Do you really believe that the missionary position can increase your chances of getting pregnant? Well, women trying to conceive are often surrounded by such questions as there are so many urban myths and wives tales that make it difficult to know whether a person is doing the right thing, the wrong thing or simply wasting time.
Now, Heidi Murkoff has just released the latest in her popular What to Expect series, titled What to Expect Before You're Expecting. The book is aimed at women who are trying to conceive, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Here she sorts out some common pregnancy myths:
1. The longer it takes you to get pregnant, the more likely you are to conceive a boy.
Partly true - Women who take longer to conceive are more likely to have thicker cervical mucus, and boy sperm swim better in thicker mucus.
2. Saliva is the most fertility friendly lubricant to use when you're trying to conceive.
False - Saliva is a sperm killer. In fact, most lubricants and massage oils are fertility unfriendly, so best to go without when you're baby making.
3. Boxers are a better bet than briefs when you're trying to conceive.
True - Though in most cases, not true enough to make a big difference. Sperm production can be affected by overheating, whether it's in a hot tub, a sauna, spandex bike shorts, or a pair of tighty-whities.
4. Laptops can impair sperm production.
True - The heat is on when you use a laptop on your lap, and heat is not a friend of male fertility. To keep the family jewels in top family-generating shape, treat your laptop like a desktop. The same may hold true for mobile phones so keep them out of your pocket.
5. The average couple conceives within 3 months of trying.
False - Conception doesn't typically happen overnight, even after a really hot night. Egg and sperm may meet up on your first try, of course, but it actually takes the average couple who doesn't have any fertility issues between 6 and 12 months of active efforts before mission is accomplished.
6. The more sex you have during your fertile days, the more likely you are to conceive.
True, to a point - Until recently, an every-other-day sex strategy was recommended but the latest research suggests that more is more after all. For a man who has a normal sperm count, having sex every day during his partner's fertile days is most likely to result in conception. More than once a day, on the other hand, is less. The more performances in a day, the less packed they're likely to be with sperm. A guy needs time to build up his troops between deployments. In fact, a man with a lower sperm count may want to wait a day in between ejaculations to build up his numbers.
7. Position matters.
False, mostly - Healthy sperm are excellent swimmers and pretty much any position can get you pregnant. But if you'd like to give the little guys a head start, try man on top, with the woman's hips slightly elevated.
8. If you want to get pregnant, order up some oysters.
True - Believe it or not, the cliche holds up under scientific scrutiny. Oysters are the food chain's most concentrated source of zinc, one of nature's most fertile minerals. It's also a libido booster. The benefits extend to both sexes, so share a dozen.
9. Cough medicine can help you get pregnant.
True - Expectorants loosen up mucus in your chest but they're also able to loosen up cervical mucus, and looser cervical mucus is easier for sperm to hitch a ride in. However, read the ingredients carefully. Some cough medicines also contain an antihistamine, and that's an ingredient that dries up mucus of all varieties, giving sperm a hard time.
10. Watching a sexy movie can help you get pregnant.
True - As long as the man in your life is watching it too! Studies show that men produce more sperm after watching a sexy movie. And it doesn't have to be X-rated, either. So grab some popcorn, and then grab each other.