Trying to conceive with old wives’ tales!

Infertility creates enormous emotional pressure, and this can lead to a distorted rational perspective. However, when rational perspective hasn’t yielded a positive result the human mind, ever inventive, will think outside of the box. This has been demonstrated in a recent survey, where couples have revealed the lengths, they went to in order to conceive. These methods included cutting out carbohydrates, becoming vegetarian and even having sex during a full moon!

Over 2,000 couples were surveyed. A staggering 21% believed that women lying with their legs in the air after sex could aid conception. Some of the beliefs were more useful than others:

  • 30% tracked their ovulation cycle, which is essential to conceive
  • 17% only had sex in a particular position
  • 13% lost weight

However only about one in ten gave up smoking and around one in five gave up drinking. Both of these behaviours that are known to have a serious effect on health and fertility. Susanne Bisinotto, who commissioned the research from OnePoll, had this advice for couples trying to conceive naturally, “There is lots of advice out there on how to conceive and not all of it is completely true. Trying to conceive can be a stressful and difficult time for many couples, particularly if it takes longer than they thought it would. Separating the facts from the fiction will help you both feel more informed and hopefully create a smoother journey to getting pregnant.”

However, not all couples using old wives’ tales to conceive actually believe that the tales aid conception. Around 20% felt they were no help but went ahead with them anyway. That said, around 54% were convinced they were helpful.

It seems that not all couples were in agreement with each other as to the efficacy of such methods and nine out of ten even argued about them at some point.

The survey also shone some light on other aspects of fertility, including who couples turn to initially for advice on fertility. It turns out that only 20% think of their doctor first. 16% turn to parents, 15% ask a friend and 12% go online for advice from strangers.

When trying to conceive it appears the average couple had sex five times a week, with one in 20 stating that they tried twice a day. Even so, 24% felt their journey to conception was difficult and 14% turned to IVF therapy.

Speaking of the results, Gwenda Burns, Chief Executive of the charity Fertility Network UK, said, “Whatever a couple’s experience of fertility issues, one thing they have in common is the need for support and advice on a practical and emotional level. One in six couples in the UK face issues with fertility.”