Will lying with your legs up really work? Should you be gulping down cough syrup? Is one position the best? We separate fact from fiction. By Kim Bell
They say that fact is stranger than fiction, but when it comes to baby-making, there are some weird and wonderful beliefs. While some may be fun and others just plain weird, here’s what you need to know.
Myth: You need to orgasm to conceive
Of course, this is always a plus – but it’s not a must. When you orgasm, your uterus contracts, which can help propel those feisty sperm towards their destination. However, they are pretty smart in finding their own way so, if you don’t organism, it doesn’t mean you won’t fall pregnant. A study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that a chemical is released with the egg at ovulation that attracts sperm.
Myth: Stick your legs in the air for 20 minutes after sex
All you truly achieve with this is sore legs. Logic says that by sticking your legs in the air, your pelvis is tipped, and gravity will prevail. However, your partner’s sperm are chemically programmed to travel straight towards the first egg they can find. Science reveals the average male will produce around 525 billion sperm cells over a lifetime, shedding at least one billion per month (don’t ask). A healthy man can release between 40 million and 1.2 billion sperm cells in a single ejaculation.
Myth: You need to have sex missionary style to conceive
There is no truth to this one. Both anecdotal and science-based evidence support trying a few positions, the only trick is to ensure deep penetration. So go wild, and have some fun.
Myth: Cough syrup will boost your chances of pregnancy
This nasty little myth has been lurking around since the 1980s. The theory was that one of the common ingredients in cough syrup is guaifenesin, which a 1982 study reported was a fertility booster as it could potentially thin the mucus in your cervix. However, this is not a safe or effective way to boost your pregnancy chances.
Myth: You can’t fall pregnant while breastfeeding
There is some truth to this myth, but it’s no fail-safe. According to lactation experts, the Lactation Amenorrhea Method can be a natural, short-term birth control since the hormones released during breastfeeding interrupt your normal ovulation cycle. However, this is only considered to be 98% effective if the following criteria are at play: your baby is younger than six months old, your monthly periods have not returned, your baby is exclusively breastfed and is feeding every four hours, and there is no more than one six-hour stretch between feeds in a 24-hour period.
The Fertility Show Africa takes place on Friday, March 6, and Saturday, March 7, 2020 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng. Show times are Friday from 9am to 6pm and Saturday from 9am to 5pm. Learn more at www.fertilityshowafrica.co.za.
Kim Bell is a wife, mother of two teenagers and a lover of research and the way words flow and meld together. She has been in the media industry for over 20 years, and yet still learns more about life from her children everyday. You can learn more about Kim Bell here.