Whether you’re pregnant or currently trying to conceive, you’ve probably already heard a million different “facts” that you should keep in mind before, during, and after pregnancy. Even though some of these common tips or guidelines have been around for years, don’t believe everything you hear. To help you decipher what’s true and untrue, we’ve broken down the top 10 pregnancy myths.
Top 10 Fertility and Pregnancy Myths
Myth 1: Stress Is One of the Causes of Infertility
This pregnancy myth is both true and not true. Stress certainly can affect men’s fertility and fertility in women, but it is rarely the sole cause of infertility. There are two mechanisms by which stress can “cause” infertility. The first is if the stress is extreme and the woman stops ovulating; the second is if the stress causes the couple to stop having sex or to have sex less frequently.
Myth 2: If You Stop Thinking About It, Pregnancy Will Happen Naturally
This is simply not true and, when facing infertility issues, is practically impossible. You need to make sure that you are having sex at a time when the sperm will reach the egg during ovulation.
Myth 3: Breastfeeding Equals Birth Control
Breastfeeding can extend the amount of time before your period returns, after giving birth. However, this is not true for all women, and the effects are strongest for only a couple months after giving birth. Even during this time, conception is certainly possible.
Myth 4: Good Health Conquers Age
Good health, though important for pregnancy, cannot make up for time. The quality of a woman’s egg starts to decrease dramatically after the age of 35 which can cause infertility in women.
Myth 5: Pregnant Women Need to Eat Twice as Much as They Did Before
While this pregnancy myth is talked about often, it is completely untrue. Yes, pregnant women are eating for two, but you really only need about 200 calories over your normal diet. You have to take into consideration that you’re eating extra to feed a baby, not another full-grown adult.
Myth 6: You Need to Orgasm in Order to Conceive
While an orgasm may be an important factor in keeping a couple interested in sex, this pregnancy myth is false. An orgasm is not necessary for pregnancy to occur. However, an orgasm, which contracts the uterus, does help to push sperm toward the fallopian tubes. Even though it may help, sperm can easily move in the right direction without one.
Myth 7: Only Women Need to Take Supplements Before a Pregnancy
While nutrients are very important for women while trying to conceive, men can also benefit from the addition of supplements to improve the chances of pregnancy and the health of your baby. Folic acid is important in the fertility of women and men. Low levels of folic acid can lead to birth defects.
Myth 8: Lifting Your Legs in the Air for 20 Minutes After Having Sex Will Help You Get Pregnant
The idea behind this myth is that gravity will help the sperm to stay in the woman’s body and increase the chance of them reaching the egg. While this pregnancy myth appears to make sense, it is unnecessary. Sperm do not need help knowing where to go, and of the millions of sperm in each ejaculation, only one is needed to make it to the egg.
Myth 9: Flying Can Increase Your Risk of Pregnancy Complications
Another common pregnancy myth is that flying is bad for you and your baby’s health. While it is true that airport body scanners, x-ray machines, and flying at high altitudes exposes you to a small amount of radiation, it has been shown that the effects are minimal and unlikely to cause fetal exposure.
Myth 10: He Does Not Have Any Fertility Problems; He is Already a Dad
Men’s fertility, like women’s fertility, is affected by age. Especially after the age of 40, men will start to see an increase in genetic mutations in sperm, as well as an overall decrease in volume and mobility of semen. Just because they’ve fathered children in the past does not mean they can continue to do it in the future.
And there you have it! While the list of fertility and pregnancy myths goes on and on, now you know the truth about some of the most common ones. If you have more questions about fertility and pregnancy, reach out to a specialist and book an appointment at Red Rock Fertility Center!