Mama and Baby Blog Series: First Foods
June 14, 2017
Not So Great Foods for Your Hormones
July 12, 2017

Debunking Fertility Myths: Part Two

This series was originally posted on Instagram, but I figured having it all available in one place would be helpful too :).

Recently I created an Instagram Series where I DEBUNKed some of the craziest pregnancy myths that I’ve heard. Some will make you laugh, some you’ll actually believe, and some are old wive’s tales that have made their way into the 21st century.

You can find Part One of this series here: Debunking Pregnancy Myths Part One.

Curious About Your Fertility? Do This!

MYTH #1 : Lifting your legs in the air for 20 minutes after sex will help you get pregnant

Not true! The logic behind this is that lifting your legs in the air will tip your pelvis upwards and help your man’s little swimmers get a direct route to your eggs. In reality, your legs are going to go numb, you’re going to look a little silly, and it most certainly will NOT help you get pregnant. Sperm are chemically programmed to travel directly to your baby-maker following ejaculation, regardless of what position you’re in. Consider this: each time your man ejaculates, he lets out between 40 – 240 *million* sperm. So … if a little leaks out after you’ve had sex, there’s plenty more where that came from ;).

MYTH #2 : Breastfeeding is a reliable form of birth control

Nope! Well … nope-ish. Though breastfeeding *can* work as a method of birth control, like any other form of contraceptive, it isn’t foolproof. Breastfeeding delays the return of your periods; however, you’ll ovulate before you have your first period. Frequent and regular breastfeeding as a form of contraception is called lactational amenorrhoea method (LAM). LAM is about 98% effective BUT will only work in the following instances: your baby is younger than six months old, your periods have not returned, and you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby on demand (both night and day). Exclusive breastfeeding on demand usually means a minimum of 6 long breastfeeds every 24 hours. If you want LAM to work, don’t leave a gap between feeds of longer than 4 hours during the day, or 6 hours at night. And either don’t give other fluids or solid food to your baby at all, or only give your baby other liquids from time to time. With LAM, your breasts need to supply ALL your baby’s suckling needs, so your baby shouldn’t have a soother or use a bottle. Your baby’s suckling stimulates the hormones that suppress ovulation. Here’s the bottom line: if your menstrual periods have returned, you can assume that breastfeeding is no longer a reliable method of birth control. However, keep in mind that ~5% of women do ovulate and are fertile even before their first period!

MYTH #3 : Chugging cough syrup will help you conceive

Yeah, people in the 80’s actually believed that. Why? Because in a 1982 study, guaifenesin – a common ingredient found in cough syrup – was considered a potential fertility booster for its ability to thin cervical mucus (in the same way it thins the mucus in your nasal passages), thereby allowing easier travel for sperm to get to your eggs. Consider this: there have been ZERO studies that have proven this to be true. That, and the fact that swallowing cough syrup also means you may be taking in other not-so-good things for your fertility like antihistamines, means this myth can be considered BUSTED! So instead of cough syrup, here are a few natural options to help thin your cervical mucus:

STAY HYDRATED. Your cervical mucus consists of about 90% water, so being dehydrated with thicken it.

TRY EVENING PRIMROSE OIL. It’s an herbal supplement containing a fatty acid called GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid). The human body converts GLA into prostaglandins, which may enhance the production of fertile cervical mucus.

EAT ALKALINE VEGETABLES. Sperm cells thrive in alkaline (high pH) environments. The pH of your cervical mucus is a result of the overall pH level in your body, which in turn is largely a result of your diet. Vegetables (especially the dark green ones), onions, lima beans, almonds and most fruits – including citrus fruits – are great alkaline foods.

MYTH #4 : Eating yams while trying to conceive will cause twins

Seriously?! Yams first got their rep as a twin-maker after researchers started looking into why the African village of Igbo-Ora has one of the highest rates of twin births in the world … think like 1 in 22 live births is a set of twins. This number is about 4% higher than anywhere else in the world. This is quite a remarkable phenomenon, but nobody seems to be quite sure why this town should be more twin prone than anywhere else on earth. The only potential cause behind these statistics? YAMS. Yup, seriously. People believe that the high number of yams consumed by this town’s population is what causes the high rate of twin births. There has been ONE study – by an undergrad at Yale – who linked yams and fertility, but the study was determined inconclusive, and there has been no further research to backup this theory. Listen, I’m not saying *don’t* eat yams … they contain antioxidants, they aid in the regular bowel movements, they are a GREAT source of vitamins C and B6 … but don’t eat them banking on the fact that you’ll get knocked up with twins ;).

MYTH #5 : A woman has to orgasm to conceive

Nope, not true! In the early 1900’s, doctors recommended orgasms as a treatment for infertility, claiming that the vaginal contractions caused by orgasm would suck the semen up through the cervix and deliver it quickly to the egg. Though there is evidence that this is true for certain animals (pigs, for instance), a more recent study done on human females demonstrated no evidence that orgasms caused semen to be sucked up into the uterus any faster than it would be normally. The key to getting pregnant is timing intercourse to correspond with your fertile period … not having an orgasm (although it sure makes trying more fun!). And you know how I feel about women experiencing regular orgasms 😉 – check out my blog post 5 Health Benefits of Orgasms for Women to find out more! – but it’s not totally necessary when trying to conceive :).

Let’s Talk!

I’d love to use this space as a forum of sorts, providing inspiration and community among my readers, so … I want to hear from you!

What other crazy pregnancy myths have you been told? Any that I should BUST for you?

What’s the funniest myth you’ve ever heard about conceiving?

Spread some Pregnancy Myth Busting lovin’! Sharing is caring, and I bet you have some friends who would love to read this too :).

Looking for more hormone help?

Start HERE! Click here to get my Top Ten Tips to Improve Fertility, Have Easier Periods, and Supercharge Your Sex Drive!

Let’s Meet!

Looking to have a more in-depth conversation about how to have a healthier pregnancy or optimize fertility? Schedule a consultation with me!

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