So last week we went over the weirdest of the weird when it comes to fertility myths, but this week I’m talking about the sneaky ones—the kind of misinformation that sounds plausible enough to believe, but is actually TOTALLY WRONG, and therefore super frustrating. Some of these nuggets of misinformation are so embedded in our culture that you may have even heard them from folks in the medical community. However, each of these myths have been thoroughly debunked—read on to learn all about them.
Not true! There are actually six days during the menstrual cycle when a woman can possibly get pregnant. This is called the fertile window. Because an egg lives 12-24 hours after ovulation and sperm lives up to five days in the female reproductive system, you can have baby-making sex up to three days prior to and day of ovulation, and even a day or two after if you also have healthy cervical mucus and healthy fertility.
Your waking basal body temperature is great info to have, but by the time you get the dip or rise on your chart, you’ve actually already ovulated. That temp fluctuation means ovulation actually happened yesterday. A way better indicator? Changes in cervical mucus. THAT’s actually the best way to tell when you’re ovulating. Look for cervical fluid that is the consistency of raw egg whites and stretches and holds together. This is the best time for baby-making.
In about 10% of cycles (meaning about 1-2 cycles out of the year) you may ovulate twice, but it’s going to be within a 24 hour period, with one egg being released from both follicles at the same time (usually the follicles take turns each month). I’ve talked to practitioners who believe women can ovulate on week two of their menstrual cycle and then again on week three, but that’s not actually possible. This is because after ovulation, your body produces progesterone, which inhibits your body from ovulating again.
So this one is DEFINITELY not true, but we hear it from medical providers ALL the time. The truth is, even if you have a menstrual cycle that’s like clockwork, you could still have underlying fertility health issues, especially if you’ve been trying to conceive and nothing is happening. One example is luteal phase defect, which happens when the period of time from ovulation until menstruation is too short (less than 12 days), and usually implicates low progesterone levels. LPD is a common fertility-health issue that people often don’t know about because there are so few symptoms of it. So if you’ve been trying for six months or more with no luck, let’s talk!
Okay, if you know anything about me at all, you know this one is TOTALLY false. Diet makes a HUGE difference, and is one of the most powerful tools you have to boost your fertility! Check out all these amazing results as proof.
This is a myth that is underlying in our culture. Fertility issues are equal! There is a 40% chance that a fertility health issue issue resides with the woman, a 40% chance that it is due to male factor infertility, and a 20% chance that something is going on with both the man and woman. Sperm health is as equally important as egg health because both of these cells equally provide the DNA that will make up your future child. For more info on how infertility affects men, read What Is the Male Factor, and How Does it Affect Fertility.
While that about covers the fertility myths I encounter on a regular basis, there are also a ton of myths about pregnancy I’m REALLY tired of hearing. Next week on the blog, I’ll tackle all the pregnancy myths that just need to STOP.
In the meantime, are you looking to have a more in-depth conversation about your fertility? Schedule a consultation with me!