We have all heard numerous stories and misconceptions from one another about conception and fertility. I would like to help you gain some more clarity so you can discern what’s FACT and what’s MYTH.
These are the top three topics that I am asked about most often.
“Do I have to worry about getting pregnant when I’m on my period?”
This is MYTH and FACT depending on how long your ovulatory cycle is and how long your period is. You will need to chart your cycle in order to tell when you are ovulating and how long your cycle lasts. This is because sperm can live up to five days in your system according to some sources, and this means that by the time you ovulate, that sperm might still be alive and well to fertilize your egg. In effect, you aren’t getting pregnant on your period—it’s the semen that made it up inside your fallopian tubes that’s fertilizing your egg when you ovulate.
If your cycle is twenty-six days or longer, you cannot get pregnant on days one through three of your period. If your cycle is twenty-eight days or longer, you cannot get pregnant on days one through five of your period. If your cycle is shorter than twenty-six days, then it is best to consider your period as a potentially fertile time. Likewise, if your cycle is twenty-six days and you have sex on the fourth day of your period, this could be a fertile time also.
“If I’m healthy, relatively stress-free, and eat well, does this mean I don’t have to worry about age affecting my fertility?”
While it is important and FACT that you and your partner eating nourishing whole foods, decreasing stress, and living healthy lives has a positive effect on your fertility, it is MYTH that this means you do not need to be concerned with age affecting your fertility. Age affects fertility because of the decrease of viable eggs living in your ovaries. So while your health will certainly contribute to you having a regular cycle and positive environment for a potential fetus to develop, it cannot stop the decrease of eggs and shift of hormones that happens over time.
Additionally, health and eating well may not resolve any underlying infertility issues if they are present. Consult your doctor if you think infertility may be an issue for you.
“Once I stop taking the pill, will I get pregnant right away, especially if I have sex every day?”
It is FACT that it’s possible to get pregnant within the first month that you are off the pill as body hormone levels can return to normal very quickly. However, don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away. It doesn’t mean that you will have trouble getting pregnant as time goes on. Start charting your cycle to find out your most fertile times.
Having sex every day to get pregnant only works because you are more likely to be having sex during your fertile time. However, it is a MYTH that you must have sex every day. In regards to conceiving, you only need to have sex when your body is preparing to ovulate and when you’re ovulating. After ovulation, the egg has lived out its twenty-four-hour life span and dies. Therefore, there is nothing for sperm to fertilize until your next ovulation occurs. This period of time after ovulation until your period starts is called your infertile time.
Stay tuned for more Fact vs. Myth in the coming months, and let us know if you have any more questions about conceiving.