Many myths and half-truths are circulating around the topic of pregnancy and ovulation, which especially women who want to have children can be influenced by. In order to eliminate the many uncertainties and to put the pure facts on the table, we introduce you to 10 myths about pregnancy and ovulation in this article. In addition, we will inform you about ovulation and your fertile days, among other things, and we have tips on how you can positively influence pregnancy.
Myth 1: conception is only possible on one day of the cycle
The popular belief that conception is only possible on one or two days of the cycle is simply wrong. Sperm have a survival time of 3 to 5 days, which is why pregnancy is possible a few days before ovulation, with the day of ovulation being one of the most fertile days. Together with the day of ovulation, this results in a fertility window of up to six days, although the duration naturally varies from woman to woman and depends on different factors.
Myth 2: Conceiving is impossible at the time of your period
Although the probability of getting pregnant at the time of your period is rather low, conception cannot be ruled out with certainty. Because the possibility of pregnancy depends on the time of ovulation and not on the period. Above all, the length of the cycle plays a decisive role, because if it is very short, ovulation can take place immediately after the period. Since sperm can survive up to five days, it is possible to get pregnant despite having your period. It is also a misconception that the period blood “flushes out” the sperm again. Even during the bleeding it is possible for the sperm to reach the fallopian tubes and fertilize the egg cell. So this is just a myth,
Myth 3: Ovulation is always on the 14th day of the cycle
A new cycle begins on the first day of menstruation and the hormonal changes cause blood and the uterine lining that formed in the previous cycle to be removed from the body. Many women mistakenly believe that ovulation reliably occurs on the 14th day of the cycle. However, this is rather the exception, because the female cycle is subject to very many fluctuations, which of course has an impact on the time of ovulation. The cycle usually lasts between 23 and 35 days and not exactly 28 days. A study carried out with 800 women even found that only around 15 percent of the participants ovulate on the 14th day of the cycle. Most women ovulate between the 11th and 20th day and the timing can vary from cycle to cycle.
Myth 4: Having sexual intercourse after ovulation increases chances of pregnancy
While the belief that the chances of conceiving after ovulation are increased is widespread, this is not entirely true. The days before and the day of ovulation, on the other hand, are among the most fertile days of a woman’s cycle and the chance of pregnancy is highest at this point. In the days before ovulation, the cervix begins to open slightly and the simultaneous liquefaction of the cervical mucus makes it easier for the sperm to reach the fallopian tubes and fertilize the egg. Since egg cells also have a shorter lifespan than sperm at 12 to 24 hours, sexual intercourse one day after ovulation is often too late.
Myth 5: Signs of ovulation are always obvious
Ovulation can manifest itself in different ways, for example some women experience middle pain or have tender breasts. However, the most certain and at the same time most meaningful symptoms include the basal temperature , the changed nature of the cervical mucus and the LH concentration in the urine. If the cervical mucus is “spinnable”, lighter and more fluid than usual, this indicates the fertile days and the sperm can reach the uterus more easily.
Basal body temperature, which is the morning body temperature before you get up, also provides important clues about your current fertility and drops just before ovulation. A temperature increase then occurs a maximum of 48 hours later. An ovulation test can be used to determine whether ovulation is imminent on the basis of the LH concentration, as this increases about 24 hours beforehand and can be detected in the urine. Ovulation symptoms are triggered by changes in hormone levels, but the signs of ovulation are usually not obvious or easy to recognize.
Myth 6: Ovulation guarantees fertility
The fact is: Ovulation is essential for pregnancy and thus for fertility, because without ovulation the egg cell cannot be fertilized by the man’s semen. However, ovulation does not mean that fertility is automatic and that the woman can get pregnant without any problems . For example, the fallopian tubes are blocked or the sperm cannot penetrate the fallopian tube for other reasons in order to successfully fertilize the egg. Furthermore, the sperm must be of a certain quality and be available in sufficient numbers to find their way to the egg cell. Fertility or pregnancy is therefore dependent on many factors and not just on ovulation.
Myth 7: Contraceptive methods cause infertility
In particular, hormonal contraceptive methods are suspected of negatively affecting fertility after weaning. However, this common assumption has been refuted by various studies, which is why it is just a myth. Contraceptives are there to prevent pregnancy and do not affect fertility later. What is true, however, is that hormonal birth control methods, especially the pill to artificially create a regular cycle. After stopping the hormone preparations, the body takes control again and the cycle may become a little more irregular. In principle, however, it is possible to get pregnant in the first natural cycle after stopping the pill. Nonetheless, in some women, especially after long-term and early use of the birth control pill, it can take a few weeks or months for full fertility to return.
Myth 8: The ovaries take turns when ovulating
It is true that ovulation can or does not have to switch from one ovary to the other. Whether ovulation occurs in the right or left ovary depends on many different factors and can vary from month to month. If the woman has both ovaries, ovulation and the associated process occur randomly and can therefore take place in the same ovary for several months in a row before the side is switched. In fact, most women tend to ovulate on the right or left side of their ovaries more often.
Myth 9: If after a few months there is still no pregnancy, it is infertility
Women who want to have children are often unsettled if they are not yet pregnant after a few months of unprotected sexual intercourse and worry about being infertile. However, it is seldom the case that couples become pregnant after just a few weeks; rather, the good news often takes up to half a year or a full year to come. According to Professor Bernd Hinney, doctor for gynecological endocrinology and reproductive medicine, the probability of pregnancy per cycle is only 30 percent.
This statement makes it abundantly clear that in most cases it takes about three to six cycles to become pregnant. In around a third of couples, it even takes more than a year before they get a positive pregnancy test in their hands. The WHO speaks of infertility if a couple does not become pregnant within a year, although regular and unprotected intercourse was carried out on the fertile days. If no offspring is announced after a year, you can consider visiting a gynecologist.
Myth 10: Lifestyle does not affect wanting to have children
Smoking and drinking alcohol are of course taboo during pregnancy, but what about if you want to have children? Various studies have shown that there is a connection between a healthy lifestyle and fertility. Smoking in particular can affect fertility in both women and men. In women, smoking has negative effects on the maturation of egg cells and the function of the ovaries, among other things. In smoking men, on the other hand, the number of sperm cells is often greatly reduced and these can also have genetic damage. In order to improve fertility, the glow stalk should therefore be avoided if you wish to have children at the latest.