How do you protect yourself from fertility and pregnancy myths? By knowing how to find good information online about fertility and pregnancy!
There are so many fertility myths, fallacies, and outright lies on the internet. For instance…
A reader recently asked me if eating a can of peas after intercourse increases your chances of pregnancy. Nope.
Another reader asked if saliva kills sperm. Nope!
There is a lot of good, accurate, medically correct information online about fertility and pregnancy – but you have to know where to look. And, you have to remember that research can render useless what was once a good tip about fertility and pregnancy.
AND, you must also be aware that some websites and online stores may try to sell you a fertility or pregnancy product that doesn’t work for everyone.
“People are well aware that infertility is a very painful situation and some may try to take advantage of people coping with this situation,” writes Iris Waichler in Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster: A Guide to Educate And Inspire. “Be sure you check any information you are given with an appropriate professional or a trusted and knowledgeable confidant.”
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Never, ever take online information as a medical fact that applies to you and your body. What may be true for the general population (eg, fertility and pregnancy is related to age and fitness level) may not be true for you (no matter how young or fit you are, some health issues make it impossible to get pregnant).
One of the best sources for both online and book information about fertility and pregnancy is Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy.
And here are six tips for finding good fertility and pregnancy tips on the internet…
How to Find Good Fertility and Pregnancy Information Online
I can’t believe how many people ask me for medical advice here on Quips and Tips! This scares me, because I know if people are asking me for health tips here, they’re asking elsewhere.
Never, ever ask for personal medical health advice on the internet. It doesn’t matter if you describe your health condition or problem in the fullest detail; an online “diagnosis” can never replace an in-person physical examination.
The internet is great for getting general information about health topics such as fertility and pregnancy. But, it can never replace an in-person doctor or health practitioner.
If you’re searching for fertility and pregnancy tips online, make sure you…
Ask your gynecologist or urologist about all fertility and pregnancy tips
If you find interesting fertility information — such as fertility supplements that help you get pregnant — do your research before buying the product! Find people who have tried it. Ask about the supplement or remedy on fertility forums and infertility blogs. Talk to your doctor, infertility specialist, or naturopath. Don’t believe everything you hear – but be open to hearing everything!
If you’re looking for a fertility clinic or doctor, ask people you know for a referral. The reputable, trustworthy organizations are happy to connect you with patients they’ve treated.
Remember that anything “guaranteed to get you pregnant” is misleading
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees to increasing your fertility or getting pregnant! If a fertility product, doctor, or clinic promises that you’ll get pregnant, proceed with caution.
Despite all that we know about fertility, getting pregnant is still an inexact science. Some would say it’s a mystery.
Participate in online fertility or pregnancy forums, but be cautious
“There are a lot of people doing a lot of risky things to get pregnant,” says Toronto-based acupuncturist Nancy Winlove-Smith. “Every client I see is different. Everyone has different anatomical considerations and individual sensitivities to hormones, drugs and infertility treatment plans. What worked for someone else may not work for you. Consider alternative treatments (such as fertility yoga or acupuncture for infertility), but do your own research. Visit a professional, certified naturopath who is educated and experienced.”
What helped someone else increase fertility or have a healthy pregnancy may not work for you, because your bodies are so different. The people who give advice on fertility and pregnancy forums and websites may be sincerely trying to help, but they don’t know your body and specific health issues. Always proceed with caution.
Do your research before buying fertility and pregnancy products online
Online fertility and pregnancy supplements or products may be “duds” – or they could be downright harmful.
“Adulteration with pharmaceuticals, expired plant material, wrong species material, and heavy metals have been found in foreign manufactured products,” says Winlove-Smith. “You could be taking drugs, or ingesting melamine or toxic plant parts all of which could affect a developing fetus. It’s just not worth the risk. You might get pregnant and find out six years later that your child has a severe health condition or learning disability. How will you know if the ‘mystery’ herbs were not the cause?”
Some fertility products and supplements are good and effective — but you need to do your research first! An in-person infertility support group and/or a fertility doctor can help you figure out if the online fertility or pregnancy information is good.
Take the success rates that fertility clinics post with a grain of salt
When you’re finding fertility information online, remember that statistics and pregnancy rates can be misleading. Some fertility clinics only treat women who have a strong chance of getting pregnant, and don’t count certain factors in their statistics.
“Fertility clinics don’t always post if acupuncture was also used, especially if they have a “secret” cocktail they are using to enhance fertility,” says Winlove-Smith. “Clinics have become big business, and are becoming competitive as more couples seek help getting pregnant.”
Test all tips for fertility and pregnancy against a reputable online source
Go to the major health or pregnancy web sites and search for specific information about getting pregnant. For instance, if you’ve heard about natural ways to regulate your period, go to a reputable, well-known web site and see if they have the same information.
Good Sources of Online Health Information
These major health websites don’t specialize in fertility or infertility, but they’re good online sources of general health information.
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Also — remember that there is a difference between general fertility and pregnancy tips that involve overall health and wellness, versus specific information that is designed to sell products or services!