Determining Fact From Fiction Around Fertility

Trying to conceive (TTC) can be a stressful time for a woman or couple. But the experience can become even more frustrating when well-meaning people provide unsolicited and often inaccurate advice to try to help a couple get that coveted positive pregnancy test result. Which myths top the list when discussing fertility and conception?

my texas health care obgyn Does Sex Position Matter For Getting Pregnant 3 Myths About Fertility

Myth 1: Some sex positions are better for conceiving

Consider that a man’s semen can contain hundreds of millions of sperm. As long as a couple that conceives naturally is having sex around the time of ovulation, the position doesn’t matter. A woman can technically get pregnant regardless of which position a couple uses. Likewise, after sex, a woman doesn’t have to remain lying down to help facilitate sperm mobility to the uterus. Evidence has proven that the behavior is unnecessary.

Myth 2: All women are fertile on the 14th day of the cycle

While the idea of every woman having the same ovulation schedule would be fantastic for couples trying to conceive, the reality is quite different. The belief that all women ovulate on day 14 of a cycle comes from people being taught that a menstrual cycle is 28 days and that ovulation occurs mid-cycle. But while the average is 28 days, normal is anywhere from 21-40 days. Considering the reality, ovulation may not always occur on day 14. Women with cycles longer or shorter than 28 days shouldn’t assume ovulation occurs on day 14. Instead, use an ovulation tracking method for better accuracy.

Myth 3: Couples can test for pregnancy immediately after sex

In a perfect world, couples could skip the anxiety-inducing two-week wait and immediately check for pregnancy results after having sex. The reality is different and is entirely due to biology, hormonal levels, and the conception timeline. Assuming a couple has sex during the ovulation window, the timeline may be as much as 6-7 days for an egg to be fertilized and a woman’s body to begin producing the pregnancy hormone hCG. At-home pregnancy tests rely on detecting hCG levels to determine pregnancy, so taking a test immediately after sex wouldn’t work. But most tests still need a high hCG level for an accurate reading. Experts recommend that women wait two weeks or until after the first missed period before taking a pregnancy test.

Skip the old wives tales

When a couple is trying to conceive, advice can create doubts and confusion. And especially if conception timelines take longer than expected, the desire to try anything to achieve success can be alluring. But although enduring, fertility myths aren’t rooted in fact and can often provide inaccurate information that can either increase the risk of unwanted pregnancies or create additional pressures for couples desperately trying to conceive. When in doubt, speak to a fertility specialist or physician for fact-based support.

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