6 Common Misconceptions You Might Have about Trying to Conceive

Picture this: you didn’t get pregnant on your first try, so you spend the next two weeks reading every article and blog on tips to conceive. You’re surprised to find an article for everything, from food that increases fertility to recommended positions and schedules for intercourse. Does any of this sound familiar to you? It is a completely normal scenario that almost all moms goes through before finally, successfully getting pregnant. But with so much information available online, how can you tell what is fact and what is fiction? We needed to consult a pro, so we asked Dr. Marie Victoria Cruz-Javier, Obstetrician-Gynecologist, to help us navigate through the noise surrounding trying to conceive. We listed 6 common misconceptions you can now set aside to set yourself up for success. Keep reading to find out more!

You should only have sex when you're "ovulating."

Usually, couples who are trying to conceive only have sex only during the time of their supposed “ovulation.” There is nothing wrong with doing with that, but ovulation may vary and can be affected by lifestyle changes. If you’re targeting a single date on your calendar every month, you could easily miss the fertile window. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact day and time a woman is most fertile, so it’s best to have intercourse at least 2-3 times a week during the fertile period for higher chances of pregnancy.


Relying on period apps is enough to determine ovulation.

Most period and ovulation tracker apps assume a 28-day to 32-day menstrual cycle. While this is the worldwide average for women, there is still a chance you have a shorter or longer cycle, which means you are planning for pregnancy with an inaccurate calendar. Other options you may want to consider to determine your fertility include over-the-counter ovulation predictor kits and the Billings Ovulation Method, which is based on careful observation of a woman’s cervical mucus during her menstrual cycle.


"Missionary Position" is best if you're trying to get pregnant. 

There really isn’t one best position to get pregnant. A man’s sperm can travel into your uterus and fertilize an egg whether or not follow this conception myth. You shouldn’t let trying to conceive change your sex life as a couple because the planning and the pressure may do more harm than good. Rather than stressing out over positions, it would be better to prepare yourself for pregnancy with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.


You should abstain from sex until your fertile window. 

If you’re planning to abstain to “save up” sperm for your next fertile window, that might not be the best idea. Long periods of abstinence can actually decrease the quality of a man’s sperm. Rather than abstaining until ovulation, it’s best to have intercourse regularly, like every 2-3 days, because this is also the expected lifespan of the sperm. As long as fertility is not in question, this is more than enough time to replenish his supply in between.


Lying down with your legs raised increases your chances. 

We don’t know for sure where or why this myth was started, but what we do know is that it has been repeated and passed down through generations. It’s commonly asked how long a woman should lie down flat or raise her legs against a wall after sex. The logic being, gravity can help sperm travel to the cervix when legs are elevated, and gravity might negatively affect fertilization when standing straight. While the reasoning may appear sound, there are no studies that have confirmed a correlation between this practice and subsequent pregnancy rates. However, there have been studies that prove sperm immediately travels towards the right direction, whether a woman decides to elevate her legs or stand on them.


You don't need to consult a doctor or fertility expert unless you're over 40. 

It’s recommended to visit your gynaecologist or urologists before getting married to be properly evaluated. Men and women, even those younger than 40, can benefit from seeing their doctor annually to maintain reproductive health. Should any infertility issues be present, they are able to diagnose and treat them early, giving you more time for when you are ready to start a family. If you’re already married, it’s advisable to consult your gynaecologist or a fertility expert after 1 year of having unprotected sex. However, factors such as age of the couple and other underlying medical conditions also have to be considered and might require an earlier appointment.


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