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15 Myths And Facts About Fertility And Conception

Fertility and conception are topics of great importance and interest for many individuals and couples trying to start a family. However, there is a significant amount of misinformation and myths surrounding these subjects. In this article, we will clarify 15 common myths about fertility and conception and present the facts based on scientific evidence. Our goal is to provide accurate information by clarifying these misconceptions. This will empower individuals with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.

Myth 1: Women can only conceive during ovulation.


Fact:While ovulation is the most fertile period of a woman’s menstrual cycle, it is possible to conceive at other times. Sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for up to 48 hours, so having intercourse a few days before ovulation can still result in pregnancy.

Myth 2: Infertility is always a female problem.

Fact:Infertility can result from various factors, both male and female. Approximately one-third of infertility cases are due to male factors, one-third are due to female factors. There are also remaining one-third factors which is a combination of both or unexplained causes.

Myth 3: Stress causes infertility.


Fact:Stress can impact an individual’s overall well-being. However, there is no conclusive evidence directly linking it to infertility. However, extreme stress can disrupt hormone levels, impacting the reproductive system. It is essential to manage stress, but it is not the sole cause of infertility.

Myth 4: Age does not affect male fertility.

Fact:Advanced paternal age can indeed have an impact on fertility. As men age, the quantity and quality of their sperm may decline, making it more difficult to conceive. While men can potentially father children at any age, the chances of fertility-related issues increase as they age.

Myth 5: Birth control methods cause infertility.


Fact:Most forms of contraception, including hormonal methods like the pill, do not cause infertility. Fertility typically returns once the individual stops using birth control. In some cases, there might be a temporary delay in the return of fertility, but this is not permanent infertility.

Myth 6: Having sex multiple times a day increases fertility.

Fact: While regular intercourse is essential for conception, having sex multiple times a day does not necessarily increase the chances of getting pregnant. Sperm needs time to replenish and build up in quantity and quality. Having intercourse every 1-2 days around ovulation is sufficient for most couples.

Myth 7: The position during intercourse affects fertility.


Fact: The position during intercourse does not significantly impact fertility. Sperm can swim against gravity and reach the cervix regardless of the sexual function. What matters most is the timing of intercourse around ovulation.

Myth 8: Having an orgasm increases the chances of conception.

Fact:  While female orgasm may create contractions that help push sperm toward the egg, it is unnecessary for conception. While many women can conceive without having an orgasm, it is important to note that the male orgasm is essential for delivering sperm into the female reproductive tract.

Myth 9: A previous pregnancy guarantees future fertility.

Understanding the Results and Next Steps 

Fact: Your last pregnancy indicates fertility but does not guarantee future fertility. Some individuals may experience secondary infertility, the inability to conceive again after having a child. Various factors can contribute to secondary infertility, and it is essential to seek medical advice if concerns arise.

Myth 10: Fertility treatment always leads to multiple pregnancies.

Fact: While fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) can increase the chances of multiple pregnancies, advancements in assisted reproductive technology help in individualized treatment. Adjusting the number of embryos transferred can minimize the risk of multiple pregnancies.

Myth 11: A healthy lifestyle cannot improve fertility.

Boost Fertility Together

Fact: A healthy lifestyle can positively impact fertility for both men and women. Maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, managing weight, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and reducing stress can all contribute to optimal reproductive health.

Myth 12: Having a regular menstrual cycle guarantees fertility.

Fact: Regular menstrual cycles indicate that ovulation is occurring, which is a good sign of fertility. However, other factors, such as the quality of eggs and the health of the reproductive organs, also play a significant role. Some individuals with regular cycles may still experience difficulties conceiving due to other underlying factors.

Myth 13: Fertility declines immediately after stopping birth control.

birth control pills

Fact: Fertility typically returns relatively quickly after discontinuing most forms of birth control. However, it may take a few cycles for the body to regulate hormone levels and establish regular ovulation. The timing can vary depending on the type of contraception used, so it is advisable to consult a doctor for personalized advice.

Myth 14: Exercising excessively hinders fertility.

Fact: Regular exercise is beneficial for overall health, including reproductive health. However, excessive activity, particularly in women, can disrupt hormonal balance and interfere with ovulation. Finding the right balance is critical, and we recommend moderate exercise for optimal fertility.

Myth 15: Fertility declines drastically after the age of 35

Emotional Support during Fertility Treatments

Fact:While fertility does decline with age, the decline is gradual rather than sudden. Women are born with a finite number of eggs; as they age, the quantity and quality of eggs diminish. However, many women in their late thirties and even forties can still naturally conceive, although their chances may be lower than those of younger women.

Clarifying myths and providing accurate information about fertility and conception is crucial for individuals and couples seeking to start a family. Understanding the facts can help manage expectations, identify potential issues, and make informed decisions about reproductive health. By clarifying these 15 common myths, we aim to promote awareness and empower individuals on their journey towards parenthood. Consulting a doctor or fertility specialist is always recommended for personalized guidance and support.

This article is approved by Dr Nancy Nagpal, Consultant Gynaecologist, Salubritas Medcentre.

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