Myths and realities about what does and does not facilitate pregnancy

The chances of getting pregnant depend on three factors: the quality of the semen, the age of the woman and the fertility level of both the man and the woman.

There are many false beliefs about what does or does not make pregnancy difficult. That is why it is important to debunk myths and truths, and to solve the main doubts that couples have before getting pregnant.

What myths or falsehoods are there about the factors that favor pregnancy?

“Trying on the 14th day after menstruation is enough”.

It is more practical to have intercourse between the three days before and the day of ovulation. To find out which day it will be, you have to look at how long the menstrual cycle usually lasts. If the cycle is 28 days long, it is possible that ovulation will occur on the 14th day of the cycle. On the other hand, if it is 27 days, it is usually on the 13th. However, as it is not always accurate, it is better not to restrict the attempt to one day. It is known that the sperm can be waiting with “vitality” for three days for the oocyte in the fallopian tubes and fertilize it in the next 24 hours. It will be more practical, then, to orient relations in those 4 days.

“Ovarian age is directly equivalent to age.”

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The chances of getting pregnant in each cycle are related to ovarian age, which can be years above or below the woman’s age. But the best indicator is the blood level of antimullerian hormone. So is the basal antral follicle count on ultrasound.

All women are born with a specific oocyte reserve, which is lost from puberty onwards each month. Some have a greater or lesser endowment, others lose more or less quantity with each cycle… Hence it is important to consult the specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics and Assisted Reproduction for the ovarian reserve in the gynecological review.

“Certain postures facilitate pregnancy”.

Not true. It is not uncommon for some women to raise their legs during and after intercourse, as they think they will retain more sperm at the bottom of the vaginal sac and thus improve fertility. However, this depends entirely on the shape of each woman’s uterus. The same with some postures: there are no studies that demonstrate their relationship with greater fertility.

“If there is a curettage, the chances of another pregnancy are reduced”.

False. Curettage does not reduce the chances of another pregnancy, except if it has produced intrauterine adhesions or scarring. In the old days it used to be said: “curetted woman, pregnant woman”. In fact, some papers say that a microbleed before fertility treatment can increase the chances of success.

What are the truths or what factors can actually facilitate a pregnancy?

“It is good to take folic acid before pregnancy.”

Folic acid should be taken before pregnancy, as it helps prevent serious brain and spinal cord disorders, as well as other defects, such as cleft lip. The neural tube develops very early, even before you know you are pregnant, so it is good to start taking it a month before.

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The main sources of folic acid are vegetables and greens, but they are very sensitive during cooking and their properties are immediately lost during cooking, oil or steaming. If they are eaten raw, the degree of absorption in the diet is also different. Therefore, it is recommended to ingest pharmacological folic acid, which is better absorbed.

“Semen quality increases with ejaculations.”

It is true that semen quality is better in men with higher number of ejaculations, and it increases proportionally to a higher frequency. This is also a good stimulus for sperm to form in the testicles. In the same way that happens with the muscles, the function trains the organ.

“Female orgasms facilitate pregnancy.”

True. When women have an orgasm, certain contractions occur in the uterus that allow the transport of sperm to the egg. In the same way, orgasm also facilitates ovulation.

False advice and claims should be disregarded. It is necessary to turn to experts, who are the ones who will be able to solve the doubts in a reliable way, assessing each case individually.