Ovulation Myths: Learning from Common Misconceptions about Preconception
Getting pregnant is complex, let’s face it – at least when you look into the biology of it, the balance of reproductive hormones, the vagaries and vicissitudes predicting ovulation and timing intercourse. The last thing we need is misinformation or pregnancy myths or someone telling me I’m not “normal” – that’s for sure. Below are some common pregnancy myths and fictions about trying to conceive – and their corresponding corrections.
Myth #1: Infertility is a Woman’s Problem
Nope, not true. While the discourse of a phallogocentric historicism has traditionally circumscribed infertility – or even the production of girl children – as a female problem (hence, terminology like “she’s barren”), infertility or subfertility issues are not restricted to women by any means. You don’t have to be a feminist or Michel Foucault to know that, historically speaking, infertility has typically been “managed” as a female shortcoming or falsely explained by sexual promiscuity, long-term use of birth control, or even selfishness (career pursuits coming before childbearing, etc). How infertility is defined – as well as the parameters of normal fertility – are still being debated.
The fact is, obstacles to, or delays, in getting pregnant are attributable, almost equally, between men and women, and the good news is that there are solutions to subfertility issues – from diet and health matters to acupuncture to natural supplements or prescription medications. Even fertility charting – or Taking Charge of Your Fertility, as the name of the well-known book goes – can drastically increase your odds of conceiving and put you in control of your own body.
Myth #2: There is a “Normal Cycle” to which Women Should Conform
Again, not true. The discourse of science tends to collapse a wide range of experiences, traits, and attributes to the bell-curve of ‘the normal’, the average, the typical. Therefore, every woman should have a 28 day cycle; she should have a period like clockwork every month; every woman will ovulate regularly each cycle; every woman will have “egg-white” cervical mucous when she is most fertile; every woman will conceive a baby in no time at all – takes a few cycles at most, right?
Of course, as most women will tell you, these are myths and heterogeneity (not homogeneity) is the rule when it comes to the menstrual cycle and trying to conceive. Every woman is different, cycle lengths and regularity vary radically, and if you are very lucky, you’ll conceive right away. That’s the exception, not the rule. It may take several months of fertility charting and timing intercourse to become pregnant. So patience is a virtue. Don’t get frustrated or diagnose yourself with a ‘problem’ if you do not become pregnant right off the bat, or if your cycle is irregular, long, or short. Normalcy is always in a reference to an arbitrary standard or systemic arrangement: the rules of determining ‘the normal’ are never external to the system defining those rules.
Myth #3: Off the Pill, On the Nest….
Not so quick. If you have been on the pill, it make take a while for the reproductive hormones to balance and bounce back. Don’t fret. Just stay healthy, don’t drink or smoke, chart fertility, check to see if your are ovulating by using a basal thermometer, and take your prenatals Also, FertilAid and Fertility Blend supplements are designed to help promote balance and are not a bad idea of you are coming off birth control pills.
Myth #4: We’ve been TTC for a few months! Something’s wrong!
The fact is, it may take a relatively long time to finally get that big fat positive on your pregnancy test. Again, what was defined as normal by your sex education teachers or your grandparents (who had their kids at age 22) is no longer an applicable benchmark or standard of procreative conformity. TTC may take several months – perhaps even a year or longer – even if you are fertility charting and timing intercourse with ovulation. Another confounding variable of postmodern fertility is that fact that we’re trying to conceive a bit later in life. The fertility time-table has been moved back a bit, we may be trying for our first child in our 30s or 40s, and becoming pregnant may take a bit more effort and patience.
Myth #5: To get pregnant, we just need to have sex now and then, or whenever!
Having sex regularly, at least a few times a week, is advised by all the doctors I have ever talked to. Regular lovemaking increases your overall odds of becoming pregnant. That said, lovemaking prior to your ovulation date – your window of peak fertility – is the best time to conceive, to time intercourse. Ovulation-Calculator.com is dedicated to the science of fertility charting and natural ovulation signs.
At the same time, unless your partner has a issue with sperm count, don’t feel you need to “save it up” for ovulation day. Regular intercourse is good and studies indicate that couples who have sex during supposed “infertile days” have overall better odds of conceiving. If you do have a documented issue with sperm count, talk to your doctor about when and how often to have procreative lovemaking.
Another misconception out there is that day 14 of your menstrual cycle will be your top fertile day. Well, that may be true if you have the “ideal” cycle. As noted above, diversity is the rule and cycle length varies among women, as will our ovulation days. Don’t go by a standard fertility calendar – discover your own ovulation calendar and fertility cycle.
Also, trying to conceive may require a different approach to sex. If you are using a sexual lubricant, consider switching to Baby Dance Fertility Lubricant (a product that provides cervical-mucus-like moisture without acting as a barrier to sperm – like all the other lubricants on the market). Also consider using an ovulation test, a fertility monitor or a ferning microscope.