Fertility has been in the spotlight in recent years, driven by a spike in the number of people waiting until later in life to start a family.
But the same wave of interest around getting pregnant has also spawned a catalog of myths and misconceptions.
Wannabe moms have been told to lie down after sex to increase their chances, and have been assured that breastfeeding makes it impossible to conceive.
Here, MailOnline asks the top fertility experts for their thoughts on five common claims being spread online…
Advice like lying down after sex to improve your chances and myths that it’s impossible to get pregnant while breastfeeding can make it hard to separate fact from fiction
You can only get pregnant two days into your cycle
That women can only get pregnant two days a month is a common misconception that is probably based on the fact that women are most fertile two days a month.
But a woman’s fertile window lasts about six days — the five days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation.
Ovulation is when an ovary releases an egg into your fallopian tube.
If sperm fertilizes the egg during this time, conception occurs and the fertilized eggs attach to the lining of the uterus – known as implantation.
While each egg only survives for 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, the fertile window is much longer because of how long sperm can live, says Tim Bracewell-Milnes, a consultant gynecologist at the Lister Fertility Clinic in London.
“Sperm can survive in the body for up to seven days after you have sex, which means you can get pregnant at any point in your cycle if you have sex without contraception,” says Jenny Saft, CEO and co-founder of the company for fertility benefits April.
She added: “That said, there are about six days per cycle when women are most fertile: this includes the day you ovulate and the five days leading up to it.”
Mr Bracewell-Milnes said: “The traditional advice for couples trying to conceive has therefore been that if you have sex two to three times a week, not timed to your cycle, there should always be enough sperm to fertilize the egg .
“Nowadays with the advent of apps, many women keep track of their cycles and will have sex more often in the run-up to ovulation.”
The fertile window is much wider than just two days because sperm can live longer in the woman’s body, it can take up to a week
Stress can keep you from getting pregnant
Stress can have many negative effects on the body, from disrupting sleep to increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
But experts say it’s a myth that it prevents you from getting pregnant.
While people who have trouble conceiving may experience more stress, it’s not known if stress and infertility are directly related, Ms. Saft explains.
Mr Bracewell-Milnes said: ‘The stress hormone cortisol has many negative implications for the body and can also negatively impact fertilization.
“However, there is no good evidence to prove this.”
That said, high levels of stress can cause periods to stop or your menstrual cycle to lengthen or shorten.
This is because the stress hormone cortisol disrupts reproductive hormone levels.
“However, if you’re stressed but still have a regular cycle, you should still have a good chance of getting pregnant,” says Mr Bracewell-Milnes.
Women cannot get pregnant while breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can stop ovulation — preventing the ovary from releasing an egg, which must happen to get pregnant.
Studies suggest that it can work as a contraceptive if a new mother breastfeeds at least every four hours during the day and every six hours at night, is not menstruating, and their baby is less than six months old.
However, experts urge against relying on it as a method of contraception.
Mr Bracewell-Milnes said: ‘Breastfeeding will prevent many women from having regular cycles and ovulating, making it difficult for them to conceive.
“However, spontaneous cycles often recur.”
He added: ‘It is therefore very important to use contraception during breastfeeding, such as the mini-pill.
“This won’t affect breast milk production, but it will prevent you from getting pregnant.”
While women can conceive within just three weeks of giving birth, health experts recommend waiting at least 18 months to ensure the body has time to recover.
Doctors say that you can get pregnant even as early as three weeks after the baby is born, even if you are breastfeeding
You should lie flat after sex if you are trying to conceive
It may make sense that lying down after sex will draw sperm to the cervix.
However, experts say the jury is out on whether the act increases the chance of pregnancy.
Sandy Christiansen, embryologist and fertility coach at London-based Bea Fertility, said: ‘Studies have been carried out that have tested whether lying flat after artificial insemination makes a difference to fertilization rates.
“While some studies suggest lying flat for 15 minutes can increase your chances of getting pregnant, others suggest it makes no difference at all.”
The same studies were also conducted in women who underwent intrauterine insemination, where sperm is introduced directly into a woman’s uterus.
Immediately afterwards, they were asked to lie down or move for 15 minutes.
But according to Christiansen, there was no conclusive evidence to determine whether lying on your back after regular sex makes a difference to pregnancy rates.
Forty percent of those who moved became pregnant, compared to 32 percent of those who stayed horizontal.
She said, “Laying flat won’t hurt, but it won’t necessarily help either, so it’s really up to you.”
Orgasm increases your chances of pregnancy
It won’t hurt your chances of getting pregnant.
But having an orgasm doesn’t increase your chances of getting confused either.
“There are no scientific studies to support this claim,” Ms Christiansen said.
She said: ‘Some experts say it makes sense that the contractions that occur in the uterus when you come can help move the sperm to the egg.
‘[But] it’s incredibly difficult to study this, so there’s little evidence to prove that’s the case.’
Experts say that worrying about it won’t make things any better.
Ms Christiansen said: ‘Clearly worrying about reaching orgasm when trying to conceive can make having sex more stressful and less enjoyable.
“More important to increasing your chances of pregnancy is having sex when you are most fertile.”