Couples have revealed the extreme lengths they went to in a bid to get pregnant including cutting out carbs, becoming vegetarian – and having sex during a full moon.
A study of 2,000 parents 21 per cent swore by the unfounded notion that women lying with their legs in the air after sex will help them to get pregnant. Others tracked their ovulation cycle (30 per cent), only had sex in a particular position (17 per cent) or lost weight (13 per cent) to try and increase their chances of conceiving.
One in 10 gave up smoking, but only a fifth quit drinking alcohol while trying to conceive. Just under half (46 per cent) felt it took longer for them to get pregnant than they thought it would, with 45 per cent feeling it was never going to happen for them. Susanne Bisinotto, which commissioned the research, said: “There is lots of advice out there on how to conceive and not all of it is completely true. Trying to conceive can be a stressful and difficult time for many couples, particularly if it takes longer than they thought it would. Separating the facts from the fiction will help you both feel more informed and hopefully create a smoother journey to getting pregnant.”
The study also found that while one in five don’t think the old wives’ tales and tricks they tried made any difference, 54 per cent are convinced they helped them to conceive.
And 19 per cent purposely followed urban myths to try and boost their chances of getting pregnant, although 60 per cent of those admitted their partner complained about it. Almost nine in 10 even ended up arguing about it.
More than a third was also given hints and tips from others on how to increase the likelihood of getting pregnant. But while 13 per cent of those thought they were useful, the rest found them ‘annoying’.
Instead, 16 per cent turned to their own parents for advice when they were trying to conceive while 15 per cent went to their best friend. Others turned to their doctor (20 per cent), others who have children (eight per cent) and shared their concerns online (12 per cent).
It also emerged the average age respondents had their first child was 27 years old, with 80 per cent believing this to be later than in previous generations. But while one in five said their first child was the most difficult one to conceive, 20 per cent felt they struggled the most to fall pregnant with their second baby.
The study, carried out via OnePoll, found that when trying to conceive, the average couple had sex five times-a-week, with one in 20 admitting they did it at least 14 times-a-week – twice-a-day. Although, 24 per cent felt their journey to getting pregnant wasn’t a smooth one, and 14 per cent turned to IVF treatment.
Gwenda Burns, chief executive of the charity Fertility Network UK, which is a partner of Pregnacare, said: “Whatever a couple’s experience of fertility issues, one thing they have in common is the need for support and advice on a practical and emotional level. One in six couples in the UK face issues with fertility.
Fertility Network UK is the nation’s leading patient-focused fertility charity. We are here to provide free and impartial help, support, advice and understanding for anyone affected by fertility issues – you are not alone’.”
Top 20 things couples tried in a bid to conceive
1. Tracked ovulation cycle
2. Raised legs after sex to ‘let gravity help’
3. Taken a vitamin supplement
4. Stopped drinking
5. Had sex multiple times daily
6. Had sex in a particular position to maximise chance of pregnancy
7. Only had sex during your ‘ovulation window’
8. Lost weight
9. Stopped smoking
10. Drank more water
11. Cut out caffeine
12. Started an exercise regime
14. Cut out carbs
15. Stopped eating meat
16. Eaten bigger breakfasts
17. Cut out chocolate
18. Had sex during a full moon
19. Started meditating
20. Cut out dairy
Photo Credit: Getty