There are all sorts of magic “tricks” people promote for
getting pregnant. However, trying to put this folklore into practice can be a
real source of stress, particularly when it doesn’t work. It’s important to
remember that getting pregnant after trying a specific method or technique doesn’t
necessarily mean that the practice in question was the cause. In most cases,
it’s likely to have been a coincidence.
Some common beliefs about treating infertility are
explained below. While most of them aren’t entirely wrong, they aren’t entirely
Boxers Aren’t Really Better Than Briefs
When testicles are regularly exposed to heat, sperm
counts go down. However, the research on this mostly concerns hot tubs, not
underwear. The idea behind the boxers-versus-briefs debate is that briefs hug
the man tighter and bring up the temperature of the scrotum.
Doctors often do recommend switching to looser
underwear, but there’s not a lot of research to support it. It certainly seems
unlikely to do any harm.
You Don’t Need to Raise the Woman’s Bottom after Orgasm
In terms of gravity, the idea makes sense. If you tilt
up a woman’s hips, sperm runs toward the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Unfortunately, your acrobatics may be for naught. Sperm cells travel
chemically, not gravitationally. There’s no need to encourage movement in the
That said, it may not be a bad idea to stay lying down
for 15 to 20 minutes after sex. You may have noticed that when you stand up
right after sex, semen drips out. The dripping doesn’t affect your fertility.
However, lying down for a little while may give the sperm more of a chance to
get where they need to go. You’ll still see dripping when you get up, but that
should not change the likelihood of conception nor be cause for concern.
Stress Doesn’t Makes You Infertile
While it does not cause infertility, stress may make you
less fertile. Stress may delay ovulation and affect sperm count. It can also
make you less interested in having sex. The less sex you have, the less likely
you are to get pregnant.
Stress alone will not definitively keep you from getting
pregnant. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea to try and reduce your stress
levels. You just shouldn’t let doing so become another source of stress.
Timing Is the Most Important Part of Conception
It’s true that timing is the most important part of
conception. What isn’t true is that you can figure out that timing by looking
at a generic timeline. Women are most fertile in the days leading up to
ovulation. They are also usually fertile for a day or two after. However, the
only way to determine your most fertile days is to track your ovulation. That
means keeping track of your basal body temperature and cervical mucus across
multiple menstrual cycles — just using an ovulation kit won’t help. By the time
you ovulate, your most fertile days will actually have passed.