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Top 10 Myths About Getting Pregnant

Myths about getting pregnant

If you’re trying for a baby chances are you can’t wait for a positive result! Friends and family may be keen to offer helpful tips, and of course the Internet has a wealth of advice on the topic.

But before you stick your partner’s prized bicycle on eBay and demand he apply an icepack to his nether regions, let’s take a look at a few of those old wives tales – is there really any truth to them?

What Are The Top Myths About Getting Pregnant And Are They True?

So you know exactly HOW to make a baby, and when you ovulate, but what will help and what might hinder? here are so many myths on what will help and tips to get pregnant faster. Do tighty-whities affect a man’s sperm count?

The grandma's tale that cough medicine makes conceiving easier. Is that true? Quick!! Put your legs up against the wall. But should you?

There will be things you can do to help yourself get pregnant faster. Stay stress free, eat healthy foods and do moderate exercise. But What about the rest of the theories? We will break them down for you!

Myth 1:  “Men Should Wear Boxers, Not Briefs”

Although it’s true that sperm quality can be affected by prolonged exposure to higher temperatures, studies haven’t shown a significant difference in sperm quality between men who wear tight underpants compared to those who wear looser underwear.

In the same vein, cycling in tight shorts hasn’t been proven to have a negative impact on getting pregnant either.

Myth 2: “You Should Lie With Your Legs Up In The Air For 20 Minutes After Sex”

It doesn’t matter what position you have sex in, if you get up immediately afterwards, or even if you stand on your head for half an hour!  Just after ejaculation the sperm move through the cervix, into the uterus and towards the fallopian tubes. The rest of the fluid that makes up semen generally follows gravity.

Myth 3: “Taking The Contraceptive Pill For Too Long Can Stop You Getting Pregnant In The Future”

The contraceptive pill is only effective when you’re taking it. Once you stop taking the pill you’ll go back to ovulating as normal within a few weeks.

However, there are some contraceptives that can cause a delay in fertility returning – the contraceptive injection may affect fertility for several months after stopping this method.

Myth 4:  “Eating Non-Organic Bananas Can Make Men Sterile”

This myth seems to have emerged after men working in banana plantations, exposed to fertilisers and pesticides, developed fertility problems. There’s no evidence that eating the bananas caused any harm though, and bananas are actually very good for you.

Interestingly a small study suggests a link between other non-organic fruit and vegetables and poorer quality sperm. However, the study also found that increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables, even if they weren’t organic, was still better than a diet low on these foods, so it’s not an excuse to miss out on your 5-a-day.

Myth 5:  “You Can Only Get Pregnant On One Day Of The Month”

The window in which sex could result in pregnancy is much bigger than this. Sperm live for around 5 - 7 days in the fallopian tubes AFTER ejaculation so having sex for up to a week before ovulation could result in pregnancy.

The egg, once it’s released, is viable for around 12 – 24 hours but it’s hard to pinpoint EXACTLY when ovulation will occur (even with ovulation kits).

The best advice is to have sex every couple of days. If you do this in the days preceding ovulation there should be plenty of sperm ready to fertilise the egg once it’s released.

Typically ovulation will occur around day 14 but this varies between women, and sometimes even from one cycle to the next so it’s recommended to have sex frequently and not worry too much about the timing.

Myth 6: “Cooling The Scrotum With An Icepack Benefits Sperm Production”

This myth probably has its root in the fact that temperature of the testes is usually about two degrees cooler than the rest of the body. If the temperature in the scrotum is significantly higher this can impact negatively on semen quality. However, variations in temperature need to be prolonged to have an impact, and it takes over two months for sperm to mature. Whilst the link between raised scrotal temperatures and poor sperm quality is recognised, there’s not really evidence to support the use of cooling packs. 

Getting Pregnant

Myth 7: “You Need To Orgasm To Get Pregnant”

Well of course the male partner needs to ejaculate, but a female orgasm isn’t necessary for conception. The theory behind this is that during an orgasm the uterus contracts, thus helping sperm move along the fallopian tubes. This may well be the case but there’s no proof that it increases your chances of conceiving. 

Myth 8: “Drinking Too Much Coffee Will Reduce Your Fertility”

Research into this hasn’t produced any evidence that it’s true, and although there’s some emerging evidence that high levels of caffeine consumption might be detrimental during pregnancy, it’s not thought to have an impact on getting pregnant.

Myth 9: “You Can’t Get Pregnant If You Are Breastfeeding”

Yes, you can. For the first 6 months after your baby is born, if you’re fully breastfeeding and you’re not having periods then this is about 95% effective at preventing pregnancy.

If your baby is older than 6 months, if you regularly give your baby a bottle (and possibly even a dummy) or if you’re having periods then it’s unlikely that breastfeeding will affect your fertility enough to prevent you from getting pregnant.

Myth 10: “Take Cough Syrup To Improve Your Cervical Mucus”

Some cough syrups contain an ingredient called guaifenesin that can have a thinning effect on cervical mucus, in theory making it easier for sperm to move through it.

There’s no conclusive evidence that taking syrups containing this ingredient have any impact on pregnancy rates and there are potentially risks of taking this medication during pregnancy so it’s probably best to avoid it! 

Article By

Amy is a busy mum to two girls and two boys. She enjoys arts, crafts and playing outside with her family. With plenty of experience Amy enjoys taking time out to share her experiences, tips and ideas with us.

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