7 Fertility Myths Debunked with Fertility Facts!
There is a ton of information about fertility and conception out there. However, it can become very difficult to separate the truth from fertility myths. Not all ‘facts’ about your reproductive health that you might believe are, well, ‘facts.’ While a few so-called facts might have a nugget of truth to them, some are so outrageously made up that they need to be busted!
Let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions that have made rounds on the internet garbed as facts, shall we?
Fertility Myth 1: If you get your period regularly, it means that you have good fertility
Unfortunately, this is not true at all. Having regular periods is a good sign because it tells you that you are ovulating every month. However, merely ovulating every month is not the only thing that is required for conception. Many things have to go right to get pregnant, and ovulating roughly around the same time every month is not a guarantee that there is nothing wrong elsewhere.
Another issue is that menstrual bleeding does not necessarily mean that you are ovulating either. Menstrual cycles can be anovulatory as well. In such cycles, you have menstrual bleeding, but ovulation or egg release from the ovaries does not occur.
Some of the reasons for anovulatory cycles include:
- If you have polyps, fibroids, or cervical lesions
- Are you on oral birth control pills
- Have an unusually thick endometrial lining due to a PCOS diagnosis
Fertility Fiction 2: Opting for birth control harms your ability to conceive once you are off it
There have been extensive, long-term studies on women opting for chemical birth control methods such as pills and patches. None of the studies have indicated that taking contraceptive pills or using other forms of hormonal contraceptive measures harms your fertility. That said, once you are off birth control pills, it might take a few months for your menstrual cycle to become regular.
Another issue with taking birth control pills is that hormones present in oral contraceptive pills can mask the early signs of PCOS. If you have PCOS, your chances of getting pregnant are significantly reduced. However, this does not mean that taking birth control pills causes PCOS.
Out of every 100 females who stop taking their birth control pills, about 83 get pregnant within a year. Although birth control pills can delay your fertility for a few months, they certainly don’t make you infertile. Certain contraceptives such as Depo-Provera can delay ovulation by up to 18-22 months, but it does not make you sterile.
Usually, your cycle should get back to normal after two-three months of stopping contraceptives. If it takes more than that, you can consult with your physician. If you are over 25, it is always good to talk about your conception plans with your doctor during your annual visit to ensure that everything is alright.
Fertility Myth 3: If you have had one successful pregnancy, there won’t be a problem for the subsequent pregnancies
If you have had a successful pregnancy in the past, it in no way guarantees that there would be no problem the next time you are trying to conceive. Many couples have what is called secondary infertility, and they have difficulty conceiving the second time after a successful first pregnancy.
The causes of secondary infertility can be age, weight gain, certain medications, damage to your fallopian tubes, or other issues with your reproductive system.
Fertility Fiction 4: Using Plan B can mess up your fertility
Plan B is similar to any other birth control pill because it has the same hormones, albeit in huge doses. These hormones prevent the egg from fertilizing and prevent the fertilized egg from implanting into the uttering lining.
The hormones present in the Plan B pill are flushed out of your system pretty quickly, and by the time your next periods come, all the hormones are out of your body.
The fact that if you have sex one day after taking a plan B pill, you can still get pregnant should be sufficient to alleviate any doubt regarding its effect on fertility.
Fertility Myth 5: If your biological mother had no problems conceiving, you would neither
The ability to conceive (or not able to conceive) is not a completely inherited trait. That said, some conditions that can cause issues in getting pregnant, such as PCOS, premature ovarian insufficiency, and endometriosis, do have inheritable components.
So, what does all this means? Well, it means that if you know your family history, it could help you to determine whether you are predisposed to certain fertility conditions, but that’s just a piece of the puzzle. Consequently, what your biological mother or anyone else in the family went through during their pregnancy has a limited influence on what it would be like for you.
Fertility Myth 6: Being able to conceive at 45 like a certain celebrity is common
Although having kids at 45 is possible, it is not easy, certainly not as easy as it is made out to be. The age-related drop in infertility due to diminishing ovarian reserves and low-quality eggs does catch up with you as you age.
Once you cross 35, the chances of you getting pregnant on your most fertile days diminish rapidly. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine figures, the possibility of women over 40 conceiving is about 5% in each cycle.
The good news is that although your eggs might be affected negatively with age, your uterus is much more resilient. Fertility treatments using your eggs (or any donor’s eggs) can have good results.
Fertility Fiction 7: Orgasms and sex positions improve your chances of conception
The prerequisite for getting pregnant is having sperm inside the vagina. Once the sperm cells are in the vagina, they will swim through the female reproductive tract to reach the egg in the fallopian tubes. Getting in any particular position neither makes it happen faster nor slower. You are not holding on to more sperm if you have intercourse in a specific position.
That said, a few studies have revealed that lying down for 15 minutes after an IUI procedure can increase the chances of pregnancy. A few other studies have found information that is contrary to this.
The take-home message on Fertility Myths
Having the right information can make a huge difference in your journey to motherhood. If you need more information about fertility, health, and conception, be sure to check out similar interesting and factual articles on the Fertility2family blog.