It was a conversation I will always remember. My husband and I were trying to have a baby. As a matter of fact we had been trying for over nine months. So like most women I turned to my friends first for advice. My female cohorts and I were sitting around the staff table at our workplace shooting the breeze before a meeting.
“Did you hear that Susan is pregnant?” one friend offered.
“What? I didn’t even know she was trying. Why is it that everyone is pregnant but me?” I lamented.
“Well how long have you been trying?” Another friend chimed in.
“For over nine months now. I am beginning to think something is wrong,” I responded glumly.
It was at this point that the suggestions began to come forth with bursting speed.
“I heard that one lady got pregnant by using a turkey baster. You just put the sperm in there and inject yourself.”
“Oh you know what you gotta do? You have to steal his underwear. I heard that tightie whities are the reason for a lot of infertility. He could wear boxers but why wear anything at all that might make things too hot down there?”
“Oh yeah you need him to keep things cool down there. Have him put an icepack down there before you have sex.”
“I heard that position is really important. You want to keep that sperm in there so you should really consider having upside down sex. Stand on your head or be upside down during sex, and then remember to stay like that for at least a half an hour after.”
I didn’t say anything at this point and simply stared at these people who I had always thought possessed both logic and reason.
And then they all agreed that I was probably too stressed out and if I just relaxed I could probably have a baby more quickly.
When I told these ideas to my husband he told me that if I ever came at him with a turkey baster or icepack he was running for the hills. Yet, no surprise here, he was very intrigued by the notion of upside down sex. I hate to admit this but I did stand on my head as best as I was able several times following intercourse. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
Yes it is true. Sometimes the desire to have a baby can make you stand on your head.
So what is true and what is false about some of these suggestions you might hear about conception?
**Can your husband’s underwear play any part in your fertility?
** This is one of those fertility suggestions which has experts in disagreement. I have read some research articles which say that it does matter. The suggestion for a man to switch to boxers is based upon findings that sperm count rises in cooler temperatures. Thus boxers provide more ventilation than tightie whities which trap hot air down there. Yet in a Parent Time article entitled, “Fertility and Pregnancy Myths” the author says: “There are also studies that have shown no statistical difference in the fertility of men due to their underwear. The scientific opinion seems at this point to be that it doesn’t much matter what a man does with his underwear as long as he takes them off every once in awhile.”
**And what about the ice pack idea?
** Deborah Gaines, who writes for Discovery Health, has written about Conception Myths and gives her take on the ice pack idea: “…since it takes at least two months for a man’s sperm count to be positively affected by cooler temperatures, using an ice pack on his genital area is hardly a practical solution.” It seems to me more a way of protection against conception as your mate will most likely run away from such a tactic
Does stress decrease your odds for having a baby? When I was having trouble conceiving I was told repeatedly by well meaning friends and family to “just relax.” This was probably the most emotionally damaging and irritating advice for me. It seems to imply that your emotional state is the cause of not being able to have a baby. Thus, some women feel guilty thinking that if they could just relax a baby will be on the way. It simply isn’t true. If you have not been able to conceive within a year’s time, the reason for your infertility is most likely a medical condition and not to any perceived inability to “relax.”
In fact, the inability to conceive is most likely to be causing you stress and not the other way around. Doctor Richard Schwarz who wrote an article for Discovery Health entitled, “Does Stress Affect Fertility?” would agree: In rare cases, extreme stress can interfere with normal ovulation in women and may reduce sperm production in men. However, while it’s possible for stress to cause infertility, it’s far more common for infertility to cause stress
Does sexual position matter for upping the odds for conception? When you talk to people about getting pregnant someone will undoubtedly tell you the best position to be in to conceive. Not only that, then they will proceed to tell you how to have either a boy or a girl based upon sexual position! The truth is that there is very little in the research on fertility to suggest that sexual position matters much at all in matters of conception.
**So upside down sex doesn’t enhance fertility? **
Not according to the research I have found. It seems you can get pregnant while having standing up sex, missionary style, and all the other many variations of sexual positions that we don’t have time to discuss here. Most experts agree that it doesn’t matter what position you’re in. The sperm can swim in any position and your body naturally pulls the sperm to the egg. You can still get pregnant if the sperm meets the egg. And likewise, if there is a medical problem it doesn’t matter what position you get yourself into, you will still have problems conceiving.
**What about standing on your head after sex? Does that help with conception? ** It sounds sorta logical. You want to keep the sperm in there and not have it fall out. But does this require standing on your head? Once again the literature does not support standing on one’s head to increase fertility.
In an e-zine article entitled, “Myths About Conception,” the author states that: “There’s a persistent rumor that says standing on your head after sex will increase chances for conception. While some experts recommend lying down for a while, there’s no proof handstands will actually help. Plus, the simple fact remains that all the handstands and headstands in the world won’t help if an egg isn’t ready to be fertilized.”
But what most experts do suggest is that it might help for the woman to lay down after sex for up to a half an hour. Contributors to the web site, Baby Center, contend that lying down in bed for 20-30 minutes with a pillow under your pelvis helps the sperm to keep flowing toward your egg. Yet other experts say that you don’t even need the pillow. But it does sound more comfortable and couldn’t hurt.
**And what about that turkey baster?
** I say save it for Thanksgiving when you really need it! I thought I had heard it all when I heard of this idea. I did not expect to find much on the internet about this “technique” but in fact there are those who are using their turkey basters or other injection implements to attempt conception. Check out this question and subsequent answers about turkey baster fertilization.
Do read some of the answers. I found the responses by males were most humorous. And for those of you who are truly interested I also found a step by step method on Baby Net in an article entitled, “At Home Methods for Insemination to Get Pregnant: The Turkey Baster Method.”
Some of this post may seem lighthearted or even humorous but I know from experience that trying to conceive and having problems doing so is quite often frustrating and even heart breaking. I do want to hear from you to tell us your story. What suggestions have you been given to increase fertility? What things actually worked for you? Sharing your experience here in a comment or a share post can help others who are traveling a similar path.
I am a mother, a writer, and now an MS patient