Myths About Ovulation And Conception

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Gettyimages.com/Pregnant African couple looking at ultrasound pictures

Don’t you think schools should rethink what is covered in Sex Ed class? I hardly remember what was covered, but I know that A) It didn’t make a lasting impression and B) It wasn’t any of the important stuff. That could be part of the reason so many couples are in the dark about ovulation and conception when they’re ready to make a baby. In Sex Ed, our teachers were just concerned with keeping us from becoming pregnant, but nobody prepared us for what we should know and do when we are ready to become parents. As a couple, when you are ready to build a family, having those pregnancy tests continuously coming up negative is discouraging and even devastating. While you should certainly meet with an OBGYN or fertility doctor if you’re struggling to conceive, you should also know these myths about ovulation and conception.

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You only need to quit smoking during pregnancy

If you’re a smoker who is planning to have children, don’t wait until you’re pregnant to quit the habit or you may be waiting a long time. The chemicals in cigarettes can harm eggs during ovulation and make it difficult to conceive.

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Only one ovary ovulates

In a healthy woman, both ovaries produce ovarian follicles. But only the healthiest is released as an egg, so in the end, only one ovary “wins” each month, but both ovaries can produce eggs.

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Drink all the coffee you want

Here’s another habit you’ll have to cool it on if you’re trying to conceive. Excess amounts of caffeine can interfere with the muscle contractions of your fallopian tubes that are responsible for pushing eggs into your uterus.

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Emotions don’t affect ovulation

Your hypothalamus affects many things, including your hormones, so if you’re stressed, it can affect your ovulation.

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Ovulation and periods are separated by 14 days

While there is typically a 14-day period between the end of ovulation and the beginning of menstruation, there can be a 1 to 4 day variance, so start having sex within that variance if you want to conceive.

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Thick white mucus means ovulation

The thick, white mucus you see could be a sign of ovulation, but it could also be sperm, a result of certain medications, or your regular discharge. Keep testing your basal temperature and other factors to determine ovulation.

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Cramps are just for PMS

Ovulation can also come with mood swings, cramps, and many of the symptoms we associate with PMS.

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There is no ovulation during perimenopause

Not true. Oestrogen levels are dropping but they aren’t gone and eggs are still being released, so ovulation can still occur.

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Only sex during ovulation counts

Sperm can live for three to five days in you, so even though fertility may only last 12 to 24 hours, sex you had a few days before could impregnate you.

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But sex during ovulation is best

Nope. It could be too late. Remember the egg will leave within possibly 12 hours. So have sex when ovulation is coming up rather than in the middle of it.

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As long as there are eggs, you’re good to go

While we would like to believe that women can produce children well into their forties (the way we see celebrities do all of the time!) the truth is that egg quality drops after 30 and it’s hard for a woman to produce a healthy egg after that age.

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You should put on weight to conceive

Being under or overweight can interfere with ovulation, but so too can rapid changes in weight. So if you do need to gain or lose weight to increase your chances of conception, do so slowly.

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Tracking temperature is the best way to track ovulation

A few other things, other than ovulation, may affect your basal temperature reading. To get the most accurate predictor of ovulation, get a luteinizing hormone tracker.

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There are dead eggs in your period

Unused eggs are directed to the bloodstream by white cells, but they do not wind up in your period blood.

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If you haven’t gone through menopause, you ovulate

Not every premenopausal woman ovulates. Irregular or missing periods can cease ovulation so if you suffer from either of these and hope to conceive, you need to speak to a doctor.

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