There's a lot of lore out there about things that can help you get pregnant, but that doesn't mean everything you hear is true. It's time to break down some popular myths.
1. That there's a remedy you can buy at the drug store.
Daniel Rychlik, MD, of the Southern California Reproductive Center has heard all sorts of myths. "I've heard the weird ones," he said. "Like people say you can use Robitussin to increase the movement of the fallopian tube." Nope, not true. Put down your cart at the drug store.
2. That you can get the sperm to swim up you if you contort your body.
Good news: Not being Simone Biles isn't going to count against you. Dr. Rychlick says that standing on your head will not help the sperm get into the fallopian tube. (Sorry, super-flexible yogis.)
3. That stress is the sole reason you can't get pregnant.
If you're having a hard time getting pregnant, don't blame your stressful job or how your in-laws call you every day asking if you've made a little human. That's not the de facto reason why you're not conceiving.
"Stress plays a factor," Dr. Rychlick says, but "we can see that in the entire world there are many people that achieve pregnancy under very stressful conditions. There are more babies born out of Syria from the refugees. I can't imagine a more stressful [environment]."
That doesn't mean you should embark on a mission to increase your anxiety. Dr. Rychlick says that optimally, you'd decrease your stress levels before you try to conceive, but it's not going to make or break a pregnancy.
4. That you should stick boric acid inside of you to find out the sex of the baby.
Dr. Rychlik says that he's heard that "people think you can put boric acid in the vagina to determine if it's a boy or a girl."
5. That drinking coffee will destroy your chances of getting pregnant.
You can breathe a sigh of relief: you don't need to give up your Starbucks habit just yet. "Coffee drinking in moderation is probably not something to worry about," says Allen Wilcox, MD, of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
6. That you should stop exercising.
If you've been looking for an excuse to glue your butt to your couch, sorry—as long as you have regular menstrual cycles, you should be fine. Oh, and your chance to slum it while watching Netflix doesn't happen once you conceive—exercising actually helps you once you're pregnant.
7. That you can get pregnant whenever you want.
Here's the bad news: Conceiving isn't going to get any easier with age. "I think the fact is that we're in a field where the biggest myth is, women think they can become pregnant and it [their ability to do so] stays the same across their ages," Dr. Rychlik says.
One reason for that? Highly public celebrity pregnancies. "I think what we find in the media is there are celebrities that get pregnant at very extreme ages, but unfortunately they're not sharing how they may accomplish that." He says it falsely reassures people that anyone can get pregnant at any age.
The cold, brutal reality, he says, is that "every woman becomes infertile." He says fertility really drops off after 40, and that women who are older shouldn't take their regular periods as a sign that they can thereby get pregnant with ease.
But don't take that as bad news! Stop trying, and just get busy with your husband.
This article originally appeared on Redbook.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.