pregnancy

The six things Google got wrong about infertility.

If you’re looking for advice about options surrounding fertility, pregnancy or counselling, always consult your doctor.

Many mothers desperately wanting a baby have turned to Google to ask why it’s not happening.

Dr Helen Demetriou from Genea Fertility, has warned that searching online for answers to fertility issues can be a problem.

The GP says patients spend time on Google before getting to specialists and has told Mamamia about some of the topics that may throw people off track.

PCOS

There is a perception that polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) means you can’t have kids but Dr Demetriou says it’s incorrect.

“The people who have PCOS who don’t have a lot of problems with it, who don’t have a huge problem getting pregnant, who manage it really well, aren’t actually on the internet. They’re just out there getting on with their day and people get a really skewed view online.”

Dr Demetriou advises using reputable sites such as the Jean Hailes Foundation in Melbourne.

Your heart stops the moment when you read a pregnancy test. Image via iStock.
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Endometriosis

Endometriosis or endo is a painful common disease that can damage fertility.  The lining of the womb grows outside it in other parts of the body.

“It’s probably one of the more common issues that presents in women with infertility," says Dr  Demetriou.

"If endometriosis is there and you treat it you’ll really increase your chances of falling pregnant.”

Weight

Healthy weight in all cases is good for pregnancy but finding a healthy way to lose weight online is a tricky search.

“You’ll actually improve your chances of getting pregnant by dropping your weight," says Dr Demetriou.

"There are slightly higher risks with the baby if the mother is obese. So really optimising weight before you fall pregnant is a great thing to do for your fertility.”

It's a good idea to get expert advice about your health. Image via iStock.

Taking your temperature

Limiting sex during ovulation so sperm is strong is a myth.

“The biggest issue with timing is just people who aren’t having sex often enough,” Dr Demetriou.

“Having sex once a month is probably not optimising your chances.”

“We say every two days would be ideal and over a decent time frame. And there are great apps and urine detection kits people can use as well.”

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“You do not have to have sex at 3 o’clock on the 3rd November,” she added.

“Once your temperature’s up it’s probably a little late.”

Listen: Have you ever wondered who donates sperm? And why? We ask comedian Toby Halligan, on the This Glorious Mess podcast (post continues after audio...)

Fertility in the family

Many patients assume they will have problems falling pregnant if a family member has had fertility issues but it is not necessarily true.

“You can’t really make assumptions that mum got pregnant really easily and therefore I’m not going to have a problem, I’ll wait ‘til I’m 40," says Dr Demetriou.

"The flip side is, if your sister has PCOS as does your mother or if anyone in your family has Endometriosis then that’s probably something that is higher risk but it’s not certain.”

Waiting 12 months for help

You don’t have to wait 12 months to be deemed infertile, particularly if you have other symptoms and health concerns.

“If you only get your period once every three months, that would probably set off flags to me that they probably need to go along and see their doctor and get some tests done,” says Dr Demetriou.

“You wait 12 months if you’re under 35 and your cycle is regular and you don’t have a lot of other medical issues.”

Genea’s Fertility GP, Dr Helen Demetriou is an experienced family General Practitioner. Over the past 10 years, she has found reproductive medicine an increasingly common and fascinating area of her daily practice.

Mamamia's Infertility Week shines a light on the joy, the pain and everything in between when it comes to creating a families. To read more from Infertility Week, click here.

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