Fembryo Fertility Clinic Blog

Common Fertility Myths

Separating Fact from Fiction – Part 1

Answering common questions that South Africans ask about infertility.

When it comes to infertility, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. From old wives’ tales to social media rumors, it can be difficult to know what’s true and what’s not. That’s why we’ve created this article to debunk some of the most common myths and misunderstandings about infertility.

We’ve consulted with medical professionals and fertility experts to provide you with accurate information and answers to your burning questions. Whether you’re wondering if certain foods can boost fertility or if stress really affects your ability to conceive, we’ve got you covered.

"Drinking cough syrup or taking fertility herbs can increase fertility"

A fertility myth that suggests that certain over-the-counter medications or supplements can improve fertility. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

"Being on the pill for too long will delay pregnancy"

A fertility myth that suggests that taking birth control pills for an extended period can cause delayed fertility. However, there is no evidence to support this claim.

"Boxers are better than briefs when you're trying to conceive"

A fertility myth that suggests that wearing loose-fitting underwear can improve sperm count and motility. However, there is limited evidence to support this claim.

"Eating pineapple cores will help you fall pregnant"

A fertility myth that suggests that consuming pineapple cores can improve implantation and increase the chances of conception. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

"Women can’t get pregnant after 35"

A fertility myth that suggests that women over 35 cannot conceive naturally, which is not true, although fertility does decline with age.

"Just relax and you'll get pregnant"

A fertility myth that suggests that stress is the main cause of infertility, while in reality, infertility has various causes, and reducing stress levels may not guarantee pregnancy.

"Infertility can’t happen in young men and women"

A fertility myth that assumes that age is the main factor in infertility, while in reality, young people can also experience infertility.

"Don't tell anyone you're trying to conceive"

A fertility myth that suggests that keeping fertility struggles secret is necessary to avoid jinxing it. However, talking openly about infertility can help reduce stigma and provide emotional support.
“Fact or Fiction?

“Infertility is always a woman’s problem.”

While women are often the focus of discussions about infertility, the reality is that fertility issues can affect both men and women. In fact, research suggests that male infertility accounts for up to 40% of infertility cases.


Fact or Fiction?

“Birth control can cause infertility”

No, birth control does not cause infertility. In fact, many types of birth control can help regulate menstrual cycles and improve fertility. However, it may take some time for fertility to return to normal after stopping birth control. It is important to talk to your doctor about your options and any potential side effects.


Fact or Fiction?

“The morning-after pill can make you infertile”

No, the morning-after pill does not cause infertility. However, it is intended for emergency use and should not be used as a regular form of birth control.


Fact or Fiction?

“Age doesn’t matter when it comes to fertility.”

Fertility is closely linked to age. Women are born with a limited number of eggs, which can decrease in both quantity and quality over time. Typically, fertility starts to decrease after the age of 35, and the decline becomes more pronounced after the age of 40.


Fact or Fiction?

“Men don’t have a biological clock and can father children at any age.”

While men do continue to produce sperm throughout their lives, the quality of that sperm can decline as they age. This can lead to decreased fertility and an increased risk of genetic abnormalities in offspring.


Fact or Fiction?

“Abortion can cause infertility.”

In most cases, abortion does not cause infertility. However, in rare cases, complications from an abortion procedure could lead to scarring or damage to the reproductive system. This is why it’s important to seek medical care from a qualified provider when considering an abortion.


Fact or Fiction?

“You can’t get pregnant if you have irregular periods.”

While irregular periods can make it more challenging to predict ovulation, it is still possible to get pregnant. It may just require more monitoring and a more targeted approach to timing intercourse.


Fact or Fiction?

“Fertility treatments always result in multiple births.”

While some fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), can increase the chances of having twins or triplets, it is not a guaranteed outcome. Many fertility treatments can be tailored to the individual, and your doctor will work with you to determine the best course of action.


Fact or Fiction?

“Miscarriages only happen to women who have trouble getting pregnant.”

Miscarriages can happen to anyone, regardless of their fertility status. In fact, it is estimated that up to 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage.


Fact or Fiction?

“Stress is the main cause of infertility.”

While stress can impact fertility, it is not the sole cause of infertility. There are many complex factors that contribute to infertility, including age, genetics, and underlying medical conditions.


Fact or Fiction?

“If you’re not pregnant after a year of trying, there’s something wrong with you.”

It is perfectly normal for it to take up to a year or longer to get pregnant. In fact, up to 80% of couples will conceive within the first year of trying. If you have been trying for a year without success, it is recommended that you seek medical advice.


Fact or Fiction?

“Lifting your legs after sex increases your chances of getting pregnant.”

There is no evidence to suggest that lifting your legs after sex will increase your chances of getting pregnant. The best way to increase your chances of conception is to have sex during your most fertile days.


Fact or Fiction?

“Wearing tight clothing or using hot tubs decreases fertility.”

While heat can impact sperm production, there is no evidence to suggest that wearing tight clothing or using hot tubs will decrease fertility. It is still possible to conceive even if you wear tight clothing or use hot tubs.


Fact or Fiction?

“A woman can’t get pregnant while on her period.”

While it is less likely, it is possible to get pregnant while on your period. Sperm can survive in the body for up to five days, and if you ovulate soon after your period ends, you could still become pregnant. It’s important to use contraception if you’re not trying to conceive, regardless of where you are in your menstrual cycle.


Fact or Fiction?

“Eating certain foods, such as pineapples or yams, increases fertility.”

There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that eating specific foods can increase fertility. While maintaining a healthy diet is important for overall health, it won’t guarantee a successful pregnancy.

We hope this article has helped to clarify some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding infertility. It’s important to remember that everyone’s journey to conception is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. If you’re struggling to conceive, don’t hesitate to reach out to Fembryo Clinic’s team of fertility specialists for personalised advice and treatment options.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our series, where we’ll continue to answer common questions and debunking infertility misinformation. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to your reproductive health.