Fertility Myths

#1 Infertility Is a Female Problem

This couldn’t be further from the truth. However, women often take on the burden of infertility. Research shows that infertility can be equally attributed to both male and female factors.

#2 The Pill Reduces Fertility

All those years you spent trying not to get pregnant by responsibly taking the pill can feel like it backfired when you are trying to conceive with no luck. Don’t worry, the hormones in birth control pills only stay in the body for a short period of time (usually less than a week after discontinuation of use). On the up side, long term use of birth control pills significantly reduces the probability of developing disorders such as endometriosis, and lowers your lifetime risk of ovarian cancer.

#3 It’s Easy To Get Pregnant Once You Already Have a Child

While it is slightly more likely to conceive after having a successful pregnancy and birth, it certainly is not a guarantee. Secondary infertility is not uncommon and there could be many underlying causes such as diminished ovarian reserve or hormone fluctuations.

#4 I’m Too Old to Get Pregnant

While age definitely plays a major role in fertility, it is really based on a woman’s ovarian reserve. How many eggs and the quality of those eggs play a crucial role in achieving pregnancy. Not all women of similar age have the same fertility potential. Diminished ovarian reserve can affect women of all ages.

#5 Smoking Is Only Bad During Pregnancy

Not true! Smoking, and even second hand smoke has been shown to reduce fertility. Whether you are trying to achieve pregnancy through assisted methods like IVF or with fertility medications the results are still the same. If you are thinking about trying to get pregnant, now is the time to quit.

#6 Having More Sex Will Increase My Odds

Yes and no. If you are trying to conceive, strive to have sex when you are ovulating. If your cycle is fairly regular you can download the Fertility View App to help track and predict your most fertile days. There are also ovulation predictor kits available. These kits detect the surge of LH which occurs immediately prior to ovulation.

#7 Elevating My Hips Or Standing On My Head Will Help

While it seems logical these positions would encourage sperm to travel in the right direction, position really does not make a difference. This is due to the fact that sperm are chemically programmed to travel in the right direction, regardless of your position. Futhermore, sperm adheres to the cervical mucus which helps them travel into the uterus and fallopian tubes.

#8 If You Relax, It Will Happen

Infertility is not psychological. When couples start trying to conceive chances are they are very relaxed. The stress comes from months or years of trying and often well meaning but insensitive comments from others. Infertility is a medical condition and should be treated by a qualified physician. No amount of vacations or stress free days can alter your reproductive system.

#9 You Are Young, You Have Plenty Of Time

It doesn’t matter what age you are if you have been trying to conceive and remain unsuccessful. While aging certainly affects fertility, there are other conditions including endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) that affect younger women. If you are under 35, it is not uncommon for doctors to recommend trying to conceive for 1 year prior to seeking treatment from a specialist. However, if you are over 35 and have not conceived after six months, you should seek the help of your doctor. For a general recap on what is infertility, click here

#10 Certain Sexual Positions Are Better For Conception

There is no evidence that one position is superior than another for getting pregnant. Timing is much more important than position. You body already has the tools it needs to encourage reproduction. Sperm are chemically programmed to reach the egg and cervical mucus helps them along the way.

#11 Men Shouldn’t Wear Briefs or Spandex

Excessive heat may affect the testicular production of sperm. Activities that significantly increase body temperature may have an adverse affect on sperm production. However, routine workouts in spandex or briefs an hour or two a day generally won’t affect sperm production. When you’re actively trying to conceive, men may want to avoid saunas, hot tubs, hot yoga or leaving a laptop on their lap for excessive periods of time. Though the effects are reversible, it can take three to four months for his sperm to recover.

#12 Using Lubrication During Sex Will Kill Sperm

Be certain that a lubricant isn’t huring your efforts. Many lubricants on the market may have an adverse affect on sperm and prevent them from reaching the uterus and fallopian tubes. In general, pertrolum based lubricants such as petrolium jelly should be avoided. Water soluable lubricants like Pre-Seed are preferred when lubrication is used in couples trying to conceive. If you’ve been diagnosed with fertility issues, talk to your doctor about which lubricants might be right for you.

#13 Losing Weight Will Help Me Get Pregnant

How much people weigh can greatly impact their chances of conceiving. Several studies have linked obesity to low sperm count and poor sperm quality in men. There is definitive evidence that obesity in women (BMI greater than 30) is a risk factor for anovulation and infertility. On the other hand, being excessively underweight (BMI less than 18) is also linked to anovulation and infertility. The best-case scenario is for both partners to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. See our reading list for books on how maintain optimum health for fertility.

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