There are many old housewives' tales on how to improve your chances of getting pregnant, but unfortunately, not all of them work. Here are some of the conception myths EIRMC hears most often, as well as the facts that prove them false.
Myth #1: If you are trying to conceive, don't exercise.
When you're trying to conceive, keeping your body in good shape is top priority. Exercise is a wonderful way for women who are trying to conceive to stay in shape, perhaps lose a few extra pounds, and even reduce their stress levels. A moderate exercise routine can prepare your body for conceiving, supporting a fetus and eventually, giving birth.
Myth #2: You can control your baby's gender.
Nope. Evidenced-based medical trials have not been able to prove that timing intercourse relative to ovulation can increase the chances of conceiving a girl or a boy. In fact, couples that try to follow these methods may have more trouble reproducing because they may avoid having intercourse at the most optimal times for conceiving.
Myth #3: You better reproduce in your 20s or you are out of luck.
There is no precise threshold for which conceiving is less likely. Doctors start to see a steeper decline in fertility in women in their late 30s and 40s. Conception rates also seem to decline as the man in the relationship gets further beyond age 40.
Myth #4: Once you are pregnant, miscarriage is very rare.
Sadly, miscarriages are a very common occurrence. Sources vary, but many estimate that approximately one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage; and some estimates are as high as one in three.
Myth #5: If you are breastfeeding, you can't get pregnant.
While breastfeeding may delay ovulation and your period, be aware that you can still get pregnant.
Myth #6: Performing a headstand will help sperm find their way to fertilize the egg.
Sperm cells are chemically programmed to travel in the right direction, no matter where your pelvis is pointing.
Myth #7: Special diets can boost your chances of getting pregnant.
There is still not evidence that any specific diet will increase your chances of getting pregnant. However, it's best to eat healthy, especially if you're trying to conceive.
If you're trying to conceive a child, or are thinking of starting a family, it's best to be in optimal preconception health. Your OBGYN can help answer your questions, and get you on the road to a baby.