Getting Pregnant: Five Conception Myths Debunked

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Fertility is a tricky thing. We spend much of our lives trying not to get pregnant, and hear lots of stories about how these methods fail. But when the time comes to actually try, it can be surprising when it doesn’t work right away. For some, it may be instant, while others will try for years and hire intervention. The mystery of why it works for some and not others is a great environment for superstitions and myths to appear. Here are five pieces of well-meaning advice that may not help as much as you might want.

Position Matters
The body is made to reproduce. Because of this, the position during the act of conception is not as important as the act itself. The vagina’s secretions are made to create a river for sperm to be able to easily swim upward to its target, and as long as you are in your fertile time, they will be able to swim quickly through the open cervix toward their target. The one thing that does tip the odds in your favor regarding positions is orgasm. The internal contractions a woman feels during her orgasm will push the sperm further into the body.

Don’t Stand
Lying in bed all day so nothing spills out has been one way that women have tried to up their pregnancy odds in the past. However, the amount of time that is actually needed to enter the uterine area (which is gravity-proof) is only about ten minutes. Enjoy the post-conception cuddle for a little bit, then get on with your life.

Fertility is the Same Between Siblings
Just because your sister got pregnant without trying, doesn’t mean it will be the same when it’s your turn. Conversely, your sister’s infertility is no reason for you to skip birth control if you’re not interested in being pregnant. Though some forms of infertility are genetic, it only increases your likelihood of also being infertile. It doesn’t guarantee it.

Ovulation Timing Lets You Choose the Gender
Studies have been done showing that the way in which X and Y chromosome-carrying sperm travel is different. Y chromosomes are smaller and lighter, and Y sperm can therefore travel faster. According to, though this gives an advantage to the slower X chromosomes during the early stages of the fertility window (the Y chromosomes go faster but die more quickly), the difference is slight, and you still have about a forty percent chance of having a boy if you get pregnant just before ovulation.

The More Things You Try, the Better Your Chances
There is a tipping point where you can do too much. One study looked at the stress levels of people, and how many early pregnancies were never implanted in the high-stress candidates. The number of pre-test miscarriages was as high as seventy percent in high-stress women. If you find that trying to conceive stressing you out too much, take a break, relax, and go have romantic fun with your partner without trying to conceive. It may be more successful.

Whether you are trying or trying not to have a baby, fertility and conception are complicated things that require an orchestra of body functions to go well. Though there are many things that help, many other things may make no difference, or can even be detrimental.