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Houston Fertility Journal

    The Worlds Worst Fertility Advice

    February 15, 2018 / by Center of Reproductive Medicine   

    Center of Reproductive Medicine


    When a woman wants to get pregnant and is experiencing trouble, she is open pretty much to any advice she can get. It is understandable. All of those years that a woman takes birth control or uses other types of protection, or even completely abstains from intercourse in order to avoid pregnancy, just to have trouble achieving it when those precautions are set aside.

    There should be an explanation or an easy fix, but the circumstance is different for everyone. Because of this, it can take a lot of trial and error to figure out what could be the cause of the infertility. It’s hard to have the patience for this, so a lot of women are susceptible to believing some incredibly incorrect advice. In this article we will pinpoint common false tips for women struggling with infertility, how to recognize when your doctor is not helping you, and the advice that you should be receiving instead.

    Advice You Shouldn’t Trust


    People talk a lot, and you should not always listen to them. There are also some doctors out there who are not necessarily as knowledgeable as they claim to be. If someone in your circle states any of these examples as fact, you should probably seek advice elsewhere.

    If you’re going to conceive you need to have an orgasm. Believe it or not, there are a collection of people that actually think this is true. What you may not know is that an orgasm does assist in conception because it contracts the uterus which helps the sperm to have an easier time making its way toward the fallopian tubes. However, you do not need to have one to make a baby.

    Laying still in complex positions for an extended amount of time after sex will increase the chance of pregnancy. It’s understandable why people believe this to be true, unfortunately you cannot manipulate sperm with gravity. No matter what position your body is in, sperm are already motivated to travel directly to your uterus. Conception following intercourse all depends on if the sperm are good swimmers and your body is ready for them, You can tip your hips up a bit if you are bent on the idea that you want every sperm to have a chance, but hoisting your legs in the air or remaining in a handstand for 20 minutes will not make any difference.

    If you breastfeed it is a source of birth control. This is a very old wives tale. It is convincing for many because the fact exists that breastfeeding may keep you from getting your period for awhile. However, this does not necessarily mean that it affects your fertility.

    Experts have found that it may be a factor if:

    • you have had absolutely no bleeding since delivery
    • you are breastfeeding all day and night

    These facts are not concrete and using breastfeeding for birth control is unadvised.

    The only way to conceive is by having intercourse in the missionary position. The position that you are in does not really matter. Focus on the science. The male must release his semen into the female’s reproductive system, it does not go much further than that.

    Cough syrup is pregnancy potion. This is another ongoing myth that, for some reason, continues to thrive. There is an ingredient in cough syrup called guaifenesin that was found to be a potential ‘fertility booster’ from a study in 1982. It was thought that it had the ability to thin cervical mucus, which could potentially allow the sperm to travel more easily. No studies have ever actually proven this to be true, and cough syrup should not be consumed excessively.

    Just adopt and you will get pregnant. Plenty of people know those couples that have tried every way to get pregnant and finally achieved it once they stopped trying. In some cases, the couple finally decided on adoption and found themselves with a successful pregnancy right after doing so. This is purely circumstantial and is not something one should do in order to achieve pregnancy.

    If you monitor your body temperature to increase your chances of pregnancy you should wait to have intercourse until your temperature skyrockets. Monitoring your body temperature is helpful when it comes to tracking your fertility over the course of a month, but if you wait for something immense to happen, you are wasting precious time. The important part is the time of ovulation. If you are monitoring your body in this way, you should have intercourse on the day before ovulation begins.

    If the man successfully conceived a child before he cannot be the reason for infertility. Just because a person has been able to make a baby in the past does not mean that their body hasn't gone through the changes that could affect their fertility. So many things could have changed in the years since this person conceived. They could have gained weight or developed thyroid disease, which are just a couple examples of conditions that can cause infertility.

    If you spend more money on vitamins you have a higher chance of getting pregnant. There are certain vitamins on the market that have raised their prices with the promise that they assist in improving your fertility. There is little evidence to support these claims, and you should only rely on medicine that is supported by a doctor whom you know that you can trust.

    How to Know it’s Time to Find a Different Physician


    There are so many ways you can fall into the wrong hands. Someone confidently recommended this person to you, the reviews online were exceptional, or their success rates were may more impressive than anyone else’s in the area. In any case, you should never feel like you have to stick with the choice that you made, especially if any of the following occurs.

    The physician requires you to work around their schedule with no respect for your time. If your specialist makes you feel that, in anyway, you should have to wait for them to be available, something's not right. They should make it evident that you mean something to them, and that they want to do what they can to make the time for you.

    You feel like your opinion doesn’t matter. If anyone in the clinic, including your physician, is not listening to what you say, you are not being treated with care. The whole point is to make caring for you the priority. First and foremost, you should know that you are being heard.

    The staff in the clinic is unprofessional or condescending. You should never feel like the staff at a care clinic is talking down to you or giving your feelings little importance. If this is the way you feel and you are not welcome and calm, there are many other places that would be a better fit for you.

    Your doctor refuses to change treatment. If you feel that the approach you and your doctor are taking is not right for you, they should respect that. Their goal is not to do what is most comfortable for them, but what makes the most sense for your body and goal as a whole.

    The Advice that you Should be Getting

    When it comes down to it, you are dealing with something very sensitive. You need to be surrounding yourself with people that are nothing but understanding and educated about the situation. Conversations that surround this topic should be handled with the awareness that:

    You need to be able to be able to share your feelings. You shouldn't have to wear a brave face during this time, at least not the whole time. You should be allowed to be vulnerable and open about what you are going through. It is helpful to write your feelings down first, before you see someone, so you are aware of what is going on with you and you can express yourself fully.

    You may be tempted to blame yourself. People that work in this area should know that your confidence has been wounded. It should be made apparent that there is nothing wrong with you, that this is not uncommon, and that there are many options for you.

    You and your partner are a team. The more that you work with your significant other toward your goal in an open and understanding environment the better. Communication is key, and your healthcare providers should be encouraging this constantly. The main thing is that you never feel alone, and that you know you always have somewhere you can turn.

    Money is a factor. There is no hiding from the fact that fertility treatment is a pricey ordeal, everyone knows that. Each time you make a new plan, the price matter shouldn’t be tossed aside like it is insignificant and that you are worrying for no reason. The sensitivity of this matter should always be handled with understanding and care, with advice on how to make the options you have work best for you.

    You are sensitive to certain things. It is common for women struggling with infertility to have a hard time going to functions that have to do with children. This is something that family and friends need to understand in order to be supportive of you. It is not unreasonable, and people that truly support you really understand what you are going through and do not guilt you for it. However, if this is not the case, you may need to find support in other areas. Your doctor should be able to connect you with people that know what you are experiencing. Do not deprive yourself of this, you deserve support.

    The Right Way to Boost Fertility


    Now that we have taken a look at the ways that the misinformed assume fertility can be achieved, let’s address the facts.

    What will help you in terms of diet:

    • focus on eating less trans fats and monounsaturated fats
    • get all the vegetable protein you can and try to avoid animal protein
    • high fiber and low glycemic foods are optimal (whole grains, veggies, and select fruits)
    • avoid refined carbs and sugars and be minimal about high-fat dairy products

    Pay attention to your ovulation schedule:

    • chart your basal body temperature
    • chart your cervical mucus
    • consider an ovulation predictor kit
    • look into fertility monitors

    What does this mean?

    At the end of the day, you need to have confidence in the fertility advice you’re getting. It is understandable that you want answers, but make sure that you trust your sources. Know that this is not something to mess with, and that you are vulnerable. Treat yourself with care.

    There are a lot of false ideas out there and people that are either ready to take advantage of you or looking for attention. Take care of you and be smart. With the right care and attention you will have no reason to feel anything but the utmost support.

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