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1.03 Fertility Myths and Fairy Tales

Today we are going to debunk 7 myths and fairy tales around falling pregnant.

Number 1: you need to stop the pill 3 months before you fall pregnant.

The truth is that the pill is out of your system within a few days. If your periods don’t come back normally, it has nothing to do with the pill. In the same way implanon and the IUCD will also be immediately reversible.

Some other forms of contraception need to be stopped earlier, like depoprovera – this may take months to clear form your system.

So, no need to stop until you are ready.

Number 2: you don’t need any help until you have been trying to conceive for 12 months.

The answer is that it doesn’t matter so much how long you have been trying, but more how long you have not used any contraception for.

In general, we advise that you seek help if you have not used any contraception for 12 months. If you are over the age of 35, we would reduce that to 6 months.

If you or your partner have a known problem, including irregular periods, you should seek help immediately.

Number 3: As long as you are healthy, you will not have a problem.

Unfortunately, this is not true and age remains the greatest determinant of your chance of falling pregnant. It doenst matter how healty you are, your chances of falling pregnant drop after 35, become critical over 40 and it is pretty much all over by 45.

Number 4: You can only have sex every second day.

The answer here is that you should have sex every second day around the time of ovulation, but feel free to have sex every day if you want to. If a man ejaculates more frequently, the sperm count drops but the quality improves. So having sex more frequently doesn’t reduce your chances of falling pregnant – doenst increase them either

Similarly, if he ejaculates less frequently, the volume increases, but the quality goes down – so it really doesn’t matter.

Ovulation normally happens 14 days before your period is due. The first day of your period is the first day that you have full flow – so if the period comes before lunch, we call that the first day, Don’t count any spotting. So if you have a 28 day cycle, ovulation is likely around day 14, and the best days to have sex are days 12 14 and 16.

If you have a 35 day cycle, then ovulation is around day 21 and you should have sex on days 19 21 and 23.

If your cycles are longer than 35 days or shorter than 21 days, you should seek help.

Number 5: Certain sex position increase your chances of falling pregnant.

Fortunately, there is no evidence for this at all, regardless of which way your uterus is tilted. The same goes for lying on your back with a pillow under your bottom for half an hour. Makes no difference to the chances of falling pregnant

Number 6: Wearing tight underwear, reduces your sperm health.

While testicles are designed to be cooled, there is no evidence that tight clothing will reduce your sperm count – otherwise most populations in the Afirca, South America and South East Asia would not be able to conceive. So , another myth busted.

Number 7: Finally, my favourite myth is that it will all just happen if you just relax.

Stress can absolutely interfere with your chances of conceiving. But, by definition, stress is something that you have no or little control over. Even worse, the interventions we have to reduce stress have not been shown to increase your chances of falling pregnant. So, telling someone to relax, is just going to increase their stress. If someone tells you that, resist the urge to smack them around the head and reduce your stress by walking away.

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