You think you know your body, right? You think they taught you everything you need to know about your menstrual cycle in 6th grade health class, right? You bleed every 28-31 days, sometime within that timeframe you ovulate, and all you need to get pregnant is sperm inside of you.
OK, so we’re all adults now. And we do actually know more than that. Right?
Turns out, not so much.
It can be humbling (maybe even embarrassing) to admit that we don’t know more about fertility — about when we’re most likely to get pregnant, about what does and doesn’t contribute to successful conception.
But rest assured, we finally have some answers.
NPR recently ran a story about how little women know about getting pregnant. In fact, nearly 60 percent of women are totally wrong about what time of month is best to get — or avoid getting — pregnant.
Here are the Cliffs Notes on the article, or what I like to call “7 Facts About Getting Pregnant that Most Women Don’t know.” Be sure to check out the full article on NPR, because its author has so much more to say than this:
- Sex position has nothing to do with getting pregnant. One-third of women believe that elevating the pelvis during sex or specific sex positions affect the chances of getting pregnant. This is simply not the case, even if it does seem logical.
- You have to have sex before ovulation in order to get pregnant. According to experts, the peak window of fertility is two days before ovulation. Sperm has a great “shelf life.” It can last for days inside of your body, and it’s best if sperm is “waiting” for your egg when you ovulate.
- Having more sex won’t up your chances at pregnancy. In fact, it could lower it. If your man ejaculates too frequently, he actually lowers his sperm count. It’s recommended that sperm be inside of you two days before you ovulate and the day of ovulation.
- Folic acid supplements should be taken at least one month before conception. In order for folic acid to do what you need it to do — prevent neural tube defects — you have to take it before conception. Any woman of childbearing age should take this supplement.
- Smoking, obesity, and irregular periods all decrease fertility. Quit. Lose weight. And see your doctor. All of these issues can be addressed.
- Sexually transmitted diseases affect your fertility. Specifically, gonorrhea and chlamydia (past or present day) might have caused a blockage in your tubes from the infection.
- Stress is probably the last reason you’re not getting pregnant. While most women say this is the reason they’re not getting pregnant, doctors say there is very little evidence that links stress to infertility.
So, there you have it, ladies. Anything on this list surprise you?
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