Trying to start a family and it’s not as easy as you thought? Then you may also be one of those who are trying to find out as much information about this issue as possible. However, it is easy to get lost in the flood of data. Among the proven facts there are also old wives’ tales, “guaranteed” friendly advice or long outdated myths. Do you still believe that standing on your head after intercourse will help sperm get to the egg more easily? That you can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding? Or that ovulation always occurs on the 14th. cycle day?
Myth 1: To conceive, choose the “missionary” or “breech” position
One of the most widespread myths claims that certain sexual positions can increase the chances of conceiving a baby. Supposedly, people should choose positions that give the sperm the easiest and shortest route to the egg. These include, for example, the classic “missionary” position, or the one in which the man stands behind the woman. But is it really that crucial? Changing positions during lovemaking is certainly fun, but it does not affect conception itself. “A woman’s body is perfectly adapted to fertilization in fertile days and does not need to be helped in this way. Regardless of the position chosen, the ejaculation of a healthy man releases millions of sperm that are biologically adapted to reach their destination,” debunks the myth MUDr. Kateřina Veselá, Ph.D., director of REPROMEDA, adding that it is only necessary to think that ejaculation takes place in the depth of the vagina, not at the vaginal entrance.
Myth 2: Ovulation always occurs on the 14th. cycle day
There is a general belief that ovulation always occurs on the 14th day of a woman’s menstrual cycle. This misconception is probably based on the belief that the length of a woman’s cycle is 28 days. However, this is not accurate. “The length of a woman’s cycle is highly individual and usually ranges from 21 to 35 days. The often quoted 28 days is therefore only an average value, which, however, only applies to some women. Ovulation occurs approximately fourteen days before the start of menstruation, so its onset may vary from woman to woman.” clarifies MUDr. Veselá. “However, in addition to ovulation itself, the so-called fertile days, which frame ovulation approximately two to three days before and after ovulation, are also important. It is also possible to get pregnant at this time,” adds the doctor.
Myth 3: You can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding
The idea that you cannot get pregnant while breastfeeding is widespread but not entirely accurate. It is true that the hormone prolactin, which takes care of milk stimulation after childbirth, can block ovulation and prevent the eggs from maturing. This leads to the fact that women who are fully breastfeeding often do not menstruate (lactational amenorrhea) or ovulate. “However, this principle does not apply universally; many women may experience menstruation and ovulation even during full and frequent breastfeeding,” notes MUDr. Veselá. “Women who start menstruating after giving birth with some delay may have very irregular cycles. The process of recovery of hormonal functions after childbirth is gradual and very individual,” says the doctor. In short, a woman can ovulate even when she is not expecting it. In addition, ovulation precedes menstruation, so a new mother can become pregnant before the first period after giving birth.
Myth 4: You can help the sperm to the egg by standing on the head or with a candle after intercourse
Many women to this day believe that adopting a certain position after sex increases the chances of conceiving a child. However, the paradox is how different the recommended positions are. Sometimes women observe a resting mode after sex and lie down. Other times, they prop their hips up with pillows, rest their legs against the wall while lying on their backs, or even go to breakneck gymnastic positions. For example, it performs a headstand or the so-called candle position. “Among infertile couples who are trying to conceive, this myth is indeed common,” confirms MUDr. Veselá. “However, it doesn’t matter whether a woman lies still after intercourse or makes a candle, it doesn’t increase the likelihood of conception. It is important that ejaculation occurs during the fertile period. Then it depends on the sperm, its quality, speed and endurance,” explains the doctor.