Archive for the 'Conception' Category

Conception Myths

When you’re trying to conceive, you’ll find myths all over the internet and in the advice of well-meaning friends and relatives. A close friend and I recently went through this adventure together (well, not together, of course…) and, in researching for this post, I noticed we were perpetuating some old wives’ tales to each other!

The myth we were most guilty of repeating to each other? “Just relax and don’t think about it. That’s when it will happen.?

Extreme, life-threatening stress may cause temporary reproductive problems, but lying in bed wondering, “Was this the night?? or spending money on EPTs so you can test five days before your period is expected will not prevent the pregnancy from happening.

Tracking your fertility, either by tracking the dates of your periods to predict ovulation, tracking your basal body temperature, or tracking cervical mucous, (in other words, “worrying? about when you’re ovulating) are easy methods that do help!

Other myths relate to sexual positions when trying to conceive. The missionary position, especially with the woman lying with a pillow beneath her hips, deposits the sperm closer to the cervix. It can offer a slight advantage over vertical positions when trying to conceive.

However, one myth recommends the woman stands on her head (either during or after sex) so the sperm aren’t fighting gravity. If you want to try this for fun (and are physically adept enough to do so) go for it! But the fact is, it is entirely possible to conceive from woman-on-top, standing up, doggy-style, and almost any other position you can imagine.

However, douching after sex can actually wash some of the sperm away. It also alters the acidity of the vagina, making it harder for the sperm to live. So that’s a no-no.

What about men’s myths? One we’ve heard a lot is that wearing briefs instead of boxers lowers the sperm count. While research does show that sperm prefer cooler temperatures—that’s why it’s a good idea to stay out of the hot tub while TTC—doctors say that in healthy men with no fertility issues, the difference in sperm count based on wearing boxers and briefs is negligible.

According to an article on WebMD, approximately 60% of couples who are actively trying to conceive (having intercourse two to three times a week) will conceive within the first 6 months of trying, 75% within 9 months, 80% within a year, and 90% within 18 months.

Since my husband and I started trying to conceive in September of last year, I read all the myths, considered a few, and started tracking my cycles by means of a fertility calculator.

We didn’t worry too much about positions. While I remained aware of my most fertile periods, we had sex about three times a week throughout the month. I did remain lying down for about 20 minutes after sex. After reading this “myth? online, I decided I liked the idea of just relaxing after sex, whether it helped our TTC efforts or not.

If my calculations are correct, it’s entirely possible we conceived during a quickie, standing up. Afterwards, I sat at the kitchen table to do an interview for an Internet radio show. With so much going on, the thought didn’t even cross my mind that it may have been “the night.?

Coincidence? Or maybe there is something to the myth of just relaxing and letting nature take its course?

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