What you know (or don’t know) can hurt you if you’re trying to conceive, so we created a Fertility Fact Quiz to test your knowledge (and debunk some misinformation):
Sexual positions don’t affect your chances of conception.
TRUE – There are no studies confirming that one position is more effective than any other in achieving pregnancy. In fact, sperm can be found in the cervical canal in mere seconds after ejaculation, regardless of position. Aiming for the deepest vaginal penetration and maximum cervical contact makes sense, but the optimal position varies because every woman’s body is different.
There may be value in remaining horizontal for a bit after sex to optimize the amount of sperm that make it into the cervix – rather than onto your undies. So savor the romantic endeavor in whatever position best fits the mood.
Having sex during your fertility window (around ovulation) is the only way to increase your fertility chances.
FALSE. While actual conception (sperm meets egg) can only happen by timing sex at home around predicted ovulation, the more sex you have, the better. Studies have shown that couples who have more frequent sex are most likely to get pregnant.
Experts believe there is a link between more frequent sex and the female body’s immune system. Having sperm in your system more often makes your body less likely to “attack” it as an invader.
Smoking during pregnancy is a no-no (including cannabis products).
TRUE. According to the CDC, “The dangers of smoking during pregnancy include premature birth (being born too early), certain birth defects, and infant death.” Smoking can cause problems with the placenta —the source of the baby’s food and oxygen during pregnancy. For example, the placenta can separate from the womb too early, causing bleeding, which is dangerous to the mother and baby.
Smoking during pregnancy also:
● Makes it more challenging for a woman to get pregnant, and women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely than non-smoking women to have a miscarriage.
● Can cause a baby to be born too early or have low birth weight, making it more likely that the baby will be sick and stay in the hospital longer. A few babies may even die.
● Is a risk factor of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), babies with certain birth defects like a cleft lip or cleft palate.
Men should stay out of the hot tub when trying to conceive (TTC)
TRUE. Heat can play a detrimental role in sperm count. The rise in scrotal temperature can temporarily reduce sperm production. So if a man is relaxing in a hot tub or sauna or even sitting with a laptop computer on his legs for an extended period of time, it can cause body temperature to rise in the genital area.
It has been suggested that wearing boxers when trying to conceive may be helpful. Keep in mind that sperm production tends to increase in cooler temperatures, so sperm count is often higher in the winter months than in the summer. Time of day can also affect men’s sperm count as it tends to be higher in the morning when hormone levels are higher.
Read Male Factor Infertility is More Common Than You Think to learn more about the risk factors associated with unhealthy sperm counts/morphology and other male factor infertility diagnoses.
A woman’s age doesn’t matter if she plans to use IVF anyway.
FALSE. The media makes it look like it’s easy as pie to get pregnant using IVF when your 40+, but they don’t show what all those aging starlets had to go through to get pregnant, including many expensive rounds of repeat IVF and using eggs from donors.
Besides any underlying infertility factors, IVF success rates are largely proportional to the age of the egg. The older the egg, the lower the IVF success rates. If you know you’ll be holding off to start your family, we highly recommend freezing your eggs while you’re young so they will be more viable when you pursue IVF down the road.
Household toxins can contribute to infertility
TRUE. While we wouldn’t say exposure to everyday household toxins/chemicals is a root cause of infertility, studies show that many of the chemicals found in standard/conventional household cleaners, health and beauty products, as well as foods grown with pesticides/herbicides, may contribute to infertility rates. As we mention in Your Future Fertility: Environmental Factors, multiple studies correlate typical environmental toxins with compromised sperm health and hormone imbalance.
If you want to read more fertility facts, download our eBook and take the entire quiz. It’s free!