Each person has a battle of some sort. For some it is dealing with the death or rejection of a loved one, getting a job worth having, financial emancipation, spiritual wholeness or another battle altogether. These battles come in different times and can last seconds or decades, but what matters is that they are important to the one who is engaged in that battle.
One of life’s battles which could affect women and/or couples is that of infertility. While everyone who is faced with this challenge is encouraged to seek medical, professional and/or spiritual help, it is important to note that there are different results for everyone.
Each couple is different and should therefore seek a solution that is tailor-made for them rather than adopt a one-size fits all approach. This article does not in any way undermine scientifically tried and tested methods for falling pregnant. It merely notes the unscientific myths concerning falling pregnant.
“Have you ever wanted a child so badly that you are now at a point of trying anything and everything? I mean, as a woman you sort of think that there is something innately wrong with you. Infertility has the potential to rip even the most solid couples apart. You point fingers, stop pointing fingers and think from time untold women have been giving birth… Maybe there’s something very broken with me,” said Martha whose battle with infertility ended up with her former partner cheating on her multiple times.
“Even though I do not condone what he did, deep down I knew that the need to want to bring a child into the world was something that was innate. Maybe there was something wrong with my core. Rather than cheat on me, I hoped he would love me. Hold me tight and say I was enough,” said Martha.
7 Keep the Lights On
This myth is that you are bound to fall pregnant if you make love with the lights on. It is maybe something that may have come from studies which showed that a man’s sperm level is relatively higher in the morning.
According to the myth, or what is narrated about it, is that when engaged in sexual intercourse, the lights should be turned on. Some take it as far as to say there should be some form of light in the room all the time, whether it is romantic candle light, a burning fireplace, electronic lights or torches.
While there is little or no convincing medical basis for keeping the lights on in the room, there are still those who believe that this myth could help in getting to know each other better, particularly when you want to see facial expressions and thereby get that connection.
Lights on or off, it doesn't matter. Sex=baby (most of the time)
“I struggled to conceive and eventually someone told me that I should keep the lights on each time that I made love. I was so desperate for any form of intervention that I tried it for months, but to no avail. Eventually something gave in and I fell pregnant. We then resorted to switching off the lights again and I have not fallen pregnant since,” said a friend called Elizabeth.
According to Elizabeth, it is sad that sometimes couples get so desperate for a baby that they are willing to try almost anything within reason to help them bring life into the world. She said that her research revealed that the myth is not based on anything scientific and so resorted to turning the lights back off.
“Even though we know that this is just a myth, it hurts me when my partner sometimes turns the lights on. I know that he secretly hopes something happens and we can have another child. I know this because we both prefer the lights off, but know about this myth. So perhaps it is his inner longing for another child that does that. I don’t tell him, but just hold him closer. I hope in that way he knows that I still love him,” explained Elizabeth.
6 Sleep On the Opposite Side of the Bed to Conceive the Opposite Sex
This myth is that if you have a girl and want a boy (or vice versa), you should exchange bed sides with your partner during love making sessions and for the duration of your pregnancy. It is an old wives tale that has been passed on across continents and is alive and well in many parts of the world.
The myth is almost like crossing your fingers because it requires people to sleep on the side that they do not normally sleep on. It is like an exchange. While many who believe it say that it can take time to work, it does require some change which can be slightly different and even lead to a different experience.
If you want to conceive the same sex as your last child, then you go on and keep the side that you are sleeping on. It is only when one desires a change in the sex of the child that people are required to change sides of the bed.
This isn't going to work anymore than wishing upon a star
Although less known and common, it is an unscientific myth regarding falling pregnant and determining the sex of the baby that several people still hold on to. No one really knows where it comes from other than it being something that is shared with women of child bearing age from one generation to the next.
“I was told this after I had two girls in a row. I think the intention of telling me this myth was to try and help us conceive a boy. I did not try it, but who knows. One really gets used to sleeping on your side of the bed and it is comfy after a while.
“The old women who told me said that it works, but after my third c-section, I did not bother. I was just so grateful to have a healthy baby regardless of their sex. My girls mean a lot to me and my family is complete. I know that I have them for a divine reason and I am glad I did not change sides,” said a close relative and content married mother of two who struggled with miscarriages at some point in her journey to become a mother.
5 Do It All the Time
There’s a myth that says that if you do it like bunnies (everyday, all the time, day and night), you are bound to fall pregnant soon. While this can be stressful or awesome for the couple that is desperately trying to conceive, it is not entirely based on scientific facts.
While the reasoning behind this myth makes some sense, studies show that the more frequently a man ejaculates, the lower his sperm count and concentration will be. In the end, it may be more effective to try out the myth during a woman’s most fertile period instead of just shooting in the dark.
“We are newly-weds and excited about doing it all the time. When we came back from our honeymoon and I returned to work, I became very moody, cried a lot for no reason and started vomiting in the morning. My hubby suggested that I do a pregnancy test, but I did not think that it was necessary because we were on some form of self-applied contraceptive.
The more he ejaculates, the less good sperm are left for fertilization
“It turned out that I fell pregnant, particularly from the time that we were at it like bunnies and could not keep our hands off each other. So I think we either calculated things wrong or the myth worked after all. Either way, I am very happy to be carrying his child,” said a woman who referred to herself as Rea’s wifey.
Even though it was not planned, she was happy that it happened after they were married and encouraged other married couples out there not to give up trying. She alleged that the positive thing about the myth was that it brought loving couples closer and falling pregnant was a bonus.
In the end, she said that there were many more positives to healthy couples who tried to use this myth, particularly for conceiving. “It should not be seen as a duty, but done out of love for your husband or wife. In that case, the benefits are endless. We never did figure out how our self-taught contraceptive method went wrong, but I guess things turned out the way they should be after all,” she continued.
4 Don’t Sweep Under the Bed
Another myth that is rather strange, but easily tried by couples trying to conceive, is that one should not sweep under the bed. It was not clear why one should not sweep under the bed, but those who were told the myth in the past and dared to ask why we told several reasons.
Some of the controversial reasons for the myth of not sweeping under the bed were that:
The dust that gathers under the bed symbolized earth (flesh), and hence attracted conception.
By not moving the bed to sweep under it, it sort of symbolized a “solid structure” that reminded couples that they had to keep trying until they broke through and conceived.
The dust that gathered under the bed represented the formation of something new, like the one that was being made.
This just sounds like an excuse to be lax with the house cleaning
The dust beneath the bed was seen as glue that attracted and kept the couple together.
“I think if I absolutely wanted a baby and it did not happen around our honeymoon, I would have secretly tried this myth for some time. It is one of those things that does not take a lot out of you and my hubby would not have even discovered because he does not do much cleaning anyway.
“Every now and then I like to move furniture around so that I can sweep and clean under the bed. When we were still dating, he did as little cleaning as possible and got away with never sweeping under his bed. It is a good thing the myth does not require that people not to turn their matrasses over or change sheets,” laughed Rea’s wife.
Her biggest concern about this myth would be being so complacent that people forgot to steam the beat or do other efforts in fighting bed bugs (which she considered creepy). Hygiene and cleanliness was important to her. All in all, she affirmed that she would have definitely tried everything in her power to have a child with the man that she loves, including this myth.
3 Making Love on Odd Days Produces a Boy
The sex of the baby is still a big deal in many parts of the world. It may seem like a thing of the past, but the reality could not be further from the truth. A lot of couples find themselves under immerse pressure from their families to conceive the “desired” sex.
The fact that it is often the first question that people ask as soon as a child is born tells you something. It is either a boy or a girl, even before one finds out their name. It is not just the sex of the child that is brought into question, but heralds socially constructed roles and expectations for that child.
It is not enough that it is a child, but a boy or a girl. To those who will be visiting the child with gifts, it helps them lean towards buying blue or pink clothing items, masculine or feminine toys and so forth. From the initial label or pronunciation of the child’s sex, there are expectations and stereotypes that fall into place.
There's no magic spell for producing one gender over another
“The expectation and pressure to produce a boy child to carry on the family name is still a reality that affects many people across the world. Make no mistake, we still live in a patriarchal society and some cultures look down on couples, both women and men, who fail to produce a boy child as though it were a matter of their own doing.
“It is off no wonder that there are so many myths pertaining to determining the gender of the child. One myth is that if the couple engages in sex on only odd days they will get a boy and if they do so on just the even days they will produce a girl. In some parts of the world a man can even traditionally take a second wife to produce a boy child to carry on his legacy if he only has girls with his first wife,” says Sammy Mazibuko.
According to Sammy, while conceiving is a big deal, the sex of the child can almost be just as important in various parts of the world. She does point out pockets of change whereby men can now switch to take the female’s surname, but that is still considered a taboo in a lot of places and is by far a deviation from the norm. All couples and children should nevertheless be shown love and respect because they are gifts from God.
2 Inverted Positions are Key
It has been recorded in some instances where couples are so desperate to conceive, they reinvent sexual positions in the hope of trying out the myth that says that inverted positions will lead to conception.
Studies show that it may help sperm reach the cervix a little faster in some cases, but when it comes to being a guaranteed means of making a woman conceive, this falls short. It is not a surefire strategy to guarantee that one will fall pregnant.
Part of the inverted positions couples trying out the myth opt for include, but are not limited to:
- The woman raising her legs for at least 10 minutes after ejaculation
- The woman raising her lower back and bending her knees
- The acrobatic women doing handstands or back flips, and/or
- tilting her body in an aid to help gravity
Who came up with this crap?
This myth can be dangerous when taken too far. People can hurt their backs and necks in a frantic attempt to chase after a myth. It can also lead to people ending up with tense muscles because they are convinced that this is a given way to fall pregnant.
It is important that if any try out inverted positions they do so safely knowing that research shows that it may not necessarily make or break one’s chances of falling pregnant. In this case it can be a voluntary subjection of taking a risk and not blaming it on a myth that is not scientifically guaranteed to produce a child.
There's no shortcut to the cervix, sorry
When writing this article, a married friend and her partner heard about it and mentioned that they are so desperate for a child that they are going to try this myth. They had not heard of this myth before, but now felt excited that it could spark the flame and hopefully lead to a baby shortly.
It is heartbreaking that some couples are at times so fraught for an addition to love and care for that they are willing to do so much to be parents. Even though the understood that it was just a myth they figured it was something fun to do and just what they needed to make the waiting period fun.
1 Only an Orgasm Will Produce a Baby
The myth is that a woman has to orgasm in order to conceive. While an orgasm can probably make conception enjoyable, it is important to note that studies show that a woman can fall pregnant with or without achieving orgasm.
“I heard the myth that one way to fall pregnant for sure is if she achieves orgasm. I fell pregnant pretty quickly, so I think my man thinks that it is a feather in his cap. Who am I to burst his bubble that a woman does not need to achieve orgasm to conceive?” laughed a woman who did not want to be named because she said she wanted to protect the integrity of her husband and what they do behind closed doors.
She upheld that she told him that it had to do with muscular contractions and so forth and he made it his goal to make her fall pregnant, thereby taking it as proof that he was hitting the nail on the head. She appreciated his effort and now only wished he could be as quick to help out when the baby cries in the middle of the night and she had to wake up and check on the child.
I'm pretty sure many children were produced without an orgasm
“I should have added that the myth says that you must also wake up in the middle of the night when the baby cries and help out or else your partner would never conceive again,” she joked. All in all, she was very happy that the baby was conceived in a loving setting and would not change a thing.
She did not regret a thing and said that even though she did not remember exactly when her child was conceived, she was grateful that it was between two parents who love each other, in a faithful marriage and committed to each other and their child’s wellbeing.
“In future, when we plan on the second baby, I am going to remind my man of this myth that says that woman will immediately conceive if she achieves orgasm. Whether it takes a day, weeks or months, I know that we are both going to enjoy the conception phase,” she giggled.