Do you feel like your fertility education might have let you down a little bit? Were you totally unprepared for the complex world of conceiving before you started trying for a baby? You’re not alone. Fertility is shrouded in myths and misinformation, but the more we learn the more in control of our fertility journey we can feel. Here we’re setting the record straight on 5 common fertility myths and lay out the facts.
Myth 1: Most people get pregnant easily
This is definitely something that our school sex-education left us thinking! On a mission to keep teen pregnancy at bay, our education managed to convince many young people that getting pregnant is scarily simple. Whilst, of course, some people do manage to get pregnant easily, the truth is that it’s more common for things to take a while. One study found that only 30% of couples having unprotected sex get pregnant within the first month of trying. For most people, it can take up to a year of trying, even if there are no official fertility issues. It’s also important to remember that 1 in 7 couples will struggle to conceive. Infertility and fertility issues are things that were rarely talked about on the Sex Ed syllabus when we were at school. This not only can make people panic when they don’t get pregnant straight away, but it also makes those struggling with their fertility feel alone, isolated or embarrassed, as if there is something wrong with them, which trust us – there isn’t.
Myth 2: You can get pregnant any time you have sex
Similarly to the myth that getting pregnant is easy, most of us also weren’t taught that you can only really get pregnant for a few days each month. This time is known as the fertile window, and occurs just before, during and after ovulation. This is generally around the middle of a woman’s menstrual cycle, but this can sometimes move, especially if the cycle isn’t regular.
It’s interesting how many couples who are trying to conceive are unaware of the fertile window, and this can have a massive impact on their chances of getting pregnant! You can find more about the fertile window here. One of the most accurate and easy ways to find out if you are ovulating is to do an at-home test. We’ve partnered with Mira to deliver a seriously accurate ovulation test. You can learn more about the Mira ovulation tracker here.
Myth 3: Age has no impact on male fertility
This might not be a myth that you are directly taught in schools, but we’re sure you’ve grown up well aware that a woman’s fertility declines with age. Whilst this is true – the truth is that it’s the same for guys, although it’s not quite as clear cut.
Women have a finite number of eggs, and this number goes down each year. By around 35, most studies indicate that female fertility is declining. For men, as they get older their testosterone production slows down and DNA Fragmentation of sperm cells goes up. Both of these factors can not only have an impact on how long it takes you to get pregnant – but the health of the embryo and baby if and when you do conceive. It’s thought that older Dads are more likely to have kids with health concerns, including autism.
You can read more about age and male fertility here.
Myth 4: Certain positions will help you get pregnant – or even make a boy or a girl
Now, this might be more of an old wives tale than a school sex ed mishap – but it’s certainly one of the fertility myths we want to bust. All fertility experts will tell you that the position you have sex in has no bearing on your chances of conceiving, and certainly can’t help to determine the gender of your baby.
Many people think that doing it in a way that sends the sperm up towards the womb (with your partner upside down for example) will help you get pregnant faster, But sperm are pretty speedy characters and can be found in the female reproductive tract seconds after ejaculating.
Trying to conceive can be stressful enough as it is without pulling a muscle trying to bend yourself into some obscure sexual position! When it comes to sexual positions, just focus on doing what’s right – and fun- for you and your partner and remember to enjoy it!
Myth 5: The size of your penis is linked to fertility
Penis-related playground taunts might have you thinking that the size of your willy has any impact on your masculinity or fertility. The truth is that generally speaking your penis size does not correlate to your chances of conceiving. Whilst having a very small penis and testicles could be a sign of low testosterone – or even conditions like Klinefelter Syndrome – this is not always the case. Just like when it comes to pleasuring a partner – size doesn’t really matter. However, some measurements could impact your fertility – and that’s your sperm health parameters. Whilst chat at school might focus on the size of what’s between your legs, the truth is that it’s what’s going on inside your testicles that will really determine how easy it is for you to make a baby. Unfortunately, there are rarely any outward signs of low sperm quality, which is why it’s important to get proactive and get tested.
Our At-home sperm test makes getting to know your sperm health easier than ever – you can have the results on your smartphone within 15 minutes. Learn more about our at-home sperm test here.