Busting Fertility’s 7 Biggest Myths

Reproductive health is one of the most important well-being issues around the world today. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of false information out there on the Internet that can lead you astray: we’re here to make sure you know what’s true and what’s not so that you can protect yourself (and your sperm). Here are the seven biggest fertility myths and why they’re wrong:

Myth #1: Having sex daily will increase your chances of conception.

Conceiving isn’t necessarily about quantity: it’s about quality, and quality sex is all about timing. The five to six most fertile days in a woman’s cycle are those right before and during ovulation. Having sex to conceive isn’t about having sex every day—it’s about having sex at the right time. In fact, sperm can live in a woman’s reproductive system for anywhere between 48 and 72 hours, so having sex every other day is sufficient and gives the guy’s body time to replenish his sperm.

Myth #2: Taking testosterone supplements can enhance your fertility.

Before you start taking your testosterone in order to increase your sperm count, think again. While testosterone is a necessary chemical for those who want to be fertile, not allowing your body to make the chemical itself will actually suppress the amount of sperm that your testicles make. In short, taking synthetic testosterone or anabolic steroids will shut down your sperm production.

Myth #3: Boxers are better for your sperm than briefs.

In reality, it really doesn’t matter. Keeping your sperm at a couple degrees below your normal body temperature is important for proper sperm production, so the testicles need to be kept cool. This is why they’re outside your body! But wearing tighter underwear doesn’t have as big an effect as you might think on warming up your balls. Wear whatever you find comfortable.

Myth #4: Only women can take supplements to improve their fertility.

While women have been taking prenatal vitamins for decades to improve their fertility, new research out of the University of California has found that men need higher concentrations of folic acid as well. Men had higher rates of chromosomal abnormalities when their diet was low in folic acid. Vitamin E and Coenzyme Q10 have also been shown to increase sperm count. If  you need these vitamins, there are a lot of options for male prenatal vitamins on the market today.

Myth #5: If your semen looks okay, so is your sperm.

Semen’s white color comes from the high concentration of sperm that lies within the liquid. However, that doesn’t mean you can actually see your sperm—because they’re microscopic! So you can’t see when something is wrong with it. The only way to assess your sperm health is by getting your semen tested.

Myth #6: Prescription drugs don’t impact your fertility.

Hard drugs are of course harmful to  both your fertility and overall health. But it’s also important to be careful when taking prescription drugs, antibiotics or blood pressure medications because they can have an affect ton the quality and quantity of available sperm. Make sure to check with your doctor about possible side effects if you are trying to conceive.

Myth #7: In a healthy male, all sperm are healthy.

Even in an average guy, only 14% of all sperm have normal size, shape, and ability to move properly. This might seem low but remember—it only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg. There’s a reason guys make so many sperm—most of them aren’t up to the job!