In school, did you believe getting pregnant would be easy and that it could happen at any second? For some people, getting pregnant does happen without a lot of issues, but for others the path to pregnancy can be much more difficult.
In fact, the scientific reality is that a healthy, young, and fertile couple only has a 1 in 4 chance of getting pregnant each month, even when timing intercourse correctly. That may be a lot lower than high school sex ed made it seem.
That’s just one of many myths we’re taught about getting pregnant. Understanding common trying to conceive myths — and the facts behind them — can help you reach your goals faster. Let’s dive in!
Read on for 3 myths about getting pregnant!
Myth #1: You should start having sex once you get a positive ovulation test.
Timing intercourse may seem like a no-brainer, but did you know that mistiming interourse is one of the main causes of infertility in healthy, fertile couples?
Ovulation tests measure luteinizing hormone (LH), which is the hormone that spikes to trigger ovulation to occur. On average, women ovulate 12-36 hours after a surge in LH or a positive ovulation test.
Once they do ovulate, that egg can only survive for up to 24 hours, meaning an egg has at most 2 days to be fertilized (but likely less). That’s not a whole lot of time and if you’re waiting until you get a positive ovulation test to have sex, you could be missing the chance to fertilize that egg altogether.
The good news is the entire “fertile window” — the period when sex is most likely to result in pregnancy — can last up to 6 days total. This is because healthy sperm can live in the female reproductive tract for up to 5 days.
So ideally, you’d start having sex before you get a positive ovulation test, which you may be able to figure out if you’ve been tracking ovulation for a few cycles and have been able to develop a pattern.
But what if you haven’t been cycle tracking or if your cycles are irregular?
Before LH surges, estrogen starts to rise as the body prepares to ovulate, as many as 6 days before ovulation should occur. Having sex after a confirmed rise in estrogen gives you plenty of time to have sex to ensure sperm and egg have a chance to meet.
You can track estrogen via its urine metabolite, E1G, via an at-home test like Proov Complete.
Myth #2: A positive ovulation test means you’re ovulating.
As we mentioned, ovulation tests measure LH which surges before ovulation. This is a prediction of when ovulation should occur.
But does a positive ovulation test mean you’re ovulating? Not necessarily.
A positive ovulation test only means LH is surging, which could be a sign of ovulation — but again, not a guarantee. That’s why it’s important to actually confirm ovulation after you get a positive ovulation test.
Proov Confirm is the first and only FDA cleared test to confirm ovulation from home. Confirm measures PdG — a metabolite of progesterone found in urine — that is produced only after ovulation occurs.
Additionally, just because you ovulate doesn’t mean you’re ovulating “successfully.” After ovulation, PdG levels need to rise and remain elevated for several days to allow for a higher chance of getting pregnant.
Not enough PdG after ovulation may indicate a problem with ovulation that can make it more difficult to get pregnant. Proov Confirm can either confirm you’re ovulating successfully, or it can help identify potential problems with ovulation that may be preventing conception.
Myth #3: Fertility is usually a woman’s issue.
This myth is just downright false. Studies show that male factor infertility accounts for up to 50% of all infertility cases worldwide.
Studies show male factor infertility accounts for up to 50% of all infertility cases.
Like women, men can have a variety of fertility issues, including sperm issues and anatomical issues. Luckily, you can also learn lots about a man’s fertility from home as well.
There are plenty of at-home sperm tests on the market that take a look at his sperm count, i.e. the amount of sperm present in a given sample. However, sperm quantity or count is only one part of overall sperm health, and sperm tests that only measure count may miss other important pieces.
That’s why we typically recommend tests that measure sperm quantity and quality. Sperm quality refers to if the sperm are capable of swimming where they need to go – the egg!
The Male Fertility Test found on our website measures both sperm quantity and quality to provide a more complete sperm health picture.
Being more familiar with common fertility myths and the truth behind them can help you better advocate for yourself on your fertility journey — and ultimately get pregnant faster!