Top 10 Sex Myths When Trying to Conceive

If you’re looking to conceive, you may have some questions about sex that you hadn’t thought of before.

Sher Fertility Institute New York over the years has heard numerous old wives’ tales that have been created around sex, conception, and pregnancy.  We have heard from patients that are constantly worrying about what you should or shouldn’t do when trying to conceive and that can take the pleasure right out of intimacy. To help distinguish fact from fiction, our team at Sher Fertility Institute New York wrote down the TOP 10 Myths we heard and our point of view on each one.

Myth 1: Does a certain position, like laying down after sex help with pregnancy?
There is no scientific evidence that laying down after sex can increase pregnancy odds. However, standing up or going to the bathroom does cause gravity to pull sperm away from the cervix. Laying down for 15 minutes after sex can aid sperm going in the right direction by giving them some extra time.

Myth 2: Are there certain positions that enhance the ability to conceive?
It has not been scientifically proven that certain sex positions are more efficient than others. Sperm travels to the cervix regardless of position but may do so more effectively when gravity is working in its favor. Do whatever position feels right, then lay down after sex or finish in a position that won’t pull sperm away from the cervix.

Myth 3: If you have sex every day does it increase your chances of pregnancy?
The New England Journal of Medicine reported that sex every day only slightly increases pregnancy when paralleled to sex every other day. Men that have a normal sperm count will not see a decrease the sperm concentration if having sex every day. This is great news for couples trying to conceive. Both findings allow couples to relax and have sex on their schedule, without concern of reducing conception odds.

Myth 4: Is a certain time of day better to have sex, like in the morning?
Studies show that sperm count is slightly higher in the morning. This may make morning sex more effective for conception. But studies show this is only a slight difference. So if night sex works better with your schedule – stick to that.

Myth 5: Do aphrodisiacs really help to boost sex drive?
According to the FDA, there is no scientific evidence of aphrodisiacs increasing sexual desire. However, researchers have found that certain foods, herbs, and supplements can stimulate hormone or chemical production. This can affect the libido (but they haven’t proven so conclusively). Monitoring the libido in conjunction with individual preferences results in too many variable factors because sex drive and taste will vary from person to person. If champagne and chocolate puts you in the mood, go for it — but don’t put time into arranging a menu in order to enhance desire.

Myth 6: I heard that massage can help when trying to conceive, is that true?
Decreasing stress and relaxing is a critical component when trying to have a baby. In a Harvard Medical School study with women who had fertility problems, 55 percent of women who completed a 10-week relaxation training course were pregnant within a year. Twenty percent of that same group who did not take the course did not get pregnant in that time span. Get a massage, meditate, rest, or do any other activities that aid in relaxation and decrease stress.

Myth 7: Can my male partner wearing briefs and or sitting in the heat, like a hot tub,  hinder a man’s fertility?
The testes are outside of the body so they can maintain a cooler temperature. Sperm production will temporarily stop if the temperature of the testes reaches 98 degrees. Cooler temperatures can cause sperm count to rise, but it takes at least two months of cool temperatures to affect sperm count. Extended use of hot tubs, hours with a hot laptop on your lap, wearing tight underwear, or activities that can heat the testes like biking the Tour de France can heat up the testes and decrease sperm count.

Myth 8: I have heard you can become pregnant after a couple days after you have sex, is this true? 
Sperm can live in the reproductive tract for three days. As a result, conception can occur up to 72 hours after sex.  Having sex prior to and during ovulation can boost conception odds because of sperms’ resiliency.

Myth 9: Do sexual pheromones really exist? 
In a study, scientists found that “hormone-like smells ‘turn on’ the brain’s hypothalamus, which is normally not activated by regular odors.” Additional research teams also found that hormone-like chemicals can produce changes in mood, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature.  These changes create a pheromone effect. But do these changes affect sexual arousal? There is no clear tie according to scientific research thus far.

Myth 10: Does lubricant affect my ability to get pregnant?
Water-based lubricants such as Astroglide and KY Jelly may inhibit sperm movement by 60-100 percent within 60 minutes of intercourse. Opt for natural oils, oil-based lubricants, or even cooking oil. Make sure to keep any probable allergies in mind. Pre-Seed lubricant is a commercial product that may even enhance sperm’s ability to move.

Contact Sher Fertility Institute New York at 646-792-7476 or click here to schedule an appointment with one of our fertility doctors. Our Patient Care Specialists will contact you within the next 24 hours.