When it comes to conceiving a baby, us women are often bombarded with information, tips and strategies, and it can be hard to sort the nonsense from the useful at times. And then there are the old wives’ tales – one of our favourites has to be the advice to have sex on a Sunday – because sperm is more potent on a Sunday. Whether or not you need to go to Mass first is undecided as of yet…
Myth: Lying on your back for 30 minutes after sex will increase your chances of conception, preferably with a pillow under your hips and/or your knees up to your chest.
Reality: The theory behind this is that gravity will help sperm on their way to the egg. There’s no scientific evidence to support this theory and as every ejaculation contains millions of sperm, we doubt that a bit of gravity will help too much. Yet, if you’re not in a hurry, why not take the time to relax? Common sense says that it will help keep semen from leaking out which may give every sperm a fighting chance at getting to the prize. There’s no harm in trying out this one, but if you can’t hang around, get up and get back to work.
Myth: Only have sex on your fertile days as sperm will be more potent if you “save it up”
Reality: This is bad advice on so many levels. For a start, while many women ovulate in the middle of their cycle, often you can ovulate earlier or later than this, and as you only have a small window every month for conception, keeping sex for just when you think you’re ovulating could result in you missing out. In addition, studies have shown that regular ejaculation results in healthier sperm; sex also reduces stress in both partners, which can help make your body healthier and a better environment for conception too. Even after conception, ejaculations can play a part in your baby’s development – there is evidence to suggest that semen may play a role in embryo development in implantation. So your best bet is to have regular sex throughout the month; three times a week is ideal.
Myth: Women have to have an orgasm in order to conceive
Reality: There is some evidence to suggest that a woman’s orgasm can help move sperm towards the egg, but an orgasm is not required for conception – no matter how nice it would be to have one! If your partner is keen on having a boy, encourage him to help you towards the big “O” – as there is research to suggest that your orgasm increases alkaline secretions in the vaginal tract, which may favour male sperm.
Myth: Drinking cough syrup will help you conceive
Reality: The idea is that a certain ingredient in some expectorant cough syrups, guaifenesin, will help thin your cervical mucous, which will make it easier for the sperm to swim towards your cervix. Guaifenesin will certainly thin your mucous, but this isn’t the only thing that will help conception – the quantity of mucous is also important. That said, thinning your mucous could help some couples, but seek medical advice first, and remember that cough syrups are medicine and dosage instructions should be strictly followed unless otherwise advised by a GP.
Myth: Use an ice pack on the man’s crotch to increase fertility
Reality: Ouch – we can’t see this one going down too well with your man. There is some truth in this – sperm likes a cooler environment, which is why the testicles are located outside of the man’s body. So keeping your crotch cool will help keep sperm counts as high as possible. But this means avoiding tight underwear and jeans, and overheated environments like saunas, steam rooms or Jacuzzis – using an ice pack will probably put a man off the whole idea of having a baby or even sex!
Originally posted 2016-09-19 16:59:43.