While the world wide web is an impressive, bountiful source of information, you should bear in mind that not everyone typing behind the screen is medically qualified to dish out reliable advice around fertility and pregnancy.

There are a lot of misleading or inaccurate articles suggesting all sorts of weird and wonderful tips and tricks to help you conceive, and it can be difficult to differentiate between truth and trash. Much of assessing whether pregnancy advice is legitimate or not relies on common sense – does it come from what seems like a trustworthy source? Who is the author? Does the article link to credible studies or research? These are all things to look out for if you’re going to turn to the internet for advice or help whilst you’re trying for a baby, as opposed to asking your doctor.

Popular pieces of online pregnancy advice that you can ignore…

1.      You shouldn’t drink caffeine whatsoever

Drinking lots of caffeine might decrease your chance of conceiving. But if you’re a healthy individual, who doesn’t drink or smoke in excess and follows a well-balanced diet in accordance with regular exercise, drinking tea or coffee is unlikely to impact your chances of getting pregnant.

2.      You’ll only get pregnant if you have sex on the day of ovulation

Not true. You can actually get pregnant if you have unprotected sex at any point during the five days before ovulation and on the day you ovulate – this is because sperm can survive in the vagina for up to five days.

3.      You need to have an orgasm if you want to conceive naturally

This is true for a man, of course – he must have an orgasm to ensure his sperm can reach the fallopian tubes. However, the female orgasm in not necessary for conception, despite claims that contractions of the vaginal walls during orgasm may help the sperm reach the egg.

4.      You’re probably infertile if you’re having irregular periods

Having an irregular cycle could indicate a number of things, but doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re infertile. If you do have an irregular cycle and it’s causing you problems or discomfort, you should always seek advice from your doctor. In the meantime, you shouldn’t automatically assume your irregularity means you’re infertile.

5.      There is a best sex position to conceive

If you haven’t already, read our blog post The Best Sex Positions to Get Pregnant and discover why sex positions have no impact on your ability to conceive. Although many unofficial fertility websites and blogs will claim that there is one ‘go-to’ sex position for getting pregnant, there’s no scientific evidence to support this, so you can definitely ignorethis advice.

If you’re trying for a baby and you’ve been researching how to increase your chances of conceiving, just be cautious about the information you find on the internet – it’s not all true. You can also take a look at our Pregnancy Myth-Buster, which helps to uncover the most common fertility mistruths.

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Mr Andrew Drakeley Andrew Drakeley

Mr Andrew Drakeley is the Clinical Director at the Hewitt Fertility Centre, working principally at the Liverpool Women’s site but with managerial responsibility for Knutsford.

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