When it come to conception myths, we’ve heard some pretty crazy ones! Sometimes, it’s hard to tell which ones we should believe and which ones we should ignore. So, we got Dr. Lara Oboler, PregPrep’s very own co-founder to set the record straight.
Myth: Only women need to take supplements before a pregnancy.
Truth: It’s common knowledge that women should take folic acid prior to getting pregnant in order to prevent certain birth defects. What isn’t as well known is that men should also take folic acid. Research has found that men with low folic acid in their diet have a higher rate of chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm. In addition – selenium, vitamin C and zinc have been shown to boost male fertility.
Myth: Eating yams while trying to conceive will increase your chances of twins.
Truth: This is a strange one. There is an African village named Igbo-Ora with an unusually high rate of twins – in fact the highest in the world. One theory has been that they consume a lot of yams. In fact, there was one study that linked fertility to yams but this has not been formally proven.
Myth: Men don’t have fertility ‘windows.’
Truth: Actually, sperm are even more temperamental than eggs! Some think that sperm counts are higher in the morning, probably related to daily male hormonal cycles. In addition, sperm counts are higher in the winter than in the summer – probably temperature related.
Myth: You can’t get pregnant while you are menstruating:
Truth: Actually, 1 to 6 percent of women may be fertile on the day their next menstrual cycle is due to begin. [source: Grigg].
Myth: Caffeine doesn’t affect fertility.
Truth: Caffeine can actually decrease fertility. One study found that women who consumed more than the equivalent of one cup of coffee per day were half as likely to become pregnant, per cycle, as women who drank less. Also—remember there is caffeine in tea, soda and chocolate.
Myth: It takes a long time to get pregnant after stopping birth control pills.
Truth: This is actually not true. In a study of 200 women who took birth control pills for at least a year, 40 percent had a period or became pregnant just one month after they stopped taking the pill. And by three months post-pill, nearly 99 percent had a period or became pregnant. In fact, studies show that within one year after stopping birth control pills, 80% of women who want to get pregnant do.
Myth:Stress is one of the major causes of male infertility.
Truth: Although stress may affect sex drive, it will not affect semen quality or quantity, and thus will not lead to infertility.
Myth: Keeping the testicles cold will enhance semen quality.
Truth: Most men know that heating the testicles can cause problems with the sperm, so they may think that cooling testicles will do the opposite. Not exactly. Cooling testicles with ice can actually be dangerous. In terms of heat – boxers are preferred to wear over “tighty whities.” Also, prolonged driving should be avoided as it raises scrotal temperature and affects sperm quality. In addition – prolonged hot baths, saunas, and laptop usage on the lap can all decrease sperm count.
Myth: Excessive cycling affects sperm count
Truth: Cycling does not affect sperm count. But caution: the bicycle seat itself could cause a problem. If the bicycle seat (or any seat for that matter) causes numbness – it could potentially damage a man’s erection.