There are a multitude of myths around fertility. When you are trying for a baby it is essential to have accurate and up-to-date information, and even more so if you’re trying for a baby and nothing’s happening. Infertility affects up to fifteen percent of couples so it’s not that uncommon.
If infertility is affecting you and your partner, it is worthwhile making sure you have all the facts.
Here’s a list of common myths around fertility which may be hampering your efforts to fall pregnant:
In around 30 percent of cases, infertility issues come from the female in the couple; however, the same can be said for the male partner – yes, that’s right, in 30 percent of cases the problem lies with the man. Around 30 percent of cases are ‘causes unknown’. So don’t just assume the problem lies with the woman. If you’re starting to worry, seek testing for both of you.
It’s easy for someone to say ‘just relax, things will happen’ when they are not experiencing infertility. However, infertility is a legitimate medical condition that often required investigation and medical intervention. While relaxing is a good idea, and will improve your general quality of life, it is very unlikely that pregnancy will magically occur because you’ve managed to reign in your emotions around not conceiving. In most cases the stress and anxiety you feel about achieving a pregnancy have occurred because of infertility, not despite it.
The theory comes from the issue of temperature around the testicles. The idea is that boxer shorts are looser so allow more air circulation around the testicles, whereas briefs keep everything tucked in and warm. The difference in temperature inside boxers compared to briefs is so small that it is highly unlikely to make any difference at all to the health of the sperm being produced.
Unfortunately it’s not as simple as that. While it is all about the timing, it’s easy to get this timing wrong. Once the egg is released it can be fertilised for between 12 and 24 hours. If you wait until the day of ovulation it is possible that you will miss the window, simply because you don’t know exactly when the egg is released or for how long it hangs around for. You’re much more likely to conceive if you are having regular sex in the week or two prior to ovulation, so there is sperm in the fallopian tubes ready to hit their target.
Sperm have one job – to swim like crazy to find and fertilise that egg. They are born to the task, how the sperm get there has no bearing on their success. If you’re trying for a baby you’re going to be having lots of sex, you might as well choose the positions that give you both the most pleasure as the sperm will swim regardless.
While it is known that men can produce viable sperm for well in to their twilight years, to say that age is not an issue is incorrect. Men certainly have biological clocks, but they tick a bit longer than a woman’s. However, like women’s age related fertility issues, the older the man is the less robust his sperm will be, and the less volume he will produce.
For many couples, particularly those who are already in their 30’s waiting a year before you start looking for answers could seriously hamper your chances of having a baby. If you’re not ready to speak to the doctor about it, there are a range of home fertility tests you can do in the privacy of your own home that will give you vital information around both your fertile times and your husbands reproductive health.