When people finally decide to have a child, they might be at a loss for how exactly to go about it. They might have the mechanics down alright, but do they need to do anything extra to increase their chances of fertilizing early? Some people are intimidated by the fact that the act they used to share merely for intimacy or fun is now a medium for creating another life. The Internet can also be a blessing and a curse when trying to determine what to do to increase your fertility. While there’s plenty of information out there, it’s hard to wade through it all and verify what’s true and what is a perpetuated myth. We’ve outlined a few common fertility myths that all couples should be aware of.
Myth #1: You Need to Orgasm to Conceive
One of the older myths in the book is that women must orgasm to conceive. This couldn’t be more untrue. While having an orgasm is great, women can still get pregnant even if their partner ejaculates without giving them the same. The old theory was orgasm helps pull sperm up into the contracting uterus, but this was disproven by studies that show there is no correlation between conception and orgasm. Sperm can live in the reproductive tract for days, with or without an orgasm.
Myth #2: You Should Have Sex Daily
While you may really want a child, having sex every day until it happens is a good way to stress yourself and your partner out. Ovulation happens roughly every 14 days before the start of your next period. To make the most of this time, doctors suggest you have sex every 2 or 3 days starting 18 days before your next period.
Myth #3: Only Have Sex on Day 14 of Your Cycle
This is also a bad idea. Begin having sex with your partner a few days before ovulation, starting around day 11. This will ensure sperm will be in the area already when your basal temperature is elevated. If you wait until exactly day 14, you could miss the perfect temperature window. Sperms are hardy little cells. They can stay in your cervix for 72 hours, waiting for the descending egg to arrive. They won’t be perishing anytime soon if you start a little early.
Myth #4: Stress Causes Infertility
Stress actually doesn’t cause infertility. However, it can make conceiving a little difficult. Stress can delay ovulation by suppressing the hormones needed during that time, but there is no study to link stress and fertility levels directly. Women all over the world are constantly under some sort of pressure, but they still manage to conceive. Do give yourself a break every once in a while. Too much emotional or physical stress could lower your progesterone levels, so it doesn’t hurt to take the opportunity to relax every once in a while.
Myth #5: Position Matters in Conception
This myth is neither true during or after sex. No magical sexual position or yoga pose following sex will make your spouse’s sperm any more likely to reach your ovum. Chemically, the sperm will always be programmed to reach the egg, no matter whether or not they’re getting help from gravity. With every ejaculation, the average amount of semen contains 20 to 80 million sperm in each cubic centimeter (cc), and there is about 2 to 3 cc of semen released each time.
Myth #6: Drinking Harms Fertility
Everything in moderation—if you have a couple of drinks every once in a while, this will have no effect on your fertility levels. The danger lies in excessive drinking, primarily because higher levels of toxicity in your blood is unhealthy. Drinking too much and too often can cause irregular cycles, which cuts down your chances of conceiving each month.
Myth #7: I’ll Have the Same Fertility as My Mother/Sister
Not all women will have the exact same fertility as the other women in their families. Other factors also contribute to conception, including consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Likewise, age plays a huge factor in the likelihood of conception. Fertility begins to fall around age 27 or 28. By age 40, a woman’s chances of getting pregnant are less than 5% per cycle. The best way to determine fertility is by checking with an obstetrician and gynecologist (OB/GYN).
Myth #8: Weight Won’t Affect Fertility
Extra weight is actually more influential on fertility than you might think. When men and women carry extra weight, hormonal shifts occur in the body that can affect ovulation and semen production. It’s estimated that 70% of women with fertility issues are also obese, and losing as little as 5% to 10% body weight can boost fertility in both sexes.
Myths #9: STIs Can’t Affect Fertility
If you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it can affect your ability to conceive. Both male and female reproductive systems can be compromised by various STIs, particularly if they have gone untreated. For example, chlamydia and gonorrhea can both cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility. PID can cause infection in the upper genital tract and can cause permanent scarring to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. While STI-related infertility is less common in men, the same diseases can still cause tissue damage to the epididymis and urethra. HIV can also cause immunodeficiency, which can reduce semen quality in men.
Myths # 10: You Can Determine the Sex of the Baby Beforehand
Nothing you do can affect the sex of the child unless you deliberately choose from a number of fertilized eggs with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. All techniques for a getting a boy or a girl, such as eating more of one fruit or conceiving during a particular time, are myths. The only thing that can determine which sex you get without IVF is chance. Everyone has a 50/50 chance to conceive either sex. However, individual men might have a predisposition to producing sperm with either two xx chromosomes or one x and one y chromosomes, meaning he might produce primarily one kind of sex.
If you have more questions about fertility or would like to schedule an appointment to determine your levels, talk to one of our skilled Boca Raton fertility physicians today. Our facility at Palm Beach Fertility Center is staffed by caring people that want to help you plan for your family’s future. We can help you create individual fertility plans that will fit your unique situation. Our lab is a well-maintained and clean environment with the latest technology, so everything we use is always properly handled to prevent contamination or security breaches. We also work to make our lab a warm, supportive environment. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (888) 819-5177 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment today.