While you might think that as an adult you know the whole scoop on how to get pregnant, understanding the full truth about conception and fertility can help you go from hopeful to becoming a mommy. From when to stop your birth control method to the actual days when conception is possible, debunking the myths and getting the facts straight will put you on the right track to getting pregnant and make you a more educated parent.
Your Period and Pregnancy
You have your period, so that means you can't get pregnant—right? Not true. Although it's unlikely, fertility specialist Carolyn Kubik notes on the website BabyCenter that it is possible to get pregnant while you're menstruating. Women who have extremely short or long periods may ovulate close enough to menstruation that it's actually possible to get pregnant, according to Kubik. Some women may also have mid-cycle bleeding or spotting that they mistake for a real period.
Some women believe that taking a spoonful of cough syrup is a way to increase the likelihood of getting pregnant. There is no scientific proof that this works, according to the website What to Expect, which labels the notion a myth. Both What to Expect and the website BabyCenter, however, explain how it might work. The common cough syrup ingredient guaifenesin does thin cervical fluid, which could make it easier for sperm to reach the egg, potentially increasing the chance of fertilization. Talk to your doctor before trying this. And keep in mind that a cough syrup that contains an antihistamine can have the opposite effect.
Foods for Fertility
Your grandmother insists that oysters and garlic are the keys to getting pregnant. Is this just an old wives' tale or are there really foods that spike fertility? According to researchers at Harvard, foods like oysters, garlic, ginseng and yams that were once noted to boost fertility don't do much to speed the pregnancy process. In an eight-year study of 18,000 women, however, researchers found unsaturated vegetable oils, fiber-rich carbohydrates such as beans and whole fruits, whole milk and soy or nut proteins can actually promote fertility. Likewise, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists notes that a protein-heavy diet—25 percent of daily food intake from protein and less than 40 percent from carbs—can improve egg and embryo quality, leading to a better chance of conception.
Your best girl friend swears that she couldn't have conceived each of her five kids if she wasn't in the "perfect" position during sex. While some women insist that there are specific positions that increase the chance of getting pregnant, in reality there is no medical evidence that supports this conclusion, according to BabyCenter. For example, it has been said that the missionary position gets sperm closer to the woman's cervix, resulting in a higher likelihood of pregnancy, but there is no scientific study to back this up.