There are many myths about falling pregnant. Dr David Knight from Demeter Fertility debunks some of the most common fertility myths.
BEING ON THE PILL FOR TOO LONG DELAYS PREGNANCY
Absolutely not true. Depending on the kind of birth control you were using before you started trying to conceive, the rate your cycle regulates may vary, but not by much.
As for users of the Pill, many cases show that your cycle should get back on track pretty much right away, so you should expect to ovulate within just a few weeks. Studies have shown that within one year after stopping the Pill, 80 per cent of women who want to get pregnant do.
WOMEN CAN’T GET PREGNANT FROM INTERCOURSE DURING THEIR PERIOD
True, a woman can’t get pregnant during her period because the hormonal levels that trigger ovulation are completely opposite during menstruation. However, a woman can get pregnant from intercourse during her period if she has an early ovulation and has sex on day five or later of her cycle.
To add to the confusion, not all bleeding is a period! Some women can have a few days of bleeding during her cycle, which can be confused with a period.
STRESS CAUSES INFERTILITY
The role stress plays on fertility is complex. Stress doesn’t prevent conception, however, it can delay ovulation by suppressing the hormones necessary for it to occur.
A WOMAN CAN GET PREGNANT ONLY ONE DAY PER CYCLE
It’s true that a human egg is only viable for 12 to 24 hours, although a woman can actually get pregnant from an act of intercourse occurring anytime from five days prior to ovulation to even occasionally two days after.
Sperm can survive up to five days inside the woman’s reproductive tract, and a woman can release two or more eggs within a 24-hour period. So theoretically, a woman can get pregnant for about one week per cycle.
BREASTFEEDING = BIRTH CONTROL
It’s true that breastfeeding can keep women period-free for longer and, therefore, less fertile, but this isn’t true in all cases. If
If a woman’s exclusively breastfeeding on demand, hasn’t had a period, and the baby is less than six months old, the chance of conception is around two per cent. This is called the lactational amenorrhoea method of contraception, and while safe, it’s definitely not failsafe!
This article was originally published on Practical Parenting.