It seems like everyone has an opinion on how best to get pregnant. Some are even experts on the topic! Or so they claim…
Today, our aim is to debunk the folklore, discredit the fake news and demystify the fertility fabrications.
Welcome to Hertility Health’s Fertility Mythbusters! Let’s get to the truth behind the tongue wagging.
1. Position matters
Fertility Myth. There is no verified scientific proof that any one sexual position is the baby-making winner here. Oh, and while we’re on the topic, female-on-top does not help decide the gender of the baby. From pillows under the hips during, to lying with your legs in the air afterwards, the internet is swarming with old wives’ tales regarding best practice, but the science remains unchanged. So long as ejaculation occurs well inside the vagina, pick whatever position floats your boat. Hey, try them all to be sure!
2. Fertility foods
Fertility Fact. But in a ‘flip-side’ kind of way. Whilst there is no proven ‘fertility food’ to get you pregnant (I’m picturing a golden apple at the end of a perilous Harry Potter quest), UNHEALTHY eating habits can affect your fertility. Being over or under weight to any significant degree can disrupt your menstrual cycle, potentially reducing your chance of conception. Aim for a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats like olive oil and avoid processed sugars. One thing doctors agree on is that folic acid, found in leafy greens and oranges among other foods, is key for healthy pregnancies.
3. IVF is a fertility failsafe
Fertility Myth. Although according to a 2018 HFEA report, IVF treatment is now 85% more likely to succeed than it was in 1991, the birth rate per embryo transferred is 21%, meaning that it is in no way a guarantee. There are a host of factors affecting the success rate which women should be aware of.
4. You can’t get pregnant on your period
Fertility Myth. Due to the difference in each individual’s menstrual cycles, those with shorter cycles may ovulate within a closer time period to their bleed. As sperm can survive inside the female body for up to five days, it is possible (although unlikely) for a woman to get pregnant, if the timings align.
5. Have sex as much as you can to conceive
Fertility Myth. Sex is obviously key to conceiving naturally, however having sex every waking minute until the line on the pregnancy test turns blue is as impractical as it is ill-advised. And exhausting! For males with a low sperm count, too much sex will leave their bodies struggling to keep up with the demand for producing new swimmers. Trying to time sex so that it coincides with the fertile window is one helpful way in which to increase your chances of conceiving. If the maths of tracking dates all gets too much, aim to have sex around roughly every other day – this means you should end up doing it at least once during your fertile window!
6. Infertility is usually ‘the woman’s fault’
Fertility Myth. First of all, there is no ‘usual’ when it comes to fertility. Fertility problems affect many individuals and couples. According to guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the estimation is that infertility affects one in seven heterosexual UK couples. The same research also indicates that a quarter of infertility is ‘unexplained’ for either men or women, in 40% of cases, problems are found in both men and women.
7. Fertility problems are on the rise
Fertility Fact. A 2018 report released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2019 revealed a reduction in fertility rates for the sixth year running. While these findings on their own do not prove that fertility problems are on the rise (a number of other factors must be considered, such as those choosing to remain childless due to climate concerns), the HFEA’s Trends and Figures report released in May 2019 seems to concur that IVF treatment is steadily increasing.
If you’re ready to start tracking your fertility, or have any questions about your overall female health, we’d love to help you out. Why not join our waitlist and we’ll let you know when we’re live so we can help guide you along the fertility path.