6 Fertility Myths That Could Be Hurting You When Trying to Conceive
The myths and misunderstanding about fertility (and infertility) are everywhere—the internet (of course), the dorm room, your local mani-pedi salon, and even some doctor’s offices. Sadly, you are often most susceptible to this misinformation when you are trying to conceive.
What you don’t know, or think you do know, about fertility can hurt you, especially if time is not on your side when trying to get pregnant. Have you ever heard these six myths of infertility?
1. You are most fertile when you first stop taking the birth control pill.
Nope. It usually takes about 2-3 months for your cycles to get back to normal when you stop taking the pill. It can take even longer if you have been using injectable or implantable birth control, such as Norplant or Depro-Provera, since it takes longer for them to clear your system. Give yourself 3 to 6 months with these longer-lasting forms of birth control.
2. Taking the pill will reduce your fertility.
There is no evidence that birth control pills affect a woman’s fertility and make it harder for her to get pregnant when she stops. In fact, taking the pill might slow down the natural egg loss that occurs as a woman ages, thus offering some protection for a woman’s fertility. (You should not rely on this “protection” to extend your fertile years.)
3. Cheapo Ovulation Predictor Kits and Pregnancy Tests are just as good.
I love a good price and saving money as much as the next person, but not all ovulation predictor kits and pregnancy tests are created equal. Often the knock-off or cheaper brands use less of the chemical reactant on the stick and thus may not be as accurate or consistent.
4. Your male partner should wear boxers.
It doesn’t matter whether your guy wears boxers or briefs. So long as his underwear is not tight around his scrotum (such as g-string briefs or the so-called “nut huggers”), the type of underwear will not affect his fertility.
5. Missionary position is best.
This one is partly true. Having fun sex is important when trying to conceive, so feel free to spice things up with different positions, but during the most fertile times of the month when you are ovulating avoid positions with the woman on top because we want gravity on our side in keeping the sperm inside long enough for the little swimmers to make it through the cervix.
6. Early morning sex is best.
There is some research to support that having sex later at night or early in the morning might be preferable for getting pregnant, but since the egg lives about 24 hours and sperm lives 48 hours, the time of day you have intercourse is not that important. Choose the time that fits your mood and schedule.
What myths have you heard about trying to get pregnant?
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First published in 2017. Updated in 2018. Image credit: Buster Hew Image credit: wolfkann