Thursday, November 13, 2014

Just relax and you will get pregnant !

A lot of gynecologists advise young patients with unexplained infertility that the reason they are not getting pregnant is because they are too “ stressed-out “. This is especially true when the patient is a young career woman ( for example, an IT professional); and the doctor is more than 45 years old.

Their standard advise is – Just relax, take a holiday, and you’ll get pregnant !

Please remember that these are well-meaning doctors , and the purpose of their advice is actually to reassure the patient that everything is fine , and they have a good chance of getting pregnant in their bedroom without any medical help.

However, sometimes this advice backfires , because the hidden message the patient reads into the advise the doctor is giving is that it’s her fault that she’s not getting pregnant, because she is too tense. Husbands are quick to agree with this “medical assessment”, as are moms and mother-in-laws.

Not only disease and the woman is not getting pregnant is because she's to tens she stressed-out and or that she needs to do is to relax and things will fall into place automatically

This advise is extremely unkind, and is a form of “victim-blaming”. Remember that it’s never the stress which causes the infertility , it's the infertility which causes the stress ! However , when a doctor  says something like this , they assume it must be the truth , and this just ends up making a bad situation worse because they blame themselves even more , just adding further to their stress levels !

Why do doctors continue perpetuating such harmful myths ? For one thing, this is an easy reason to give when the medical tests all come back as normal. Rather than admit to the patient that the diagnosis of unexplained infertility just means that medical science has a lot of shortcomings and does not have all the answers , doctors would rather offer a “waste-paper basket” label of stress, because it is convenient for them to do so.

Sadly, they don’t realise the inadvertent harm they are doing by labeling the infertility as stress-related.  Also, the patients who don’t get pregnant after “relaxing and trying for another 6 months” just get fed up and move on to another doctor who can offer them a more concrete and useful suggestion. They are thus “lost to followup” as far as the original doctor goes.

However, the ones who do conceive ( not because of the doctor’s advice , but in spite of it ) happily go back with a box of chocolates ! This reinforces the doctor’s misconception that getting patients to relax helps them to get pregnant.

Rather than unkindly and thoughtlessly attribute the infertility to stress, good doctors explain to patients that if all the test results are normal, then sometimes continuing to try in the bedroom ( especially when the wife is young and they have not been trying to have a baby for too long) can result in a pregnancy, if they are willing to be patient. “ Relaxing” does not affect the outcome !

Fed up of listening to doctors whose only advise is - Relax ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so I can guide you sensibly !

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