What are some old myths surrounding pregnancy

Getting pregnant: 10 myths and the truth behind them

Getting pregnant - what helps?

Yes, we want to get pregnant! If you as a couple decide that you want to have a baby, then of course you should get pregnant as quickly as possible. Then at the latest you will start looking for tips that are circulating among mothers and friends on how to get pregnant faster. We asked experts and 10 myths about pregnancy are checked for their truthfulness.

Myth 1: is it true that air travel harms fertility?

Especially on long-haul flights on northern polar routes, passengers are exposed to an increased dose of cosmic radiation. So far, the main investigations have been whether they or the lower oxygen content in the cabin harm unborn children. The answer: usually not. According to the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), flying occasionally, for example on vacation, is safe for pregnant women and babies. On the subject of fertility, the BfS says: "An impairment of fertility or fertility only occurs when a large number of cells in the gonads are killed and the normal function of the ovaries or testicles is significantly weakened. Experience from radiation therapy shows that women do not Impairment of fertility is to be expected with an exposure of the ovaries of less than 500 millisievert (mSv). In men, a temporary impairment of fertility can occur from 100 mSv. For frequent fliers, the annual radiation exposure is about 0.5 mSv. Women would therefore have to be 1000 years fly frequently for a long time, men 200 years to reach a value that is harmful to fertility. " More information is available from the Federal Office for Radiation Protection.

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Myth 2: is it true that it takes longer to get pregnant after stopping the pill?

No. The gynecologist Professor Frank Nawroth from the specialist center for endocrinology and the desire to have children in Hamburg says: "After stopping the pill, you get pregnant just as quickly as women who previously used a condom." It is also a myth that women get pregnant particularly quickly afterwards.

Myth 3: is it true that stress makes you sterile?

It depends. Competitive sport and shift work have been shown to have a negative effect on the cycle. However, according to the majority of the researchers, there is no emotional stress. Unless it leads to the fact that you do not sleep together on the fertile days.

Myth 4: Is it true that men get fruity less with age?

Yes. However: "The process runs slowly here, menopause is a clear cut for women," says Professor Thomas Strowitzki, gynecologist at Heidelberg University Hospital. Women can then definitely no longer have children; in theory, men can still have children well into old age. But it will also be more difficult with them. And: with late paternity, the risk of miscarriages is just as increased as that of malformations.

Myth 5: is it true that smoking is bad for fertility?

Yes. Among other things, cigarette consumption has a negative effect on the growth of the follicles and thus the egg cells. In addition, the concentration of the hormones estradiol and progesterone decreases - both of which are important for the egg cell to implant. Women who smoke therefore often wait much longer for pregnancy. "With artificial insemination, you need almost twice as many cycles to get pregnant as non-smokers," says Dr. Peter Rosenbaum, gynecologist at the Saarland University Hospital. And: whoever consumes cigarettes cannot have children for so long. Menopause starts up to four years earlier in women who smoke.

Myth 6: Is it true that changing your diet increases the chances of having a baby?

A healthy diet probably does not have a direct impact on fertility. Also, whether the additional intake of vitamins or trace elements helps the fertility on the jumps has not yet been scientifically clarified. But: underweight and overweight - often the result of an unbalanced diet - can have a negative effect. In extremely underweight women, for example, the ovaries are no longer stimulated, the cycle and with it the menstrual period stop. "This often happens in patients with eating disorders," says Thomas Strowitzki. Even if the woman has long since regained her normal weight, the period could not occur, adds Peter Rosenbaum. “On the other hand, very overweight women produce male hormones in adipose tissue.” This also often leads to the absence of ovulation and periods.

Myth 7: Is It True That Natural Hormone Treatment Alternatives Help?

"Acupuncture has a positive influence on minor disturbances," says Frank Nawroth. "In the case of serious problems, however, alternative measures will probably not be sufficient." If you want to try homeopathy, you should not just go to the pharmacy, "but have an anamnesis drawn up beforehand by a homeopathic therapist, doctor or alternative practitioner," advises gynecologist Professor Ingrid Gerhard.

Myth 8: Is It True That Chasteberry Helps Get Pregnant?

This plant belongs to the verbena family. Their fruits contain substances that cause less prolactin to be released. This hormone is increased in some menstrual cycle disorders. Then chasteberry can have a positive influence. However, a corresponding preparation should not be taken at the same time as other medication and only after consulting a doctor.

Myth 9: is it true that having an orgasm makes it easier for me to get pregnant?

There is no evidence of this.

Myth 10: Is it true that fertilization works better if the woman lies down after sex?

No. You don't have to make a candle or put pillows under your buttocks afterwards to push the sperm in the right direction. There is an exception in the case of fertility treatments, because the prepared ejaculate is much thinner than the natural one. In a Dutch study, the pregnancy rate rose from 18 to 27 percent if the woman remained lying down for 15 minutes after introducing the semen. However, pregnancy depends on various factors, not just on how to properly control the sperm. "The fertilized egg cell also has to implant itself in the uterus," explains Thomas Strowitzki. Ingrid Gerhard points out, however, that women can ask their doctor about the location of their uterus and cervix. "There are rare cases in which the cervix extends far forward due to an extremely changed position. Then a different position that the doctor would recommend individually can help during sex. However, these are exceptions."

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