Are you confused with all the advice you are getting from the women in your family and friends about trying to conceive? Not sure which one is genuine and which is just an old wive’s tale? Look no further! Today we are debunking 11 common fertility myths that people have. If you have got any of these as an advice, well, then its not very good!
11 Common Misconception About Getting Pregnant
Fertility Myth 1: Eating certain types of foods can help you conceive a boy, girl, or even twins!
Have you been told to have more of bananas and potatoes to ensure you have a baby boy? Have you been reading that lots of veggies in your diet is likely to help you have a girl? Did you hear that having yams can make you conceive twins?
Well, let us tell you that it’s all false! It is merely an old wive’s tale that claims foods high in calcium and magnesium will lead to the conception of a girl. Similarly the claim that foods rich in potassium will lead to the conception of a boy is also a myth. There is certainly no scientific backing to the theory that yams help you convieve twins.
What is important, however, if you are trying for a pregnancy, is a healthy and balanced diet. Ensure that you are taking proper amounts of all the requisite nutrients instead of focusing on such bogus myths.
Fertility Myth 2: It is easy to get pregnant
As surprising as it sounds, it is actually not easy to get pregnant! A healthy couple under 35 years of age has a maximum 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each month. There are a lot of factors that have to be just right for you to conceive successfully.
The factors that need to be alligned include:
- The woman needs to be at the peak of her ovulation cycle.
- The man’s sperm has to be of the right concentration and healthy
- The sperm has to be healthy enough to make it through the numerous barriers just to reach the egg
There is also no guarantee that the sperm will successfully fertilize the egg even if it does manage to reach it. It all depends on the condtions and timing.
For couples who are above 35 years of age it is even more difficult.
Fertility Myth 3: Infertility only happens to women
You couldn’t be further from the truth! Typically the break up for couples facing fertility issues looks something like this:
- 40 percent have causes related to female factors
- 40 percent have issues related to the male
- 10 percent will have problems in both partners
- 10 percent have unknown causes
In such a scenario it is clear that it is not only the woman who can suffer from infertility. Usually when couples go for a fertility check up the doctor will ask for both the man and the woman to get tested.
It is incorrect to assume that the problem lies only with one specific gender. Male infertility is also quite common among couples who opt for fertility treatments. These may arise from prior surgery, infection, or a problem present at birth among other reasons.
Fertility Myth 4: I have already conceived successfully before. I don’t need to worry about fertility.
Wrong. You need to remember that one of the key determinants for female fertility is age. You are older than when you conceived your first baby. You could also have developed complications from the earlier pregnancy that might make conceiving the second child difficult.
Secondary infertility is an important factor that you should be aware of if you are trying to conceive for a second or third time. It can be described as the inability to conceive, even after regular unprotected sexual intercourse, after the birth of one or more children.
Causes for secondary infertility can include age, internal complications from previous childbirth. Secondary infertility can affect males also. These could be due to changes and deterioration in lifestyle, smoking, excessive drinking, and weight gain.
Couples under 35, who have conceived before, unable to conceive again after one year of trying should consult a doctor. For couples over 35, the time to consider taking a fertility test is after six months of trying to get pregnant.
Fertility Myth 5: Women are getting pregnant all the time, even at 40. So it is ok for me too wait.
No two women follow the same fertility pattern. It is not a surety that just because some women are able to conceive at 40, you will be able to do so too. Even if women in your own family have successfully gotten pregnant and delivered at 40 and over, it does not mean you will be able to also.
A woman’s fertility faces a sharp decline from 37 years of age. If you want to have a baby, it is advisable that you start trying well before you hit this age. From around 35 years a woman’s egg starts to deteriorate in quality and supply.
It is best not to wait till 40 if you really do want to have a baby. Start trying well before you are 35 to improve your chances at getting pregnant.
Fertility Myth 6: Infertility is a modern day problem.
In one word, no. It may have become more openly and frequently discussed among couples today. It has also received more coverage worldwide in recent times. However, that said, it does not signify that the problem is in any way more prevalent now than before.
It is merely that it is being talked about more openly now. There has been open discussion on fertility issues faced by celebreties. It has even been the topic for many television talk shows. There has also been major advancement in technology such as embryo freezing that has brought the topic into greater limelight.
Fertility Myth 7: It doesn’t matter if I am overweight.
Truth is that, after age, Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most important criteria that can affect fertility in both men and women. Studies have shown that overweight men and women have been more successful at getting pregnant once they have reduced weight and reached an ideal BMI.
An overweight woman poses great risk to both herself and the unborn baby during pregnancy. There are increased chances of gestational diabetes, heart disease, and many others. If you are overweight and do manage to conceive there is a greater risk of having a miscarriage for you.
Fertility Myth 8: Using birth control decreases fertility
Yes, it is obvious that for women NOT wanting to get pregnant, birth control is a valuable tool. However, in some cases we will begin a patient’s treatment protocol with a 2 to 4-week dose of birth control pills, which has shown to improve the outcome of treatment. For example, for women with PCOS, a short period on birth control can suppress testosterone and LH levels. Birth control can help prevent ovaries from making a single dominant follicle instead of many follicles to create multiple eggs.
Fertility Myth 9: The only way to treat infertility is IVF
You will be surprised to find out that there is indeed a whole spectrum of alternative treatment options out there. For those of you who are looking for a procedure that is not as medically intrusive as IVF, there are other options.
Once you have undergone the tests to determine the cause (or causes), your doctor is likely to recommend a course of treatment that oftentimes will begin with what’s usually referred to as low-tech or basic treatments. These include timed intercourse with an oral medication.
If this line of treatment does not bear results, you move on to the next step – intrauterine insemination (IUI). This is an in-office procedure where healthy sperm is directly injected into a woman’s uterus. It takes just minutes and the patient can return to her regular activities afterwards.
In Vitro fertilization (IVF) is generally used as the last line of treatment in most couples.
Fertility Myth 10: Lifting my legs up after having sex will help me to conceive
This is yet another common misconception. It is belived that by doing this you will encourage the semen to flow into your cervix. But, medically speaking, there is really no need to do this. It is in fact best for you to just lie still for about half an hour after intercourse.
By doing this you will allow the semen to pool in your cervix. From there the sperms are in a better position to make their run for the egg.
Fertility Myth 11: Eating or abstaining from certain foods can improve my chances of conceiving
You may have heard that drinking too much coffee is associated with infertility, but there is no evidence to confirm this link. It’s generally considered safe to consume 200-300mg of caffeine daily while trying to conceive.
Conversely, consuming antioxidant-rich foods will not help boost your fertility. Free radicals, which are the waste products from your cells, may be toxic to eggs and sperm. Many women believe that a diet rich in antioxidants – which reduce the oxidative stress brought on by these free radicals – can improve fertility. However, currently there is limited evidence to support this.
If you are trying to get pregnant or are finding it hard even after trying, then it is always better to consult a medical professional. Do not depend on old wive’s tales and common notions without having factual data supporting them.
Remember, the key to successful treatment for fertility is giving yourself enough time. So instead of relying on half-baked methods get the oppinion of a doctor and get yourself tested. If there is indeed a problem your doctor will be able to help guide you through the treatment procedure.