The discussion of fertility is often crowded with information — some of it true, and much of it not. We’ve rounded up the most common misconceptions and cleared them up below.
“Infertility is the woman’s fault.”
Actually, it’s a two-way street. The sperm is actually responsible for reaching the egg and whether it does or not can depends on a few things. If the male partner has a low sperm count or low sperm motility, the chances of conception are drastically lower. Approximately 20% of infertility can exclusively be attributed to the male, while the male factor can be contributory in an additional 30-40%.
“More sex is better.”
Every other day sex has shown to be almost equally as effective as every day sex during ovulation. Although frequent sex is great and has positive health benefits, the most important factor in getting pregnant is properly timing intercourse during the small window of time before you ovulate.
“I eat well, exercise, and keep a healthy lifestyle – I should have no problems getting pregnant.”
Although keeping healthy is important in conceiving, there may be other inapparent fertility issues that go unnoticed until a couple is trying to achieve a pregnancy.
“Fertility problems don’t start until your thirties.”
While fertility declines in the mid-thirties and women are at their fertile peak in their twenties, there are still 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; 10% of women (age 15-44) have difficulty getting or staying pregnant in the US alone.
“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, due to the fact that sperm can live for up to 6 days inside the female’s reproductive tract. Maximum fertility has been seen with intercourse occurring in the 2 days prior to, and day of ovulation.
If you are trying to conceive and have any questions, it’s best to just follow the advice of medical professionals. Although many women may have had multiple conceptions and varying experiences, you will have the greatest success if you focus on what is actually going on within your own body and consult with physicians when needed.