myths about trying to conceive

Common Sex Myths About Trying to Conceive

She just “pulled the goalie” and stopped her contraceptive. It’s now time to have that baby you’ve been talking about. You find yourself both excited and a bit scared about what happens next. And hopefully, it will happen. In fact, the odds are in your favor that it will happen, since this is one of the reasons why we were put on this good earth.

Ten Conception Myths

With the birds and bees in the air, you might find yourself believing things you hear about the do’s and don’ts of trying to conceive. Here are 10 big ones that I will bust for you, right here and now.

  1. It’s easy to conceive. Certainly not if you’re traveling all the time or you’re apart during the key times of the month. Also don’t be surprised if your sexual performance falters a bit when sex occurs on a schedule instead of being solely recreational (By the way, I can help you here).
  2. Men know what to do. Ok, true. But most men (80%) don’t know exactly when to do what they need to do. Did you know that sex should occur well before ovulation and continue through ovulation?
  3. Sex position matters. Not really. Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to maximize conception. We’re built for this. Also, using missionary, doggie, cowgirl, kneeling lotus, quarter moon or full moon to increase the odds of having a girl or boy may be fun and entertaining but lacks any evidence of effectiveness.
  4. Save it up for the big day. Don’t think of your body as a 401k account for sperm. Men don’t ejaculate sperm right after it’s made. So, if you don’t ejaculate regularly, the sperm that pour forth when you do are “older” than if you did the deed more often. And what she really needs is young, healthy sperm and not older, tired sperm. In essence, sperm have a shelf-life. It’s like saving up perishable groceries; they just don’t hold up well.
  5. Lubrication doesn’t matter. The worst thing for sperm is spit. Hand lotion is a close second. Pharmacy-based lubes contain antiseptics that also kill sperm. Keep it as natural as possible or head to the kitchen and use your favorite vegetable or olive oil if you must.
  6. Have as much sex as possible. Every other day sex is best for two reasons: Men need time to recharge their payload and sperm last for 48 hours in the female system after delivery.
  7. Lifestyle doesn’t matter much for fertility. As fertility science has advanced, especially epigenetics, we now know that everything you imbibe, inhale or snort, including pot, alcohol, tobacco, and other recreational drugs, has an effect on sperm. For the best fertility, treat your body like a temple.
  8. Your health doesn’t matter much for fertility. Wrong again. Remember this word: epigenetics. Your diet, weight, exercise and stress levels all have an impact on sperm health. This may not be obvious from the semen analysis but becomes clear as we take a “deeper dive” into sperm function.
  9. You’re not part of the infertility problem. Biggest myth out there. When infertility hits, men are the problem in one-third of cases and share the blame in half. So get checked out if things aren’t happening, as it could very well be you!
  10. We’re going extinct. This one drives me crazy. Although sperm counts may be falling in developed countries over the last half century, they are still in the normal range and there is no evidence that we as a species are less fertile. Don’t stress about this, but do take great care of yourself.

Remember your body wants to be fertile; it’s your bad habits that hold it back.

This article first appeared on Dr. Turek’s blog.

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay 

Dr. Paul Turek, Medical Contributor

View posts by Dr. Paul Turek, Medical Contributor
Dr. Paul Turek is an internationally known thought leader in men’s reproductive and sexual health care and research. A fellowship trained, board-certified physician by the American Board of Urology (ABU), he has received numerous honors and awards for his work and is an active member in professional associations worldwide. His recent lectures, publications and book titles can be found in his curriculum vitae.

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