Couples who are trying for a baby tend to be well informed about fertility and their options to help bring about conception. If anyone is able to distinguish between old wives’ tales and facts undergirded by research, it would be the men and women who spend hours talking to medical professionals and reading every resource about fertility they can get their hands on. So just for fun, in the spirit of discerning truth from fiction, we bring you a roundup of some of the most outlandish fertility myths:
Crazy Theories About What Goes Into Your Body
Nutrition is important both in trying to conceive and during pregnancy, but some of the theories about food and drink that will boost fertility aren’t grounded in fact. A few of the most unusual:
- Eating red meat, or possibly consuming honey, will help you conceive a boy.
- Eating yams will help you have twins (this one comes from an African village called Igbo-Ora where twins are unusually common and yams are consumed in great quantities.)
- The man should drink a lot of caffeine before intercourse, so that the sperm will swim faster.
- Raw eggs, hot sauce and grapefruit juice should all be added to your diet to help you make a baby.
- Some women believe that drinking cough syrup containing the active ingredient guaifenesin may thin the cervical mucus and thus allows the sperm to travel more easily to the egg. The same logic is supposed to apply to grapefruit juice, but it’s an unsupported theory.
- A variety of herbal remedies are thought to be linked to fertility, including the stinging nettle, false unicorn root, raspberry leaf and a Chinese plant called dong quai.
How You Do the Baby Dance
Everyone has heard the one about the woman staying in bed for a while after intercourse – or even putting a pillow or two under her hips – to help the sperm find their way with the aid of gravity. But have you heard these ideas?
- Stand on your head after sex.
- Never think of pointy things during intercourse.
- Make sure the moon is full – and it’s more effective if it’s a full moon surrounded by a “ring of fire.”
- Put your feet on the headboard while you’re having sex.
The Things You Can’t Control
Sometimes visions of babies come clearly to family members in dreams, and they are unwavering in their belief that the dream means a baby is coming. But there are other routine events that seem commonplace but actually, according to some, are fraught with fertility purpose:
- If you buy a new house you’re going to have a new baby soon after.
- If someone close to you dies, you will conceive a baby to take that person’s place. This is known as the “One Out, One In” philosophy, and it is conjecture that is more sentimental than scientific.
Old wives’ tales and myths can be fun, as long as couples keep a strong separation between truth and theory. Generations ago some of these theories seemed credible, and they live on today in the passed-down stories that generally bring a chuckle, but might yet someday be found to contain a kernel of truth.