When fertility issues arise, it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing misconceptions. For most of their lives, women and men alike hear an alarming amount of false ideas surrounding pregnancy and conception. If you’ve fallen for them, don’t worry. Here are the top five fertility myths debunked.
1. You’re Still Infertile for a Short Period After Stopping Birth Control
It’s a common misconception that after stopping your birth control regimen or getting of an IUD that the baby-stopping effects linger. Some even believe that these treatments can hinder their attempts at having a baby in the future. The truth is, you can become pregnant the moment you stop using any form of birth control.
2. Your Eating Habits Affect Fertility
A healthy diet is excellent for your body and a growing fetus, which leads many to believe that one could also increase your chances of conception. This myth is so common that there are actually fertility diets promoted by centers and clinics.
While food like sweet potato or coconut are healthy, they have zero impact on your fertility levels. You should still limit your processed, sugary, and fatty foods to help increase your libido, though. After all, a healthier diet leads to better sex.
3. Certain Sex Positions Help
There’s a notion that having sex with your legs up in the air can help you get pregnant. One version of this myth even includes hanging upside down to help the sperm make its passage through the fallopian tubes.
In reality, sperm doesn’t rely on gravity to get around. It travels up into the uterus and fallopian tubes on its own without any help. That’s what the other elements of semen are designed for. The chances of conception have more to do with the strength of the sperm in this scenario.
4. Your Fertility Drops After Age 35
This myth is only partially true in the sense that your age can impact IVF as well as conception. Reaching 35, however, isn’t the end of line for your chances to have a baby. Your fertility levels do begin to drop around this time, but the risk of infertility only stands at 16% from ages 30 to 34. That number increases to 64% from 40 to 44.
Keep in mind that your body is entirely different from any other woman’s on the planet, which means those percentages are just rough estimates. Your individual chances will decline as you age, but that doesn’t mean you can’t conceive at 60 or older.
5. IVF and Freezing Your Eggs Are Guarantees
There’s a lot of discussion around pregnancy discrimination surrounding IVF, but not so much on this particular myth. These options are excellent choices for thousands of women, but it’s important to keep your expectations realistic.
Freezing and the IVF process can be harsh on the egg, not to mention your body’s ability to welcome the egg back in. For IVF, the chances of conception after 43 when using your own egg are incredibly low. As for freezing, you should do so before you turn 30. Success rates for eggs taken from women 35 and older drop significantly.