When it comes to fertility, it is fair to say that there are a lot of so-called truths flying around. The media seems to report new miracle treatments every so often. But these are very quickly debunked shortly afterwards by the experts. So, as the media seems to dedicate so much time to all of these myths, it can often be very difficult for couples to know exactly which lines of advice to follow.
Do you want to separate the fact from the fiction? Don’t worry, this blog can come in very handy for you. Here are some of the various things you might be told while you are trying for a baby. We’ve mentioned whether they are a myth or the truth so that you know which ones you need to listen to.
Myth: Fertility Reduces The Longer You Are On The Pill
For quite a while, it was believed that a woman’s fertility would decline the longer she was on the pill. So, for instance, a woman who has been using the contraceptive pill for five years would find that it takes a lot longer to fall pregnant once she comes off it compared to someone who has only been taking it for one year. However, after recent research, we now know that this isn’t the case. The length of time that you are on the pill for shouldn’t have any effect on the length of time it takes to get pregnant afterwards. So don’t worry if you have been on the contraceptive pill for a long time already and are now interested in starting a family. It should not affect your chances at all.
Truth: Alcohol And Smoking Affect Fertility
We all know that drinking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy can be extremely dangerous for the baby. But did you know that these two bad habits can also have an effect on the pregnancy when you carry them out before you even conceive? It’s true! In actual fact, smoking cigarettes can kill off some of your eggs. Which will reduce your chances of conceiving. Not only that though. But some research suggests it can increase the risk of an early menopause. It’s also worth giving up alcohol while you are trying to conceive. Some recent studies show that a few drinks a week can slightly inhibit your chances of conceiving.
A new exhibition will open at the Science Museum in July
to mark the 40th birthday of IVF … https://t.co/IKsx3NJo6E
— The Fertility Show (@fertilityshow) June 5, 2018
Myth: Men Don’t Experience A Decline In Fertility
It is often believed that men don’t go through a significant reduction on fertility as they age in the same way that women do. After all, you just need to take a look at the likes of Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones front man welcomed a newborn child at the grand old age of 73! However, this case, and others like it, of good fertility in old age are extremely rare. Men actually do experience a reduction in fertility as they age. It just isn’t quite as significant as a woman’s decline. There are some semen testing options that men can choose to do. If they do want to test their fertility before trying for a baby. These tests are usually also carried out at the start of the IVF process as well.
Truth: Using Plastic Bottles Makes It Harder To Get Pregnant
This might sound so bizarre that you could be led to believe it is a myth. Unfortunately, though, it seems that there is some truth it in. There have recently been a lot of studies undertaken regarding the effect of plastics and both male and female fertility. And sadly, it looks like the results aren’t that good. One of the most common chemicals used in the types of plastics used in bottles for drinking water is known as BPA or bisphenol A. The tests have shown that people who have a high concentration of this chemical in their urine usually struggle to get pregnant. No one quite understands why that is just yet. So, if you are planning on trying to start conceiving, you might want to ditch the plastic drinking bottles and opt for a refillable sports bottle instead.
Myth: It’s Impossible To Get Pregnant Naturally After 40
If you ask most people, they will tell you that it is pretty much impossible for a woman over the age of 40 to conceive naturally. The general public seems to believe that females over this age need to use treatments such as IVF or think about adoption. However, that isn’t the case. If you take a look at the statistics, you will see that all is not lost for middle-aged women. In fact, 50% of women over the age of 40 can still conceive naturally.
However, there are some pregnancy risks that you need to be aware of if you do consider having a baby at an older age. Once you hit 40, the risk of miscarriage and having a baby with a genetic health condition, such as Down’s syndrome, really increases. So, if you are desperate to have a child at this age, you should bear those in mind. Thankfully, though, there are ways you can try and increase your ability to conceive beyond the age of 40. Such as following a healthy diet and cutting out any processed foods.
Truth: Preconception Nutrition Affects The Baby
We all know that certain foods can have a negative effect on the fetus’s development in the womb. For instance, some research suggests that a high intake of caffeine during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriages. But did you know that preconception nutrition also plays a big part as well? Increasing your intake of folic acid before you conceive will ensure that the baby develops with a reduced risk of neural-tube defects. You might also want to limit your fish intake, as some types of fish contain mercury which can be dangerous for a fetus.
As you can see then, there are a lot of mixed messages out there regarding male and female fertility. But this blog post should help you figure out which advice is worth listening to!