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The Myth of the Fertility Cure-All


a blog by Rachel Gurevich, April 27, 2011

If I could pick one infertility myth that grates on every nerve of my body, one myth that I would eradicate if I had the power, it would be the myth that there is a particular program, book, drug, herb or diet that can cure infertility.

Let me tell you something: There is no one “cure” for infertility. There is no “program” or schedule or diet that will cure every person’s infertility. It is a lie.

You know what the worst aspect of this myth is? That infertility friendly websites, organizations and books promote this myth. That there are some wonderful doctors and otherwise helpful people spreading this idea of a cure. I can think of some great fertility books that include either the word “cure” right in the title, or promise other impossible promises.

This infuriates me even further.

I know there are a few people out there getting ready to leave a comment either to honestly debate me on this or share their affiliate-link to a cure program they just swear works. Please. Spare me.

Saying there is a “cure for infertility” is like saying there is one cure for world peace, or one cure for dizziness. There cannot be one cure to world peace, when the world’s conflicts are varied. Each issue needs a focused, unique plan.

Likewise, there’s no one cure for dizziness because dizziness can be caused by a number of things, including low blood sugar, emotional upset, low blood pressure and so on.

I’ve seen many programs promising a cure for ovulation-based infertility. Sometimes I wonder if they go after that one because:

  1. women are more likely to try out crazy programs than men (not because women are gullible, but because men can be a bit lazy), and
  2. it’s easier to sell a “cure” for an infertility problem that’s a bit esoteric.

    Of course, promising one specific cure for ovulatory infertility is just as ridiculous as promising a cure for infertility. There are many different causes for ovulation trouble, including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), premature ovarian failure (POF), obesity, hypothalamic amenorrhea, hyperprolactinemia, poor ovarian reserve and more. To promise a cure through a diet, a program, a juice fast, whatever — it’s silly. And wrong.

    To those looking for that one cure: I’m sorry, it’s not out there. But there’s so much reason for hope! According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), 85 percent of couples dealing with infertility do achieve pregnancy with fertility treatment or lifestyle changes (if appropriate). Your cure probably won’t come from a magic herb or crazy diet, but that doesn’t mean potential success is not out there.

    To those selling these cures or selling reasonable, research-backed help under the “cure” promise: Stop it. Just stop. If you really believe your program or diet is the one cure to infertility, then you’re delusional. Think for a moment about what you’re promising. And if you know your cure isn’t foolproof, stop labeling it a cure. It’s wrong. It’s unethical. And it’s a lie.

    Thoughts? Please share in the comments. (Unless you want to convince me of your cure ... I’d rather not hear about that.)

Comments (1)

I just wanted to take a moment for a quick comment about this because I'm in total agreement and this is something that really gets my goat, personally.

As a Holistic Fertility Consultant who primarily works with Fertility Awareness Method and herbs and lifestyle changes (so far and with G-d's Help, with great success, B"H) I am amazed by the women and men who come to me and want my "cure." I don't have a "cure." I sit down with each individual woman and look at her specific fertility (or lack of fertility) pattern and formulate a specific plan that we try. I monitor the plan and make adjustments as needed, always knowing that if I've exhausted my resources, I may need to send the woman along to someone else.

Friends of some of my past clients will see their success and ask what they did or what herbs they took, right down to the specific dosage (which was tailor made for them) and then feel negatively towards such methods when it doesn't work. Yes. It DID work for them (Thank G-d!), but that doesn't mean that it will work for you. It's not a one-size fits all situation.

Infertility is a very painful condition that many cannot fully comprehend until they, themselves, have been through it. To make matters worse, as you mentioned in your article, there are many charletans out there who are eager to take your money and bank on the fact that a percentage of their clientele will include women without true infertility who will get pregnant using their questionable methods (they would have become pregnant eventually, anyway) to support their business. Sometimes this does happen. But it is important to know that infertility can be treated with a wide variety of options, many times with great success, and the key is finding the modality of treatment that is the best fit for you. In looking at potential treatment options, I would encourage women to look at their specific lifestyle and history and use a combination of their intellect and intuition in choosing their practitioner.

With a blessing for perfect health for all of us,

J. Rivkah

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