Until you want to get pregnant, you're not thinking about all these things you've heard in passing. Somewhere in the back of your mind myths about a lot of things in life are floating at the edge of conscious thought. However when it comes to something like pregnancy, it's important to know the difference in order to have the most success.
Myth: If you don't get pregnant after a couple months of trying, something is wrong.
This was something I believed coming out of high school! Though in all fairness, teenagers are far more likely to become pregnant with only one or a few sexual encounters because their fertility is high. As we get older fertility declines. Another reason a myth like this might be believed is because birth control can give us this mindset. You might have spent years worried you might accidentally get pregnant if you miss one pill. So when couples start trying to conceive for real, it's shocking that it isn't happening right away. Especially when you have that one friend who got pregnant on their wedding night. The reality is that it is rare for couples to get pregnant the first month they try, a more normal length of time is six months, while some couples can take up to a year.
Here is when you want to go see your doctor: 1) If you aren't pregnant after trying to conceive for a year. 2) If you're older than 35 and have been trying for 6 months to get pregnant. 3) If you have PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) which is one of the most common causes of female infertility, talk to your doctor early on for options for vitamins and minerals that might help, or even about taking S'moo. Also feel free to join the Private S'moo Babe Facebook Group where women who are struggling with PCOS are helping each other out.
Myth: You Can’t Get Pregnant If You Have Sex on Your Period
I think I've even heard this one at a party years back. That's how a lot of myths spread, college parties. Or late night girl talks, though now that the internet is so easily accessible you can just pick up your phone and check. So why is this one of the myths? 1) Sometimes we make the mistake and think we are still on our period but you might have a short cycle making you ovulate early. 2) Sperm can survive in the uterus for five days. It's rare but it does happen. Meaning if you have a short cycle you might ovulate in time for sperm to fertilize the egg.
Myth: Ovulating occurs on day 14 of your cycle.
If you've read any blogs on The Smoo Co., then you know that everyone is different, especially when it comes to your cycle. Ovulation can start on day 8 or as late as day 20, though it is possible for your ovulations to hit day 14. That information comes from learning about female reproduction where it is taught that your cycle is 28 days on average and that ovulation is at the mid-point, aka day 14. This doesn't define good fertility. In fact it's normal to have a cycle that is 21 days or even 35 days long. Your ovulations shift depending on the length of your cycle.
You're thinking, well I can use an ovulation calculator then and figure out my cycle length and still not get pregnant on my period, "natural birth control" so to speak. That is a practiced idea, to limit sex to infertile days but cycles vary, meaning your average infertile days one month might become your most fertile days the next month. *If you don't want to get pregnant, don't rely on an ovulation calculator, as there is a good chance you'll accidentally get pregnant by having sex when you're fertile.
Myth: I can get pregnant faster by having sex every day or twice a day!
"There is no harm in trying," is what the person telling you this myth normally says next. Bottom line is, if you want to have sex every day, go for it but keep in mind there is no evidence that supports sex every day will get you pregnant faster. Every other day or sex on your most fertile days is all you need to conceive.
For a long time it wasn't suggested to have sex everyday because it was believed that sperm count would decrease, though that was recently disproved. Another study actually found that sex every day helped shift the immune response, preparing a woman’s immune system for pregnancy. Though the study was small and didn't actually see if it increased the time it took to get pregnant.
Myth: Your eating habits only matter after you get pregnant.
It's amazing how much talk there is about what you're putting into you body when you're pregnant but not before. The bottom line is, if you're trying to conceive, spend extra time eating right and avoid heavy drinking and smoking. Smoking negatively impacts male and female fertility and it isn't easy to quit, so start sooner than later. When it comes to drinking, it can harm your fertility and you might actually end up drinking in the early stages of pregnancy. By the time you get a positive pregnancy test, you're already four weeks pregnant. As for healthy food, vitamins and minerals, this is the time to start!
Myth: if you're ovulating, you won't have trouble getting pregnant.
To get pregnant, ovulation is essential but there are other things that can make pregnancy difficult for example fallopian tubes could be blocked, preventing the sperm from making it to the egg. This is called tubal factor infertility and it can cause of infertility in up to 30% of infertile women and has no obvious signs.
Another thing to keep in mind if you're having a difficult time getting pregnant is the fertility of your partner. There is no way to know the sperm count without lab testing.
Myth: Your fertility starts to decline at age 35.
Why isn't this true? I've heard it more than any other myth! Well, because in reality your fertility starts to decline in your late 20's! I know, so early. In general, we are doing everything later in life in the 21st century, enjoying more and in some cases waiting to get pregnant. Just keep in mind that the longer you wait, the lower your percent gets. At 30 years old you have a 20% change of getting pregnant each month, by the time you're 40, you chances drop to 5% each month. It's rare to get pregnant in your mid-40s but not impossible.
Myth: You can stop using contraception after you're 40!
Well, if you do that, and you're having sex regularly, you might get pregnant. Though your chances of getting pregnant are much lower after 40, you're not sterile, in fact until you've completed menopause (even if you've started perimenopause) you can get pregnant.
Truth: You can never learn enough about your body.
Whether it's pregnancy or ovulation, vitamin and mineral deficiencies or nutrition. You can't stop learning about your body. As you age, more will change and even more learning will need to happen. There are a lot of misconceptions and myths out there regarding getting pregnant and ovulation, general health and living a long life. Not enough is taught in school about our bodies and how things work. Never feel bad about believing something you've heard but never stop learning and questioning what you hear. Studies are happening everyday and information is changing, stay up to speed with new information.
Also don't be afraid of asking your care physician or gynecologist if you have any questions about fertility. Ask questions and be informed!
This content is strictly the opinion of S'moo and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither S'moo nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.