There are many urban legends and common misperceptions out there about pregnancy, many of which have lasted throughout the ages. Particularly tips (which are often unfounded) for getting pregnant. So should you keep your legs in the air after sex? Or should you avoid showering straight afterwards? Here are the responses to all the questions we tend to ask ourselves when we are trying for a baby.
“You should keep your legs in the air after having sex”
FALSE. It is completely unnecessary to keep your legs in the air in order to get pregnant. The most fertile sperm is found in the ejaculate during the first phase of ejaculation.
Sperm therefore will not “fall back out”, even if you stand up straight away.
“You should never take a shower after sex”
FALSE. This is nothing more than an urban myth: taking a shower after sex has no effect on fertility. The sperm are trapped inside the vagina.
“You should have sex more often in order to conceive more easily”
FALSE. Your chances of conceiving are considered optimal if you have sex twice a week during your most fertile time of the month. Therefore frequency of sex is less important than having sex at the right moment, that is, during ovulation. Or more precisely, just before it, as although the egg is only fertile for a few hours, sperm can live for two to three days inside the vagina.
“The man always needs to orgasm in order to fertilise an egg”
FALSE. It is absolutely possible to get pregnant without orgasm. Although the pre-ejaculate (preseminal fluid) does not contain sperm in itself, sperm from previous ejaculations can end up in it. The same goes for women as for men – an orgasm is not strictly necessary. Ejaculation without orgasm or pre-ejaculate during sex can be enough to lead to pregnancy.
“After 35 years old, you should consult a doctor”
TRUE. If you are over the age of 35 and you are having difficulties falling pregnant, consult your doctor. You can ask your gynaecologist to carry out tests, involving an ultrasound and a blood test for women, and a semen sample for men. Such tests do not mean that you are necessarily starting IVF. This step may reassure you, and allow you to keep trying in peace.
“To fall pregnant, I need to lead a very healthy lifestyle”
TRUE. Doctors advise giving up cigarettes, cannabis and alcohol, as these reduce fertility. And for a truly clear path to pregnancy, health professionals recommend practicing regular physical activity, leading a life free from excess and maintaining a normal weight.