Avoid these 7 pregnancy mistakes if you’re trying

“My mom had me at 39, so I can also have a baby till I’m 40.”

A woman’s fertility starts to fall at 27 or 28, and by 35 it gets really iffy. By age 40, a woman’s chances of getting pregnant are less than five percent per cycle. There are many factors—including alcohol, caffeine and nicotine consumption, as well as conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome—that affect your fertility, so don’t make any decisions on your life map based on when your sisters conceived. If you want to see how your fertility is faring, talk to your doctor, not your mom.

“My period is pretty regular. I’ll be fine!”

A regular cycle is 28 days long (give or take a day or two on either side). If it’s wildly different each month, it might mean that you’ll have a tricky time getting pregnant. The state of your periods can indicate what’s going on, too. “If they’re very light, you might be lacking in estrogen,” says Pamela Frank, a naturopathic doctor based in Toronto. “If they’re very heavy, there might not be enough progesterone to balance out the estrogen.” And very painful periods might be a sign of endometriosis, which can make conception more difficult.

Having an orgasm helps suck up the sperm.

Sure, an orgasm feels great, but it doesn’t appear to affect your chances of conception. The theory that an orgasm helps pull the sperm up into the contracting uterus has been disproven by studies that show that there’s no correlation between orgasm and conception. The truth is, sperm can live in the reproductive tract for days, orgasm or not.

Only have sex when you ovulate on Day 14.

Start having sex a few days before ovulation (Day 11). Sperm are pretty patient and determined, and the winning dude will hang out in your cervix for 72 hours to be ready for the descending egg. If you wait until your basal temperature is elevated, you will have already ovulated and may have missed the window—an egg only survives for 12 to 24 hours after being released. Find out when you’re ovulating.

To conceive a boy, have sex right before ovulation. Want a girl? Do it a few days before.

You’ve always got a 50/50 shot, but there is no natural way to determine the sex of your baby.

Stay in bed for 30 minutes after sex with your legs up against the wall after sex.

It makes absolutely no difference. Yes, if you stand up immediately afterwards, you can feel a trickle, but that’s OK. Sperm immediately head north while seminal fluid heads south.

Take cough syrup to improve your chances.

A few years ago, trying-to-conceive forums blew up with the news that guaifenesin, an ingredient found in certain cough syrups, helped to make cervical mucus thinner and less hostile. It does nothing to increase your chances of conception.

Curated from Today's Parent