Fertility Myths Busted

29th April 2022

Trying to conceive can be a very emotional time, and with so many fertility myths around it can also be a time of confusion. In this article we will bust the most common fertility myths so that you can concentrate on proven ways to boost your fertility.

Myth 1 – Struggling to conceive is usually due to the woman

False! It is common for women to feel responsible if conception does not occur. However, although around half of fertility problems are due to female factors, the other half occur due to malefactors. In some couples, both partners may have a factor that makes it harder to conceive. 

In recent years, scientists have noticed an increasing trend for male infertility due to reduced sperm count. In future, male factors may therefore become more prominent than female factors. 

The only way to know if and where there is a medical cause for difficulty conceiving is to undergo clinical testing. 

Myth 2 – Ovulation always occurs on day 14

False! If you have a regular, 28-day menstrual cycle, you are likely to ovulate around day 14. However, the day may change slightly each month. If you have a shorter or longer cycle, conception will occur earlier or later in your cycle respectively. 

If you are trying to conceive, it is important to try to work out when you are most likely to ovulate, so that you can ensure you have sex around the time when you are likely to be most fertile.

Myth 3 – You are most likely to conceive after ovulation

False! You are most likely to conceive from the five days prior to ovulation until the day of ovulation. 

This is because an egg cell only lives for 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. Sperm cells, however, live for 5 days (sometimes up to 7 days). If you have sex in the days just before you are due to ovulate, the sperm cells will be in the right place for fertilisation to occur once the egg has been released. 

Myth 4 – Your body position after sex aids conception

False! You may have heard that lying in bed, propping your legs up vertically, or tilting your pelvis in a certain way after sex will increase your chances of conception. However, there is no scientific truth to this as research has not shown that body position can make any difference to conception. 

However, if staying in bed or lifting your legs makes you feel that you are doing something helpful, then there is absolutely no harm in doing this when trying to conceive!

Myth 5 – Stress impacts fertility

False! All of the scientific evidence shows that stress does not impact your fertility. In fact, the countries with the highest birth rates are those that are war torn or have high rates of economic poverty. This suggests that these extreme stressors have not affected fertility.

However, the caveat to this is that some of the lifestyle choices you might make when stressed can affect your fertility. Increasing alcohol intake, reducing physical activity, working excessive hours, eating poorly and smoking are all commonly recognised coping mechanisms. However, they are best avoided as they could negatively impact your fertility. 

Myth 6 – Pineapples help you to get pregnant

False! Although there is a substance within pineapples that could aid conception, the quantity required to have an effect is so large that it would be impossible to consume enough pineapple.

If you enjoy eating pineapples, there is no harm in eating them prior to conception. However, they will not help you to get pregnant. 

Pregnancy supplements are a far easier way to consume the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body requires to support healthy conception and pregnancy. 

Final Thoughts

There are so many fertility myths in circulation that it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. Having regular sex around the time of ovulation and making healthy lifestyle choices are the most important steps when you first start trying to conceive.

If you are worried about your fertility, you may like to check your fertility potential in the comfort of your own home with a convenient and easy to use testing kit

Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns, are struggling to conceive, or think you might require further investigation.