Is it true that you can’t fall pregnant on your period? Or that being on the pill for too long will make it harder to conceive? Below we debunk these and other common pregnancy myths.
#1: You can’t fall pregnant if you’re on your period
While there’s a lesser chance of conceiving when you’re on your period, it’s not impossible. Conception happens when you ovulate (around two weeks before you get your period), but if you experience short cycles or irregular periods, there’s a chance you could fall pregnant even on your period.
#2: Being on the pill too long will delay pregnancy
This is an enduring myth, but scientists have found no evidence to prove that being on the pill – whether for one year or 10 – has an effect on fertility. In fact, studies show that within one year of stopping the pill, 80% of women who want to fall pregnant do.
Read more: How long will it take to get my fertility back after using birth control?
#3: If it’s your first time having sex, you can’t fall pregnant
Absolutely not true. Any time sperm enters your vagina unprotected, you can fall pregnant. That means that even if it’s your first time, there’s a chance you could conceive if you’re not on birth control or using condoms.
#4: You won’t fall pregnant if you douche afterwards
This pregnancy myth dates back to Cleopatra’s time. The vaginal muscles contract during orgasm as a way to draw the sperm closer to the egg. Therefore, even if you wash or douche straight afterwards, some semen will already be too deep to be flushed out. Plus, using anything unnatural on or inside your vagina can cause irritation and infections – don’t do it.
#5: If you’re trying to conceive, do a headstand after sex
Even if you’re a yoga master, doing a headstand after sex isn’t going to increase your chances of falling pregnant. As explained in #4, the human body has an amazing way of making sure sperm and egg meet (which is something to keep in mind if you’re trying not to fall pregnant!). Simply lying down and relaxing is just as effective (and less exhausting) than acrobatics.
#6: You can only fall pregnant on two specific days of your cycle
There are in fact six days in a cycle during which a woman can fall pregnant: the five days before she ovulates and the 24 hours afterwards. If your periods are irregular, or if your cycles are longer/shorter than normal, it can be very difficult to tell when your fertile days are. Even if your periods are regular, ovulation might not occur on the same days in every cycle.
#7: If you want to conceive, you should have sex every day
Having too much sex may actually reduce a man’s sperm count. Each time a man ejaculates within a certain period of time (roughly 24 to 48 hours), his sperm count gets lower. So enjoy regular sex – not crazy marathons – if you want to fall pregnant.
You pick: Want to prevent pregnancy or try for it?
I want to stay pregnancy free: We offer a wide range of affordable contraceptive options to suit your lifestyle, from short-term contraceptives to long-term options to put your mind at ease.
I want to conceive: We provide pregnancy tests and scans, plus all the basic antenatal care you need to get you on your way, and to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
And no, it’s not a myth: you can book your Marie Stopes appointment online!