This Is NOT How To Get Pregnant Faster

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
When it comes to fertility, there are many smart ways to prepare yourself and your body. The key word here is prepare. Trying to conceive can take much longer than many women expect. Unfortunately, the world of fertility treatments is sorely lacking in quick fixes, but that hasn’t stopped people from coming up with some.

Such fertility tricks and rituals may have their roots in much older beliefs or may simply be founded on anecdotal evidence. Either way, it's time we leave them behind, no matter how badly we want that quick fix.

Ahead, five fertility myths we want to forget. They may make you laugh; they may teach you something. Either way, we hope they serve as a reminder not to put all your eggs in one basket — sorry, pun intended.

1 of 5
Herbal Vaginal Steams
As with so many questionable wellness practices, we have Gwyneth Paltrow to thank for the popularity of the “V-steam,” as she calls it. Of course, holistic communities have touted the benefits of vaginal steams for much longer, crediting Mayan and traditional Korean healing practices as their true origins. If you’re recommended a vaginal steam to promote fertility, it’ll probably be one infused with rosemary (other herbs are said to have different health benefits). Unfortunately, the herb in question won’t change the fact that vaginal steams do not affect your fertility. In fact, little proof has been found that they do much at all, besides increase blood flow to your vagina. So, you might feel a little turned on, but not any more fertile than you were before.
2 of 5
Avoid Sweeping Under The Bed
One theory of feng shui suggests that you shouldn’t clean underneath your bed if you’re trying to conceive. It's said that the baby’s “fetal energy” first accumulates under the bed and then rises up into the mother, so you’re encouraged to keep things as they are down there. The theory doesn’t elaborate on why extra dust bunnies would help foster "fetal energy," unless it’s a reference to the mess that the baby will probably bring with him or her after being born. Feel free to sweep or not sweep at all — your chances of conceiving are safe.
3 of 5
Missionary Or Bust
The most uncomfortable (yet probably one of the most common) bits of advice different-sex couples might get while trying to conceive is to stick to the missionary position when having sex. It isn’t that this position will hurt your chances of conceiving, but there just isn’t any scientific evidence that it’s the best. The idea is that having the man on top will help the sperm reach the egg as quickly and efficiently as possible, but sperm are determined regardless of position. They’ll seek out the egg no matter what, unless there’s a motility issue.
4 of 5
Wait For The Full Moon
As a rule, humans love assigning significance to the full moon, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Things get a little tricky, however, when we start to expect a direct result from the moon’s influence. It’s a long-held belief that the full moon helps with conception, but the (few) scientific studies on this topic come up with little evidence: The moon has no effect on conception via IVF nor on male fertility. What’s more likely is that fertility is yet another phenomenon we mere mortals want to credit to the full moon, but, as with childbirth and menstruation, science can’t support it.
5 of 5
Sit Where Your Pregnant Friend Was Sitting
This is one of those word-of-mouth fertility tricks that needs to go away. Just stop stealing your pregnant friends’s seats, please.

More from Sex & Relationships


R29 Original Series