If you have been trying to get pregnant for a while, the chances are you have come across a whole host of reasons why this might be. It is important, however, to be mindful that not everything you read online or that people tell you is true. Read on as we set out to help you separate the fertility myths from the hard facts about getting pregnant.

Fertility myths busted

Myth 1: Taking the pill can negatively affect fertility

A great deal of research has been carried out into the effects of the contraceptive pill on long term fertility. The scientific conclusion is that the pill won’t affect fertility once discontinued.

However, in some instances it can take time for a woman’s menstrual cycle to return to normal once she stops taking the pill, so there may be a temporary delay in conceiving. This delay may vary in duration from one person to the next.

Myth 2: Most couples conceive within three months of trying

This is another of the most common fertility myths. It can actually take the average couple without fertility issues up to 12 months of having regular unprotected sex before conception happens.  Every month, on average, couples have a 30% chance of conceiving.  Over 1 year couples have a 90% chance of conceiving.

Experts define infertility in women under the age of 35 as trying without success to get pregnant for more than 12 months. It is at this point that couples become entitled to NHS funded preliminary investigations for infertility.

Myth 3: Infertility is a female issue

When it comes to fertility myths, this has to be one of the most widespread. But, put simply, there is no truth in it.

The fact is that infertility affects both men and women equally. Male infertility can be down to a number of causes, but unexplained fertility, when the cause cannot be identified in either partner, is the reason behind around one in four cases of infertility in the UK.

Myth 4: You need to have unprotected sex every day if you are trying to get pregnant

Another fertility myth. The actual recommendation is to have unprotected sex every two to four days when trying to conceive, in particular during ovulation. Having sex more often than this could lead to the male partner producing a lower concentration of sperm.

Sticking to every two to four days will give the man a better chance of producing semen that contains the optimum volume of sperm.

Myth 5: It doesn’t matter how old the male partner is

Fertility myths also relate to Male Factor issues; whilst a man’s biological clock may not tick as quickly as a woman’s as he gets older, the fact is that older men are more likely to face fertility issues due to falling testosterone levels. They may also experience a drop in quantity and quality of sperm.

Myth 6: IVF is the only option if we can’t get pregnant

This is one of the biggest fertility myths of all. For couples facing infertility, In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is rarely the first option. Having said that, IVF is one of the most successful therapies we have available for couples’ fertility issues.

There is a wide range of fertility treatments, and screening tests will determine which is most suitable for an individual couple.

Fertility myths busted… what’s the next step?

Whilst these are the most common fertility myths, it is likely you will at some point come across others.

If you have been trying to get pregnant for a year without success, instead of consulting the internet and getting bogged down by potential untruths, you are better advised to seek personalised advice from your GP in the first instance. They will refer you and your partner for investigative tests. Women aged 36 and over, and anyone who is aware of existing fertility problems, should see their GP sooner.

You may also seek private fertility advice. There is no need to arrange a GP referral for this, but you should consider that all patients, whether or not self-funded, are entitled to preliminary NHS funded fertility investigations.

At Hull & East Riding Fertility, we offer a range of services for those seeking fertility assistance. We are East Yorkshire’s only registered clinic providing specialist infertility investigations and personalised treatment for both self-funded and NHS patients. We also offer a range of investigatory and fertility treatment planning services at our satellite fertility clinics in York.

Your fertility treatment doesn’t have to wait; with no waiting lists, we can generally make an appointment for you to see one of our specialist fertility consultants within 2 weeks and have a full treatment plan in place within 4 weeks of your first appointment.

You are welcome at any of our clinics to discuss your individual circumstances. Please get in touch to let us know how we can help you.