Fertility Advice to Ignore — and What to Do Instead
There are a lot of common misconceptions about infertility — know how to tell the difference between harmful hearsay and helpful advice.
If you and your partner are having trouble getting pregnant, you’re not the only ones. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, up to thirteen percent of couples experience fertility problems.
As anyone experiencing infertility should be aware, there are plenty of misconceptions and superstitions surrounding pregnancy. If you’ve been trying for a baby with no success, you may start to believe some improbable pieces of advice. For an issue as important as this, you might figure even the craziest fertility schemes are worth a shot.
The truth about unfounded fertility advice is just that: it’s bad advice. If you’re trying to have a baby, there’s no time to waste — so here’s how you can distinguish between helpful and harmful suggestions.
The Myths Here are some of the most common misconceptions surrounding infertility.
Myth: Infertility means you can never get pregnant. Hearing the word “infertility” might ring some alarm bells. In everyday language, people often use the term “infertile” to refer to someone who can never get pregnant — but that’s not medically true. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, infertility just means you’ve been attempting to conceive a child for at least one year.
Myth: Laying in a certain position after sex helps to direct the sperm. If you’ve had trouble conceiving, there’s a good chance you’ve heard some questionable tactics to direct the sperm into your uterus. In theory, it might make sense to do a yoga routine to increase your chances of conception. However, placing your body in a particular position after sex doesn’t actually help with infertility.
Myth: It’s always the woman, not the man, who is responsible for fertility problems. It’s a common misconception that if a male partner was successful in having a child before, the problem must be with the female partner. However, a man’s sperm count may decrease with age, because of smoking or alcohol, or for a variety of other reasons. If you are having trouble conceiving, make sure your partner’s fertility is taken into account, too.
While the above suggestions have no basis in fact, there are other pieces of advice that may be more effective. Some medically-supported ideas for how you can increase your fertility include:
Tip: Diet helps. Changing your dietary habits can lead to improved fertility. There isn’t always a food-based fix for infertility, of course, but the correlation between diet and fertility is supported by evidence. Decreasing your intake of trans fats, increasing the fiber in your diet, and consuming a higher ratio of vegetable protein can all contribute to more successful conception.
Tip: Chart your cervical mucus. The color and texture of your cervical mucus (also known as vaginal discharge) can tell you a lot about your menstrual cycle. Observing changes in your cervical mucus doesn’t have to be a highly scientific process. Make daily notes on a cervical mucus chart, and the color and texture of your mucus should tell you when you’re ovulating.
Tip: Find the right fertility doctor. The right doctor is crucial to any good fertility treatment. Infertility is a sensitive subject, and you need to make sure you and your doctor are on the same page. If your relationship with your doctor feels untrustworthy or judgmental, it’s important to find a professional who meets your needs.
Visit a Fertility Specialist
Your fertility doctor is someone to support you on your journey to parenthood. A good fertility doctor can provide medically-sound tips, especially if you have a history of miscarriages or other conditions that may affect fertility. If you ultimately decide to explore reproductive assistance — adoption, in vitro fertilization, or other methods — you should have a strong, trusting relationship with your fertility doctor to know it’s the right decision.
For fertility care on Long Island, schedule an appointment with our trusted specialists at New York Reproductive Wellness. Our experienced doctors help to perform fertility evaluations for both men and women, and we offer a wide range of fertility treatment options. If you’re having trouble conceiving, support is just around the corner.