Some of those fertility adages your grandma told you do actually have some evidence base behind them, and some have absolutely none. Can you guess which ones? Leading UK fertility expert and head of The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy, Dr Gorgy, breaks it down.

1. Lying Back After Sex Can Help You To Conceive

False. Fertility experts agree there is no evidence that lying down, or with your legs up against a wall after sex, can help conception1. Dr Gorgy says: “There is no single ‘straight line’ between the vagina and the womb. A lot of women think that if they get up and walk around after sex that gravity will somehow disturb the momentum of the sperm, but it doesn’t work like that.”

2. Eating A Hearty Breakfast Can Help You Conceive

Fact-based? A study into fertility factors for women suffering with polycystic ovary syndrome divided 60 women aged 25-39 into two groups: the first ate their largest meal at breakfast, and the second for dinner. The ‘breakfast’ group began to ovulate more regularly, seeing their fertility improve2.

Dr Gorgy says: “This was a single study with a small sample, so we have to be careful about making sweeping statements. But here at The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy we know that good nutrition can be helpful for fertility, and we’d like to see more research in this area.”

3. Having Sex In Certain Positions Increases Your Chances

False. Women have often been told, for example, that they should stick to the missionary position, but there’s really no evidence that having sex in certain positions aids conception. And actually a big problem couples who are trying to conceive often encounter is that they forget how to be spontaneous and adventurous – sex becomes a chore. The message to take away? Have as much fun as you like!3

4. Heavy Lifting Can Be Harmful

Any woman who has rolled her eyes at her partner insisting on carrying the suitcases the minute they start trying for a baby, may now have to apologise to him.

A recent study from Harvard University found that among women seeking fertility interventions, those whose professions involved heavy lifting (for example interior designers or nurses) were producing 14% less eggs than those whose jobs did not, and the eggs they did produce were of poorer quality.4

5. Having Your Appendix Removed Can Damage Your Fertility

This one wasn’t just an old wives’ tale – for years, doctors have believed that appendectomy can harm a woman’s fertility by blocking her fallopian tubes. There are quite possibly women who’ve been wrongly they can’t conceive because of an earlier appendix removal. In fact, a study out of University College London and Dundee University which analysed the anonymised medical records of hundreds of thousands of UK women, found that those who’d had their appendixes removed were actually 34% more likely to fall pregnant. This doesn’t mean appendectomy improves fertility as such, but it does mean women who need their appendixes removed needn’t fear.5

6. Certain Foods Can Help Fertility

Dr Gorgy told us: “Now, while this one isn’t as simple as ‘eat bananas and get pregnant’, the reality is that the vitamins and minerals in the things we eat do of course interact with our bodies – including the systems in our bodies that affect fertility. This is why at The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy we encourage women to take time to care for their nutrition.” Many superfoods are packed with vitamins which might be helpful.

Run by the one of the UK’s foremost fertility doctors, The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy’s assisted conception success rates are well above the national average. We offer gold standard treatments in state of the art surroundings. To give yourself the best chance, contact us or call for a consultation on 020 7224 1880.