Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Myths About Trying: Are They True or False?

When you are ready to start trying, and even if you don't tell anyone, they all have "seasoned" advice for you on what will absolutely work to get you pregnant.  Most of these people got pregnant in their first few cycles, so they have to know what they are talking about, right?? WRONG.  What works for one couple will not automatically work for another.  That isn't how conception works.  If it did, there would not be any infertile couples in the world and babies would be everywhere.

We have been trying to get and stay pregnant for three and a half years.  We have lost six babies, five in the first trimester, and one in the second.  In this time, when people find out we are trying, they hit me up with all of their "no fail" advice and I just can't help laughing.  After three and a half years, we have tried basically everything.  Some of the information is just too funny to not share, so here are ten things of advice we have been told, some good, some bad.  Which would you think are true and false?

1.  Relax, stop obsessing about it, and you will get pregnant instantly:  I hear this one all the time.  Yes, stress can hamper fertility, but for most, the every day stresses of life will NOT make you infertile.  If you are constantly under heavy stress, it can have an effect, and it is a very good idea to try to lower your stress regardless of how stressed your life is since it will help you become healthier, but no, relaxing will work for some, yet for others, they can do yoga daily and still not be able to get pregnant.  Going on vacation, buying a boat or house, spending all of your saving, or just being done trying will not automatically get rid of your stress and get you pregnant.  FALSE

2.  Have your partner drink Mountain Dew before you do the deed. It will help his sperm swim faster:  This one is just beyond laughable.  Caffeine has a very real affect on the body.  It decreases your body's productivity, it can harm your hormones, and yes, it can decrease your partner's sperm count and motility (movement).  Chances are, if a person did this and got pregnant, they were going to get pregnant anyway.  Mountain Dew for faster sperm is FALSE.

3.  Stay away from lubricants, they will kill sperm:   This is actually a pretty good piece of advice.  Most lubricants are water or oil based, which will hamper sperm.  They make them less likely to be able to travel into the uterus and to the egg once it is released.  And if they do make it to the egg, the coating they receive from the lubricant will make it very hard for them to be able to fertilize the egg.  If you are using lubricants, please find a sperm friendly lubricant like Rachelle reviewed a few months ago.  This will not kill sperm, and it actually mimics the mucus in the vagina so conception is more likely.  TRUE

4.  Go on birth control for a few months to regulate your cycle, you're more fertile after birth control:  Even if this may be true, birth control has serious risks to your health and fertility.  You are putting artificial hormones in your body, and doing this won't be without risk.  My issues getting and staying pregnant stem from being on birth control.  Please guard your fertility, and do not try this.  If you do, please research all the risks of the birth control you will try so you can make a truly informed decision.  FALSE

5.  Go to a chiropractor for an adjustment:  In many stories in the last year, chiropractic care has been shown to help increase fertility for men AND women regardless of their health and conception history.  With chiropractic care, they can release tension on blocked nerves, increase blood flow to vital areas of the body, increase health, and so much more.  In one article, they said that 14 out of 15 infertile couples will become pregnant after seeing a chiropractor.  It is so much cheaper than invasive fertility testing, and if it works, you have saved yourself months of time.  If it doesn't, you aren't out thousands of dollars.  Most chiropractors have a cash price of less than $100 and most are even covered by insurance.  TRUE

6.  Eat lots of green vegetables: Green vegetables contain Magnesium, Vitamin A, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Iron.  All of these are very important for fertility in men and women.  If you aren't eating a healthy, rounded diet, you probably aren't getting the nutrients you need from food and will need to supplement.  It is best to get your vitamins and nutrients from food, as your body will absorb that better.  There are a few books on cooking for fertility, and they are definitely worth looking into.  TRUE

7.  Keep your hips elevated during sex, and don't get out of bed for 15-30 minutes after sex:  Not only will this give you a raging UTI if you do this too much, sperm can swim.  Lying down can pool his sperm by your cervix, but in the end, most sperm will find the cervix within minutes of ejaculation, no matter the position or if you elevate your hips.  This is why fertile mucus is so important to your body, and knowing the signs you are fertile can help so much more than elevating your hips and lying down.  FALSE

8.  Only have sex on ovulation day, or else you will waste the good sperm:  Sperm can survive in fertile cervical mucus for five days, whereas the egg will only only be viable for 12-24 hours after ovulation, and for most, the sperm will already need to be in the tubes when this happens or the egg will die before the sperm can reach it.  There are books on trying for a certain sex of the baby, and female sperm survive longer yet swim slower, and male sperm survive shorter yet swim faster, but this does not mean that having sex on the day before ovulation will get you pregnant with a boy or pregnant at all.  Having sex regularly will increase his sperm count, and will give you a much higher chance of conception.  If he has a low sperm count, having sex every other day will help so his sperm isn't depleted, but for most, have sex very regularly when trying.  FALSE

9.  Go see an acupuncturist, they will get you pregnant:  For most infertile couples, this does truly work.  You have an hour of relaxation, which helps, but also acupuncture takes time.  Acupuncture works with your body, and most acupuncture fertility treatments treat more than your uterus, eggs, testicles, or sperm.  They work with all over cleansing, which includes your liver, spleen, kidneys, and so much more.  Acupuncture works with your Qi, and it is an alternative method that has higher success rates than most western medicine treatments.  If you try this, make sure to give it time to work.  Your whole body needs balance for conception to occur.  TRUE

10.  Only have sex in the morning, sperm count is higher then:  Just like how breastmilk quality and quantity is higher in the morning, so is sperm.  Hormones are higher in the morning, and morning sex can increase fertility for both men and women.  If you are on opposite schedules, make sure you are getting enough sleep, and for some, you can just wake each other up and then go back to sleep after if one of you works earlier.  TRUE

Just because some of these are false and some true doesn't mean they will work for everyone.  You need to figure out what works for your own body and schedule.  Getting healthier is always a great option, and even if it doesn't get you pregnant, your body needs the balance to ensure conception can happen.

Trying can be a very stressful time, and the advice from others can seem to make it even more so.  A good rule of thumb is to smile and nod and say thank you while sticking to what works for your body.  You know yourself and your partner better than anyone, do what feels right to you.

And as always, if you need to vent or find support for trying to get pregnant when it just isn't working, you can always email me (connectedmom.kayce @ gmail.com) or find a supportive forum on Mothering, Twitter, or many other sites.  You don't have to do this alone.

Some sources I found (not all, but one for each topic):

#CleverTTC #spon I was selected for the post by the Clever Girls Collective and First Response, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


Rachelle said... [Reply to comment]

Great post! I get really sick of the relax thing too. It seems everyone has an opinion on why I'm not pregnant. I typically smile and nod and let their advice go in one ear and out the other.

Tara said... [Reply to comment]

I was told to drink organic fresh whole milk and also to take cough syrup with an ingredient I can't spell. I can't say we tried everything by any stretch of the imagination but we did do some pretty out there stuff (saw a kinesiologist who muscle tested us for allergies, gave me an herbal cleanse to get the BC hormones out of my system (it still took seven months to end the hormonal withdrawal) and cleansed our auras (I swear to god) in addition to having our house feng shui-ed and many conversations about the potential ontological source. Someone did point out that me relating to myself as possibly infertile probably didn't help things. The last person told me to relax and I stormed out of the room and said I quit. Who knows what works? Who knows what doesn't? Though oddly after I said I quit I got pregnant. (And oddly enough each time the tell tale sign that labor was about to start was when I said I quit - that I didn't know how the midwife was going to get that child out of me but I was done). I think the best advice we got was to quit paying all the Charlatons and just f*ck a lot and trust that our child was up in the heavens having picked us as parents and was just waiting for the right astrological sign s/he wanted.

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