Fertility specialist, Dr Sonya Jessup of Demeter Fertility separates fact from fiction from these common fertility myths.
Once I hit 40+ my fertility falls off a cliff
FACT – Age is one of the most important factors when conceiving and women are less likely to conceive in their 40s because they don’t ovulate eggs with the potential to make babies as often as women do in their 20s. In fact, on average women aged 40-43 will produce one egg a year with the ability to make a baby. Getting pregnant when you are still in your 30s is easier both naturally and gives you a far greater success rate with IVF cycles, so start earlier.
It’s important for men AND women to take supplements to help fall pregnant
FACT – While traditionally women have taken supplements to boost their fertility, it’s important for men also! Over the counter supplements including menevit and pro-fertile, as well as Co-Q10, Vitamin C and isoflavins, can help put their bodies in an optimal state for conception.
My weight isn’t a major factor in falling pregnant
FICTION – It’s important to maintain a healthy BMI (18.5 to 25) in order to fall pregnant. Being under or overweight not only can cause you to not ovulate regularly, but also independently decreases the chance of any given embryo implanting. Overweight men have low sperm counts in general also, so get eating healthily!
Too much exercise can hinder the chances of conception
Dr Sonya Jessup: "Age does play a role in your fertility." Image via Facebook.
FACT – While moderate physical activity can increase the ability to conceive, excessive exercise can negatively alter energy balance in the body and affect the reproductive system.
Certain foods won’t help me fall pregnant
FICTION – We’ve heard for decades that eating a balanced diet is important, but there are two compounds in certain foods that are essential to maximising health at all life stages. These are compounds called polyamides and isoflavones. Polyamines are essential for embryo and foetal development growth and cell proliferation and can be found in fresh grapefruit juice, orange juice, sauerkraut and oranges. Isoflavens are powerful antioxidants found in soy products. In fact, recent studies show that consuming more than 20-40mg of soy a day, doubled pregnancy rates. I recommend eating 220g of tofu, two cups of cooked soybeans, 56g of soy flour and drinking three cups of soy milk.