When you start trying to get pregnant you will likely hear and read a large selection of tips on how to improve your chances. These will come from your friends, your family and from discussion boards and forums online; and being desperate to become parents you are likely to try any number of them in the hope that there might be some truth to them.
Of course there is no harm in trying a few of these (and you might even enjoy some), but knowing which ones are effective can help you to avoid wasting your time and to focus your efforts in the right direction. At the same time it’s also important that you recognise the myths about how not to get pregnant, as you might otherwise accidentally conceive. Following are some commonly held beliefs about how to increase your likelihood of becoming pregnant, along with their accuracy and some explanation.
You’ll increase the chances of your getting pregnant by…
Sex positions affect your chances of pregnancy: MYTH
Some people believe that by using a certain sex position you can actually cause the semen to ‘move’ further in the correct direction. This has no basis in fact however, and the movement of the sperm is dictated by their ability to swim rather than gravity. Likewise no sex position can prevent pregnancy either.
It is possible to get pregnant without having sex: FACT
While it is highly unlikely, even a tiny microscopic drop of semen can be enough to impregnate a woman. As such if she is naked it is possible for her to become pregnant during oral sex or other sexual activity.
Birth control pills will not work unless taken regularly: FACT
Missing birth control pills and using them at irregular intervals can result in them not working.
No form of contraception is 100% effective: FACT
Sadly no form of contraception is 100% effective and there is always some risk of conceiving.
You cannot get pregnant having sex during or straight after menstruation: MYTH
This makes pregnancy a lot less likely, however it is not a completely bullet proof system and it is not safe to have sex without a condom even during menstruation if you are avoiding pregnancy.
You cannot get pregnant having sex in water: MYTH
This is another myth with no basis in fact – water has no effect on fertility.
Having sex 14 days after your period is the best time to get pregnant: MYTH
For some women this may be true. However the menstrual cycle is not like clockwork as most women know and it can change in duration among other things.
Having sex every day increases your chances of pregnancy: FACT
No doubt a myth circulated by men – and fortunately with some truth! This is a belief that many will report as myth claiming that you should only have sex during ovulation and that it is thus quality rather than quantity that counts. However as we have already learned it is possible to get pregnant at any time – even during menstruation – so having regular sex will indeed marginally improve your chances.
You cannot get pregnant when you start the menopause: MYTH
The cut off point is actually after the menopause are over. This is marked as the 12th consecutive month with no menstruation.
Pregnancy tests are not always accurate: FACT
This is very true, and as such it is important that women use several tests to be sure of their reading before they report the good news.
Wearing multiple condoms makes you safer: MYTH
This is actually the opposite of what actually happens; and wearing two condoms at once makes them more likely to tear or rip during sex. However using more than one type of contraception – such as the pill and a condom will make you extra safe.