Friday, November 27, 2015

Menstrual myths and infertility

Infertile women harbour many misconceptions , and a common one is about their menstrual flow. The  menstrual flow can vary considerably from woman to woman, but most fertile women don't bother about it . Infertile women , on the other hand, are obsessed about their menstrual periods, especially when they are scanty or heavy or early or late. They forget that there is a lot of variability in biological systems, and many believe their infertility is a result of their menstrual flow being abnormal.

 The problem is that they can't see their eggs, sperm, or their fallopian tubes - all they can see is their menstrual flow, which is why they start imagining problems with every minor variation. Even normal variations get magnified, because their minds plays all kinds of games with them.

A common problem is that many infertile women believe that their infertility is a result of their menstrual blood being dark/black in colour. They think that this dirty, black discharge is a sign that their uterus is full of bad blood, and this is what is stopping from getting pregnant. This is why they go to a doctor, and ask them to "clean " their uterus, by doing a D&C or a hysteroscopy ; and this is why there are so many websites which sell herbal tampons to infertile women, to help them to make their uterus "strong and clean".

However, the reality is there can't be any such thing as a dirty uterus !  The reason for the dark menstrual discharge is simply that when the menstrual blood remains in the vagina for some time, the acid in the vagina converts it into a black pigment called acid hematin, which is dark in color. The woman then misinterprets this as a symptom of having a defective and damaged uterus, which is preventing her from getting pregnant.

A similar myth causes them to worry when their flow is scanty, because they think this means that their uterus lining is "weak" and will not allow the baby to grow in it; or when they have spotting, because they feel this means that the uterus lining is defective; or when they pass clots, because they feel this means that the uterus is breaking down every month.  Doctors need to sit down and explain to patients that there is no correlation between menstrual flow and fertility, and that a lot of these variants are seen in fertile women as well.

Need help in getting pregnant ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you !




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