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  • Writer's pictureErin White

The Myths and Facts Surrounding Fertility

With all of the google searching we can do these days it’s hard to know what’s fact vs fiction when it comes to fertility. Today I’m going to go over some common myths and then hit some facts about fertility.

Myth #1: Once you hit 35 your fertility declines – While it is true that most women are most fertile during their 20s but our fertility actually starts to decrease during that time too. During our late 20s and 30s most women’s fertility declines and then rapidly declines at 35. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, it just means it could take longer than you might think to get pregnant once your past 35.

Myth #2: You can’t get pregnant while on your period – Everyone’s cycle is different and therefore it is totally possible to get pregnant if you have sex while on your period. You’re most likely to conceive a few days before and during ovulation, it is still possible to get pregnant before then. Why? Because sperm can live up to five days so there’s a chance they can live and fertilize an egg after it’s released during ovulation. It’s more likely to happen for women who have shorter cycles.

Myth #3: Women are most fertile on the 14th day of their cycle – As mentioned in myth #2, everyone’s cycle is different. Most women don’t have the perfect 28 day cycle where they ovulate on day 14 and get their period 14 days later. It’s a fact that women are most fertile in the days leading up to and on the day of ovulation which can occur anytime between day 11 and 21 in a women’s cycle. For me personally I was a day 20-21 ovulation cycle gal so this made tracking SUPER important. Check out this post for all of my tracking go-tos! Some studies suggest that engaging in intercourse even when you are not fertile can increase your chances to conceive when you have sex around the time of ovulation.

Myth #4: On average couples conceive within 3-6 months of trying – This is one of my LEAST favorite assumptions surrounding fertility. The ability to conceive varies so much amongst couples and there are so many factors to consider when trying to conceive. Age, fertility, health of both you and your partner are all factors in fertility. Studies show that about 45% of couples trying to conceive will be successful within 3 months, 60% within 6 months, and 90% within 18 months. But this is when being proactive in your journey is crucial. If it’s been 6-9 months I would highly suggest contacting your doctor, there’s no need to wait for a year before taking action especially if you’re already older.

Myth #5: An egg can be fertilized for up to 2 days after it’s released – This is when timing of conception is so so key. Yes, sperm can live up to 5 days in the uterus but an egg can only be fertilized for 12-24 hours after it’s released. So in order to get pregnant there must be live sperm waiting for the egg in order to be fertilized, and like I said this has to be done within 12-24 HOURS.

Myth #6: You should elevate your legs for 20 minutes after sex to help you get pregnant – In theory this makes sense I suppose but it’s just not true. Sperm travel insanely fast and are chemically programmed to travel to where they need to be ASAP. So there’s no real need to lay there for any period of time or with your legs up to increase your chances.

Myth #7: Cough syrup will help you conceive – There is a theory that taking cough syrup or Mucinex helps increase fertility by thinning your cervical mucus to then help the sperm travel faster. However, there is no real research to back this crazy theory so it’s best to just not take any unnecessary medication when trying to conceive.

Myth #8: You can only conceive on 2 days per cycle – While I mentioned in myth #5 that there is a very small window for an egg to be fertilized this doesn’t mean that these are the only two days you should be doing the deed. In fact your fertile window is 6 days long and you’re most fertile the day before you ovulate and the day of ovulation. So where does the 6 days come into play? Well since sperm can live up to 5 days, having sex several times 5 days prior to ovulation and on the day of ovulation significantly increases your chances of getting pregnant.

Myth #9: You’ll get pregnant faster if you track your basal body temperature: Although tracking your BBT will help you identify your fertile window and when ovulation is/had occurred, it isn’t a magical number that will get you pregnant right away. In fact it takes several cycles of tracking to know what days your temperature tends to rise which indicates you already ovulated before you can use this information for your benefit.

Myth #10: Infertility is mostly a female issue – If it’s taken you and your spouse longer than you thought it would to conceive, don’t just assume it’s all you. Infertility impacts men and women equally and male infertility should be looked into just as early as female infertility. Be sure to talk to your doctor about both you and your spouse if and when concerns arise.

As always, consult with your physician if you have questions or concerns surrounding your fertility. It’s so important to be proactive in your ttc journey!

Feel free to message me or find me on social media to chat more about all things fertility!



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a wife to my amazing husband Zach and a momma to an angel baby and now a beautiful baby boy. I am an anxiety warrior, a follower of Christ, and a devoted wife, mother, daughter, friend, and sister.

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