Common Myths Around Fertility & Ovulation

There are a lot of misconceptions out there on getting pregnant and ovulation and we are here to talk about some of the common ones. If you ever have a question about your fertility, remember that your primary care physician or gynecologist is an excellent source of information. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! They want to help you.


It’s easy to get pregnant

You might be surprised to learn that a healthy couple 35 and under has a maximum 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each month. Timing and conditions must be just right. The woman needs to be at the peak of ovulation in her menstrual cycle where the endometrial lining is thickest. Then the sperm must make it through many barriers to just reach the egg. Once it does, there are no guarantees it will fertilize, or implant.

Couples 35 and younger who have been trying for 1 year without any success should seek the advice of an expert, and couples over 35 should try for 6 months and then see a specialist if conception has not occurred.


To get pregnant, you beed to have sex after you ovulate

If you want to get pregnant, you need to have sex before you ovulate. Ideally, sex in the two days before ovulation is most likely to help you conceive.

This is a common misunderstanding, and it’s easy to see how people come to this conclusion. It seems to make sense that the egg needs to be present first, before you send in the “swimmers”. However, that’s not how it works.

First of all, sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for up to six days. The sperm will die off as the days pass, so the closer to ovulation you have sex, the better. But they don’t need to get there “at the moment” of ovulation.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the egg becomes nonviable very quickly. If a sperm cell doesn’t fertilize the egg within 12 to 24 hours of being released from the ovary, pregnancy can’t occur.


To be able to conceive you need to have an orgasm

Naturally, your partner must have an orgasm to ensure his sperm can reach the fallopian tubes and the egg. However, the female orgasm doesn’t have any effect on this process and so isn’t necessary for conception to take place.

Certain sex positions can increase the chance of pregnancy. There is no evidence that lying with your legs in the air or adopting other positions after sex increase the chance of pregnancy. Yes, if you stand up immediately afterwards, you can feel a trickle, but that’s OK. Sperm immediately head north, while seminal fluid heads south.

Pregnancy is impossible during Aunt Flo’s visit. While it is practically impossible to get pregnant on your period, there is a chance of getting pregnant from intercourse occurring during this time, especially if you happen to have a shorter cycle length than the standard 28 to 30 days. The shorter your cycle (and the longer your period), the more likely you are to ovulate soon after menstruation.

Being on the pill too long will delay pregnancy. Your cycle should get back on track pretty much right away, so you should expect to ovulate within just a few weeks — barring any other issues that may be going on. In fact, studies show that within one year after stopping the Pill, 80 percent of women who want to get pregnant do.


If your menstrual cycle is “seemingly normal,” you are ovulating

It’s common to assume that your period is a sign that you’re ovulating normally. But surprisingly, that’s not always the case. Some women may have what is called an anovulatory cycle, (meaning ovulation has not occurred). In fact, you may have experienced one and not even noticed. That’s because when a woman experiences an ovulation, she may still seem to menstruate normally.

A menstrual cycle that’s too long (35 days or more), too short (less than 21 days), irregular or absent can also mean that you’re not ovulating.

Generally, if you have regular periods, you have a 95 per cent chance of ovulation.


Women ovulate on the 14th day after their period starts

The day of ovulation differs from woman to woman and can even be different from month to month for an individual woman. For a woman with a 28-day cycle, the window of ovulation is day 11 through day 21 of your cycle. Ovulation could occur on any one day during this window. During your window of ovulation, an egg is only available to be fertilized for about 12-24 hours.


40 is the new 30

Many women mistakenly believe that as long as they are menstruating regularly, their eggs are perfectly healthy. But this is not always the case as egg quality typically takes a nosedive once a woman reaches her mid to late 30s. After age 35, the rate of decline accelerates and by the age of 40, over half of couples are infertile. By 45, women have less than a 5% chance of becoming pregnant.


A man’s fertility does not decline with age

The trend to delay parenthood until an older age has also been seen in men. The idea that a man’s fertility will continue well past a woman’s decline is false. The older the man, the more difficult it is to conceive due to a decline in semen quality and an increase in DNA fragmentation seen in the sperm. In addition to problems with sperm, male aging is also associated with decreased sexual activity and erectile dysfunction.


If you are fit, you are fertile

Fitness has nothing to do with your ability to become pregnant. No matter how fit and healthy a woman is, as she ages, her fertility level diminishes. This is because her eggs mature and decline in quality and quantity, especially after she enters her 30s. Perfectly healthy women may not be able to conceive due to medical problems pertaining to ovulation, blocked fallopian tubes and other infertility issues.


“Trying too hard” decreases fertility

There’s no doubt about it–all those well-intentioned individuals who keep telling you to relax and not worry so much about trying to get pregnant are annoying. EXTREME stress could affect your ovulation and lead to some infertility issues. But if “worrying about it” takes the form of monitoring ovulation and timing intercourse to coincide with your most fertile time, it can only help.