When you’re trying to conceive, it’s important to avoid fertility myths. Myths can impede your journey, but it’s worth knowing about some common ones and why they are myths, not facts.
Common Fertility Myths
There are 10 fertility myths that are particularly common. They include the following:
- The missionary position is best: One common myth is that the missionary position is best for conceiving. In reality, there’s no best position and pregnancy can occur regardless of the position you use.
- Most infertility cases are due to the woman: The reality is that one-third of infertility cases involves the woman, one-third involves the man and one-third is due to both partners or unknown causes.
- You should start taking prenatal vitamins after you become pregnant: Women can benefit from taking a prenatal vitamin before they get pregnant. The vitamins can help improve egg quality and provide your future baby with the right nutrients and development they need.
- Regular monthly periods mean you’re fertile: Even if you’re regularly getting your period, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ovulating. Not ovulating can hinder conception and render you infertile.
- Men’s fertility doesn’t decline: Although men constantly produce sperm, the reality is that sperm quality can decline with age.
- Stress can cause infertility: Everyone deals with stress on a daily basis. Infertility causes stress, but stress doesn’t cause infertility.
- Food can affect fertility: There are no foods that have a causal relationship with infertility. However, consuming a well-balanced diet can improve your health as a whole.
- You need to have sex more: If you’re having trouble conceiving, being told to simply have more sex isn’t the answer. In reality, you should try every two days when you’re trying to get pregnant.
- It’s impossible to conceive after age 40: A common fertility myth is that women over age 40 cannot conceive. Although it’s more difficult without assistance, women can still get pregnant past 40. Even women who are in perimenopause can still get pregnant.
- Miscarriage runs in families: Miscarriage doesn’t run in families. In reality, miscarriages are more common than you might think. They usually occur due to chromosomal abnormalities.
Things to Avoid When Trying to Conceive
In addition to knowing about the above fertility myths, it’s important to avoid certain things when you’re trying to conceive:
- Not eating your greens: You should never skimp on your greens while trying to get pregnant. These foods can give your health a boost. Specifically, they contain high levels of folic acid, which you need when you’re aiming to get pregnant.
- Extreme exercise: Low and moderate exercise is good when you’re trying to conceive, but you should avoid anything that’s overly strenuous. It can adversely affect your menstrual cycle and fertility.
- Smoking: You should quit smoking before you start trying to conceive. This goes for women and men as smoking can negatively affect fertility for both sexes.
- Caffeine: Although you can still have a daily cup of coffee, you should cut down on caffeine. Limiting it to 200 milligrams or less per day is fine.
- High-mercury fish: Avoid eating fish that has a high mercury count such as swordfish, tuna, mackerel, shark, marlin and orange roughy.
- Excessive drinking: You should limit your alcohol consumption when you’re trying to conceive. Drinking can affect both women’s and men’s fertility.
- Stress: Although it’s impossible to completely eliminate stress, you can limit it. You can also incorporate deep-breathing exercises, meditation or yoga into your routine to keep stress to a minimum.
- Toxins: Toxins, including those found in everyday grooming and household products, can adversely affect your fertility. Parabens, in particular, are endocrine disrupters that can affect your ability to conceive or carry a healthy pregnancy to term. Carefully read labels on products to avoid these substances.
Knowing about fertility myths and what to avoid can help you get an edge when you’re trying to conceive.