Pregnancy myths

Pregnancy myths

There are always old wives tales and myths which surround fertility and pregnancy. Although many of these are true there are also many which have no basis in fact. Below is a list of the most common.

  1. Men should wear loose underwear
    True; cooler testes produce higher quality sperm.
     
  2. Washing the vagina after sex decreases the chance of conception
    True. According to the American Journal of Public Health, washing of the vagina after sex decreases conception chances by 30%.
     
  3. Pregnant women should avoid contact with those who have chickenpox
    True. Women should wait a month after chickenpox vaccination before trying to conceive, and avoid those with the illness or who have recently been vaccinated.
     
  4. A man can't get make a woman pregnant if he doesn't ejaculate.
    False. A small number of sperm cells are released before ejaculation.
     
  5. You can't get pregnant if you only have sex during the "safe days" of a cycle.
    False, sperm can live up to a week inside the woman's body.
     
  6. The morning after pill always works.
    False. It is only 75% effective.
     
  7. Sex in the missionary position will always give you a girl
    False. Sexual positions have nothing to do with the sex of the child.
     
  8. If your partner has brothers, you are more likely to have a boy.
    False. The sex of the child is determined by which chromosome the father donates. Each sperm is randomly assigned an X or Y sex chromosome.
     
  9. If you already have two girls or boys, you're likely to get a third.
    True. Although the X or Y sperm is randomly selected, some men have better quality X or Y sperms.
     
  10. It is easier to get pregnant the second time
    True. Couples with no children take twice as long to conceive.
     
  11. You are less of a man if you can't have children.
    False. Fertility is not a signifier of masculinity.
     
  12. A woman who has never had children is more likely to get cervical cancer.
    True. The chance of cervical cancer decreases with each child.
     
  13. Pregnant women should avoid cats, as they can cause birth defects.
    True. Cats can carry Toxoplasmosis, which is extremely dangerous to babies if mother becomes infected with it. Cats who live outside are particularly filthy.
     
  14. You can tell by the shape of the belly what the baby will be.
    False. The shape and position of the belly is simply down to mother's anatomy.
     
  15. More and more people are infertile
    False. It could simply be that we are more aware of it, combined with the fact that many women are waiting until their 30's to conceive, and fertility begins to fall around then.
     
  16. Infertility due to damaged fallopian tubes can happen at a young age.
    Sometimes true, in cases of disease or damage, such as endometriosis or appendicitis.
     
  17. Women who don't have periods can't get pregnant.
    False. bout 1% of all women have an early menopause. These women can be assisted, for example with donated ova. Absence of period is usually explained by health and diet, and can be remedied with due action.
     
  18. Fertility can be increased by hoarding sperm between sex sessions
    False. Millions of sperm cells are produced every day in the testes. Waiting and storing them can reduce the rates of production, or result in aged, poorer quality, sperm.
     
  19. A weaker erection or lack of female orgasm has a detrimental effect on the chances of conception
    False. There is no evidence for this. Women do not have to orgasm to become pregnant. Focusing on the "perfect time" can have negative consequences for the love life and partnership. Have sex when you feel like it instead of waiting for the so called perfect opportunity.

 

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