Six Common Myths That Can Hurt Your Chances of Getting Pregnant
Despite having better access to reproductive and family-planning health care services than women of previous generations, many women today still hold some common fertility myths as truths.
These myths can be extremely harmful in that they perpetuate the spread of false information, and adhering to them can even hurt your chances of getting pregnant. Having a full understanding of these myths, though, will help ensure you have a less stressful — and less confusing — experience while trying to conceive.
Of course, we always recommend that anyone with questions about their reproductive health schedule an appointment with their provider to discuss family-planning goals.
Female Fertility Myths: Fact vs. Fiction
Six of the most common female fertility myths are outlined below.
Myth #1 — Women can have kids just as easily at age 40 as they can at age 35.
Although women are now having children later in life, women’s fertility does decline with age, and after your 20s, your chances of getting pregnant begin to decline even more sharply. Although the rate of decline will differ somewhat from person to person, experts advise women who are aiming for later pregnancies to have their kids before age 40, noting that having them in one’s 20s offers the best chances.
Myth #2 — Medications don’t impact the chances of getting pregnant.
Certain medications can affect women’s hormones, making it harder to get pregnant. For example, antidepressant, antianxiety, and antipsychotic medications can all reduce the chances of conceiving, as can some over-the-counter and prescription NSAIDs, antiepileptics, and thyroid medications. Whether you’re trying to conceive or you’re already pregnant, it’s important to discuss medication use and health care needs with a professional.
Myth #3 — Weight does not affect one’s chances of conceiving.
Being either underweight or overweight, can impact your fertility. Maintaining a balanced diet and healthy BMI is crucial for overall wellness and health, and especially so when trying to have children. Women with a BMI higher than 30, in particular, can have a harder time conceiving and also run a higher risk of birth complications. Likewise, having a BMI under 18.5 can cause women to stop ovulating, meaning no eggs will be released for the sperm to fertilize.
Myth #4 — Smoking is detrimental only during the actual pregnancy.
While it’s now common knowledge that smoking during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, it’s also important to keep in mind that quitting smoking before trying to get pregnant can significantly improve fertility. Studies have also shown that even secondhand smoke, can affect fertility and how long it takes to conceive.
Myth #5 — Irregular periods aren’t connected to fertility.
Irregular menstruation can be a sign of hormonal imbalance. In general, it’s important to keep a close eye on the length, timing, and heaviness of your periods, and this applies while trying to conceive as well. Discussing any irregularities with your doctor will help ensure any underlying conditions that may impact fertility are treated as quickly and effectively as possible.
Myth #6 — You can get pregnant at any time of your menstrual cycle.
There’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the best time to conceive and what exactly the ovulation window is. Women trying to get pregnant should aim to have intercourse several times in the days leading up to ovulation, as there is a six-day “fertile window”, in the menstrual cycle: the five days leading up to ovulation, and the first day of ovulation itself.
Connect with a Fertility Specialist Today
Women’s experiences in trying to get pregnant can vary widely. Whether you’re already trying to have children or just starting to toy with the idea of starting a family or having another kid, it’s important to stay aware of the pervasive myths still surrounding female fertility.
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant without success, take the first step and consult with a trusted fertility specialist or OBGYN.
Click here, to set up an appointment with the experts at Washington Fertility Center today.