male in one-third of cases. The remainder are caused by a mixture of male and female issues or the cause is not known. Given this, it’s essential that both men and women learn the fertility facts and both consider being evaluated during an infertility work-up.

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IVF always leads to multiples (e.g. twins, triplets). Right?

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It is true that IVF treatment increases the risk of having multiple births; this is mostly due to the transfer of more than one embryo. However, recent advances in assisted reproductive technology have dramatically improved the odds of success with the transfer of only one embryo. It is important to choose your reproductive health specialist carefully by asking questions about success rates in achieving pregnancy while avoiding multiple births, which can be accompanied by greater health risks.

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It's easy, people. All you have to do is have sex once at the right time and BAM – you're pregnant.

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Fertility is specific to each individual and each couple. For some, it’s easy, getting pregnant on the first try. For others, it may take a little longer and could require the help of a reproductive health specialist. Together, after the first several months of attempting pregnancy, couples in their 30s have at most a 15 percent chance of conceiving each month. If you’re trying to conceive or have any concerns about getting or staying pregnant, talk to your doctor to learn more about the best approach for you.

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They're already parents. Having another baby will be a piece of cake!

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Each attempt at trying to conceive is different. In fact, secondary infertility – when a couple has difficulty conceiving after they’ve already had one or more child – is actually even more common than it is during the first round trying to conceive. Of all infertility cases, 60 percent are experienced by couples who’ve already had at least one baby.

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Infertility is just an inconvenience some people face.

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Infertility is not just "inconvenient," it's a disease! And, it's not just us saying that. Major health organizations, like the World Health Organization in 2009, began classifying infertility as a disease. With that in mind, the course of conversation around the topic has changed, and now more than ever, people are beginning to talk more candidly about fertility issues.

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People go to a reproductive health specialist when they have problems.

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Reproductive health specialists can certainly assist people facing infertility or having trouble conceiving. That said, they can also perform checkups, which can include a number of tests (e.g. AMH test, FSH blood test, Estradiol test, vaginal ultrasound, semen analysis, etc.) to check ovarian reserve and sperm quality. This can be a beneficial first step in your journey to parenthood – now or in the future. They can also talk to you about how your family history, lifestyle choices and overall health plays into your ability to conceive.

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It doesn't matter how old I am – technology has progressed and people can get pregnant at any age.

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Healthy living can boost your fertility potential, but it cannot reverse the effect of age on eggs and sperm. Age is a critical determinant of fertility potential. For example, most women are born with approximately 1-2 million eggs. That said, by puberty, the total number of remaining eggs has already dropped to about half a million and the ovarian reserve will continue to decline with age. Women’s egg supply declines rapidly in the late 20s and 30s, and declines most notably after the age of 35. In addition to the quantity, the quality of the eggs decreases with age as well. While some couples are able to conceive later in life, it’s still no guarantee.

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Infertility is rare. Think of all of the people you know that have had babies!

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Infertility is more common than you may think. About 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. And, about 7.4 million women have received infertility services in their lifetime. Because of its sensitive nature, infertility is not always a topic people have felt comfortable discussing publicly. However, with the designation of fertility as a disease, now more than ever, people are beginning to talk more candidly about fertility issues.

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1. If I just keep trying each month, I will eventually get pregnant.

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Sometimes it’s not as easy as timing things correctly. Particularly if the female partner is age 35 or older, if you have frequently irregular menstrual periods or conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or if you have had surgery or other conditions that might alter your fertility, or if the male partner has reason to believe he may have a low sperm count, it’s best to talk with your doctor about your options in advance. And, if you’re having trouble conceiving, your doctor can help you determine the best path forward for you.

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You can also learn more about infertility at the following links and even assess your individual fertility profile:

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