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7 stubborn fertility myths we're ready to retire

The process of getting pregnant varies from couple to couple, and it's not uncommon for questionable pieces of fertility advice to be shared along the way. But if you want to get pregnant, it’s time to dispel these myths so you can focus on what really matters and move forward on your TTC journey with confidence - and facts.

  • “Infertility is the woman’s fault."
    This is incorrect. In a male and female partnership, the male's sperm needs to reach the female's egg in order for conception to occur, and if the male partner has a low sperm count or low sperm motility, the chances of conception are lower. For 1/3 of infertile couples, infertility comes from the male side, and for another 1/3 of couples, it's either unidentifiable or both male and female infertility. For the last 1/3 of couples, infertility comes from the female side.
  • “More sex is better."
    Having intercourse every other day during the fertile window has shown to be almost equally as effective as having intercourse every day in the same time period. Although frequent sex is great and has positive health benefits, the most important factor in getting pregnant is properly timing intercourse during the fertile window. Enjoy trying to get pregnant, but there's no need to stress about missing a day!
  • “I eat well, exercise, and keep a healthy lifestyle…I should have no problems getting pregnant."
    Although staying healthy is important while you're trying to conceive, there may be inapparent fertility issues that go unnoticed until a couple is trying to achieve a pregnancy.
  • “Fertility problems don’t start until your thirties."
    It's true that fertility starts to decline when people enter their mid-thirties and that women are at their fertile peak in their twenties, but there are many causes for early infertility that are not a consequence of age. If you are trying to conceive at an older age, it is very wise to closely track your physical data and ovulation cycles to maximize your chances of conceiving.
  • “I am so alone."
    Infertility is not uncommon. 6.1 million, or 10% of women (age 15-44) have difficulty getting or staying pregnant in the U.S. alone.
  • “Ovulation occurs on day 14 of your cycle."
    Most women do not have a 28-day cycle with ovulation occurring at day 14. It's important to find out your body’s rhythm to time sex accurately and effectively. 
  • “I can only get pregnant one day per cycle."
    The “fertile window" is a 6-day time period that ends on the day of ovulation. The best chance of conceiving is likely through intercourse on few days before ovulation and the actual day of ovulation.

If you hear these myths - or any others - while you're trying to conceive, it's best to ignore the dubious info and instead follow the advice of a trusted medical professional. Besides, if you learn more about the facts of fertility and what's actually going on with your own body, you'll have a much better chance of getting pregnant. The human body is capable of amazing things - no myth needed. 

Read more
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. "Infertility - Definition." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 7/2/2014. Web.
  • Stanford JB, Dunson DB. "Effects of sexual intercourse patterns in time to pregnancy studies." American Journal of Epidemiology. 165(9):1088-95. Web. 5/1/2007.
  • Dunson DB, Baird DD, Colombo B. "Increased infertility with age in men and women." Obstetrics & Gynecology. 103(1):51-6. Web. 1/4/2015.
  • "FastStats - Infertility." CDC.gov. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d. Web.
  • Murcia-Lora, José María; Esparza-Encina, María Luisa. "The Fertile Window and Biomarkers: A Review and Analysis of Normal Ovulation Cycles." Persona y Bioética. Vol. 15 Issue 2, p133-148. 16p. Web. July-December 2011.
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