When you’re trying to get pregnant, you may be overwhelmed by all of the misconceptions surrounding the subject. There are plenty of myths perpetuated by old wives’ tales and Internet hearsay that puts out deceptive theories as to what affects conception. While there are certainly positive and negative ways that conceiving can be affected, many of the ideas out there are simply myths. Here are some common sexual myths about conception:
1. Myth: Certain Sex Positions Can Increase your Chances of Conception
The idea here is that certain positions that allow for deeper penetration are thought to position the sperm closer to the cervix, increasing the chances of it reaching the egg. Although it’s posited that deep penetration may help the sperm move closer, there aren’t many studies that show this conclusively. Besides, it’s the job of the cervical mucus to move the sperm towards the egg regardless of the sex position used.
2. Myth: You Can’t Get Pregnant During Menstruation
It is a popular opinion that you cannot conceive during your menstruation if you have unprotected sex. However, there is no certainty to this. While chances of conception are certainly lower during this time, it is still a real possibility as there are only a few days where women are especially at a low risk of getting pregnant.
3. Myth: You Can’t Get Pregnant the First Time You Have Sex
This is another popular belief that young girls often have which can lead to pregnancy. It’s a definite myth because any woman who is ovulating has the ability to conceive no matter how many times she’s had sex.
4. Myth: A Woman Must Orgasm in Order to Conceive
It is thought that uterine contractions that result from orgasms can help perpetuate the sperm’s movement into the cervix. However, this assumption is false. While an orgasm might actually help the sperm move in the direction of the egg, it is not needed whatsoever to conceive.
5. Myth: Lying on Your Back for 20 Minutes After Sex with Your Legs in the Air Will Help You Conceive
The idea is that gravity will help propel the sperm deeper into the direction they need to go while lying on your back post-intercourse. However, there is no scientific evidence that this will increase your chances of getting pregnant. Ejaculation contains tons of sperm that know how to make their way to the egg after sex, no matter the conditions.
6. Myth: Drinking Alcohol Reduces Fertility
While it’s true that drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to detrimental health effects and potentially affect your cycles, there is no harm whatsoever in drinking alcohol at a moderate level.
7. Myth: Cough Syrup Can Help You Conceive
This myth suggests that guaifenesin, one of the common ingredients found in cough syrup, increases fertility by thinning the cervical mucus to make it easier for sperm to travel. However, there have been no studies to prove that this actually works, so it’s best to stay away from cough syrup unless you actually have a cough.
8. Myth: Swallowing Semen Can Make You More Fertile
While semen does have strange benefits (it does contain a lot of protein after all), this myth is undoubtedly false. No studies have proven that swallowing your man’s semen will make you more fertile.
9. Myth: Having Sex Every Day Will Help Your Chances of Conceiving
No matter how many times you have sex in a day, it won’t increase your odds any more than if you only have sex once a day. The only way to increase your chances of conception is to have sex during your ovulation cycle.
10. Myth: You Can Only Conceive During Intercourse
Many people think that it is only possible to get pregnant while having sex. In reality, sperm can survive in the body for three to five days in the reproductive tract. This makes it entirely possible for a woman to get pregnant after intercourse if she starts ovulating post-coitus. This is why having sex in the days leading up to ovulation significantly helps increase the odds of getting pregnant.
11. Birth Control Pills Can Harm Long-Term Fertility
Birth control pills are a widely used form of contraception for women. Some beliefs suggest that birth control pills can negatively affect a woman’s fertility if taken for a long time. While the pill works to inhibit ovulation to prevent pregnancy while being taken, once a woman stops taking birth control pills she will be able to get pregnant, as her fertility returns to normal.
12. Myth: Lubricants Help Sperm Move Faster
The idea behind this myth is that the lubricant allows sperm to travel faster towards the egg. However, a woman’s natural cervical mucus is enough to facilitate this action, and lubricants can actually interfere with the cervical mucus and potentially affect the sperm negatively. Lubricants are able to alter the pH in the vaginal tract, making it inhospitable for sperm and even killing some off.
13. Myth: Green Tea Makes You More Fertile
While green tea is certainly beneficial to your health for various reasons, large amounts of green tea can actually decrease the effectiveness of folic acid, which is the nutrient in your body that is important for fetal development. Drinking small amounts of green tea, however, has been linked to a slight increase in fertility in some research because of its properties that help make eggs more viable by preventing cellular damage to reproductive organs.