8 common fertility myths - busted

8 common fertility myths - busted

Myth #1: "Lifting my legs up after having sex will help me to conceive."

"Lying in bed for 10 to 15 minutes after intercourse is enough to help sperm get into the cervix," says Dr Seng Shay Way, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Raffles Fertility Centre.

"As such, lifting your legs up in the air is unnecessary."

Myth #2: "Having sex in the morning will improve my chances of conceiving."

Dr Seng says that there is no evidence to show that morning sex is more effective for getting pregnant, as sperm count isn't significantly higher in the mornings.

Myth #3: "I have to abstain from coffee in order to conceive."

Researchers haven't found a clear link between caffeine intake and fertility. "However, it's generally considered safe to consume 200mg to 300mg of caffeine daily while trying to conceive," shares Dr Seng.

Myth #4: "If I'm healthy and fit, my age won't affect my chances of conceiving."

Unfortunately, age has a direct effect on the quality of your eggs, says Dr Seng. You should therefore try to get pregnant when you're younger.

Myth #5: "Eating more vegetables will help me to conceive a girl, while having more potatoes and bananas will help me to conceive a boy."

"It's an old wives' tale that foods high in calcium and magnesium will lead to the conception of a girl, and that foods rich in potassium will lead to the conception of a boy. There isn't any scientific evidence to support this statement," notes Dr Seng.

Myth #6: "Eating yams will help me to conceive twins."

Again, no scientific evidence.

Myth #7: "Consuming antioxidants can help boost my fertility."

"Free radicals, which are the waste products from your cells, may be toxic to eggs and sperm. As such, many women believe that a diet rich in antioxidants - which reduces the oxidative stress brought on by these free radicals - can improve fertility. However, evidence to support this is currently limited," says Dr Seng.

Myth #8: "I should have sex on the 14th day of my menstrual cycle, which is when I ovulate."

While it is true that you should time intercourse around your ovulation to increase your chances of conceiving, fertility windows differ from woman to woman.

"Not everyone has a 28-day cycle, so having sex on the 14th day of your cycle isn't always optimal," Dr Seng clarifies.

Typically, ovulation takes place about two weeks before your next expected period, so if you have a 32-day cycle, you can expect to ovulate around day 18.

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