There is a lot of information online about what helps or hinders a woman’s chance of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby. Unfortunately, some of the information is misleading or simply not correct. Here are eight myth busters to help you on your fact finding way:
The best time to try to conceive is day 14 of the menstrual cycle – MYTH
The best time to conceive is in the three days leading up to and including the day of ovulation. The length of a woman’s cycle can vary. To know which day of your cycle you are ovulating, observe your fertility signs. At the time of ovulation cervical mucus will be clear, stretchy and slippery – perfect for sperm to swim along. You can use a special ‘basal body temp’ thermometer each morning to determine which day you are ovulating. Your body temperature rises slightly just after ovulation. To calculate your ovulation day visit https://yourfertility.org.au/for-women/timing-and-conception/
Women can have children at any age – lots of women have babies in their 40s – MISCONCEPTION
Age is the most important factor affecting a woman’s chance of conceiving and having a healthy child. A woman’s fertility starts to decline in her early thirties, with the decline speeding up after 35. At 40 a woman only has a five per cent chance of becoming pregnant in any month. This is because a girls are born with all the eggs she is going to have in their lifetime. As a woman ages her eggs age, decreasing in quality and number.
A women’s weight can reduce her chance of getting pregnant – TRUE
Being very overweight reduces a woman’s chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby. Women who have a BMI higher than 30 can take longer to conceive than women in the healthy weight range and when they do conceive they have a higher risk of pregnancy complications. View our healthy weight fact sheet or read about how to increase your daily activity levels to help you move towards a more healthy weight.
Smoking is only bad during pregnancy and doesn’t affect a woman’s ability to conceive – MYTH
Smoking affects each stage of the reproductive process and can damage eggs and sperm. Passive smoking is only slightly less harmful to fertility than active smoking. Women who are exposed to other people’s smoke are more likely to take longer to get pregnant.Stopping smoking can improve natural fertility and some of the effects of smoking can be reversed within a year of quitting. Women who quit smoking before conception or within the first three months of pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of premature birth. For more information and support to help quit smoking, visit www.quit.org.au
Women with PCOS can only get pregnant with IVF – MISCONCEPTION
The most successful way to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is by living a healthy life. The healthier you are, the better your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby. Most women with PCOS are able to conceive, however they may take a little longer to get pregnant. The way you eat, exercise and generally stay healthy is the best way to reduce your symptoms. Learn more about PCOS and fertility.
Sexually trasmitted infectioncs can affect a woman’s ability to have a baby – TRUE
Women with chlamydia may not experience symptoms. They can have the infection for some time without being diagnosed or treated. Undetected chlamydia infections can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which in turn can lead to infertility. If Gonorrhoea is not treated, it can also affect a person’s chance of having a baby.
Women with diabetes can’t get pregnant – MYTH
With some planning and preperation, to reduce risk associated with diabetes, women with diabetes can have a healthy baby. It is best that you become pregnant at a time when your diabetes is well managed and there are no other health problems.
IVF is the answer for women who delay motherhood – MISCONCEPTION
Women might delay their plans for a family for many reasons – career, finances, timing, or not having the right partner. About 25% of women of couples who start IVF will take home a baby. The chances of success through IVF reduce for women over 30, if there is more than one fertility issue, and if there were more than three previous unsuccessful IVF attempts.