Do you think your baby-making knowledge is really based on science?
It’s normal for couples having difficulty conceiving to ask professional advice from their doctor on how to be successful at it. However, we can’t deny the fact that there are many who also follow some unfounded tips or old wives tales about conception.
So we rounded up 5 of the most common myths about conceiving to finally put an end to all those ridiculous advice your next-door neighbor or old aunt conjured up from inadequate information.
1. MYTH: You should have sex every day to increase your chances of conceiving
FACT: Although this myth sounds like it makes sense, having sex every day (and even more than once for that matter) won’t increase your chances of getting pregnant. You can only increase your chances of conceive during the few fertile days leading to and including the day of your ovulation, so the key is to time your sexual activity with ovulation.
Also, a man with a normal sperm count can actually drive that number down if he ejaculates every day. So, having intercourse daily may even lower your chances of conceiving.
2. MYTH: Conception only happens during intercourse
FACT: SexEd at schools might have left something out during its lessons, thus the widespread belief in this particular myth. Surprise. Conception doesn’t only happen during intercourse.
In fact, conception can take place even 5 days after sex. That’s because sperm can live inside a woman’s fallopian tube and uterus for up to 5 days. During that period, if the woman ovulates, and a sperm is able to come it contact with the egg, an embryo is made and conception occurs.
There is of course a waiting period from this point of contact since the embryo still needs to travel down the fallopian tube and settle itself inside the uterus. Only after this implantation can you detect whether you are pregnant or not.
Tip: Wait until 2 weeks after sex to take your pregnancy test. It takes about a week for an embryo to implant itself in the uterus and another week to release the hormone called beta HCG, which is the hormone detected during a pregnancy test.
3. MYTH: It Must Be Her (assuming the woman is the problem)
FACT: When couples are having a hard time conceiving, people more often than not, assume that it’s the woman who has fertility problems.
Most of the absurdity of this myth comes from the thinking that when couples have sex, fluids come out of the man, and thus he is fertile. News flash, guys—that’s not necessarily the case. About one-third of infertility problems occur in women, another one-third due to men. The rest of the cases are a mix of male and female problems or by unknown reasons.
There could be many causes of infertility in men. Read our FAQ page to get more details. What’s important is that couples should get over conventional thought and start accepting that the problem could be coming from both sides and that they should be assessed by their doctors from the beginning to know for sure.
4. MYTH: Focus on your reproductive health (often neglecting general health)
FACT: Couples who are trying to get pregnant have a tendency to believe that they should only focus on their reproductive health, often neglecting their general health. Discussions become all about fertility, intimacy, cervical mucus, sperm count, etc. and they fail to check their overall health like stress, medications, weight, stress, and vices like smoking and drinking, which can all affect fertility, too!
Before trying to conceive, it’s best for couples to get a couples medical checkup and discuss with their doctors any issues that may affect their fertility.
5. MYTH: Certain sex positions are more effective in increasing your odds of getting pregnant
FACT: There’s logic here that somehow convinces people to believe that there is truth to this myth: positions that allow for deep penetration may land the sperm closer to the cervix and give it a better shot at meeting the egg. But sorry, folks, gravity doesn’t have anything to do with conceiving.
Doing it missionary style or putting your legs up after intercourse won’t guarantee you a baby. Cervical mucus should be enough to help the sperm find its path regardless of the sexual position you use.
So there you have it, 5 myths about conceiving that you should definitely not stress about. Trying to get pregnant is already stressful; so don’t make things worse by adding more things in your life that will only multiply your stress levels. Remember a little stress is OK, but too much will wreak havoc on your body, thus also affecting your hormones and consequently—yes, you guessed it right—your fertility!