Most people want to know if saliva can kill sperm, especially for couples trying to conceive. You and your partner may have decided to drop the birth control pills, and other forms of contraceptives to start trying to get pregnant.
Most couples ask if there’s a right position to enhance conception, or if they can still use lube or rest for 30 minutes afterwards.
Here’s the truth about some common baby-making myths.
Myth: Saliva can kill sperm cells.
The truth: Some studies show that large quantities of saliva can harm sperm motility in an infertile couple. This might be true for a man who already has a low sperm count. However it doesn’t apply if the man has a normal sperm count and motility.
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for several months without success, try avoiding oral sex altogether to check if it helps you conceive.
Myth: You shouldn’t use lubricants because they can kill sperm.
The truth: According to some studies, lubricants do affect the sperm’s ability to reach the cervical mucus and the egg, thus hindering conception. Spending lots of time on foreplay can increase a woman’s production of her natural lubrication.
If you’d still like to use a lubricant, try Pre-Seed, a fertility-friendly product.
Myth: You can only conceive if the female partner has an orgasm.
The truth: The sperm will reach the fallopian tubes in minutes after ejaculation, irrespective of whether the female partner has or doesn’t have an orgasm. There’s yet no research to support whether female orgasm improves the chance of conception.
Myth: Your partner should switch to boxers to improve his sperm count.
The truth: A few studies have shown that wearing briefs may raise scrotal temperature. This can decrease sperm quality and motility. It might be beneficial for a man to avoid situations that raise the temperature in the scrotum such as using a laptop on his lap, wearing briefs, or swimming in hot tubs.
Myth: You should only use the missionary position when trying to get pregnant.
The truth: There isn’t any research that proves one position or another is more effective. Any sexual position can lead to pregnancy. There are a few positions that can help the sperm get to where they need to be a little quicker and easier, though. They tend to be those that aid deep penetration to get the sperm cells closer to the cervical opening.
Myth: You need to have sex all the time in order to get pregnant.
The truth: Abstaining from sex for long periods are known to decrease the quality of sperm cells. Additionally, having frequent sex can decrease sperm counts. Doctors recommend having sex once a day, or once every other day, during a woman’s fertile window.
READ ALSO: Infertility and In Vitro Fertilization
Myth: Drinking cough syrup can make it easier to get pregnant.
The truth: There’s no scientific evidence to support that drinking cough syrup can help a woman concieve, but many women swear by this technique. The theory is that the active ingredient in many cough syrups, guaifenesin, may thin cervical mucus and make it easier for sperm to meet egg.
But there’s no medical research to support this and it’s not a good idea to take medication that you don’t need. This can make it less effective if you need it later on.
Myth: You should rest with your hips elevated for 20-30 minutes after having sex.
The truth: There’s no evidence that this assertion is concrete. Sperm cells reach the fallopian tubes within minutes after ejaculation. Note that a single ejaculate can contain up to hundreds of millions of sperm cells. Even if a little bit leaks out when a woman stands up, that still leaves millions of cells in the body.