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Here Are Some Pretty Interesting Facts Women Need To Know About Their Bodies And Pregnancy

Sad to say, there's still no male birth control.

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To get the answers, BuzzFeed talked to Mary Jane Minkin, MD, who is a Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale University School of Medicine, and founder of MadameOvary.com.

1. Women are most fertile between the ages of 18 to 30.

NBC

Minkin says ages 18 to 30 are ballpark figures. "It's when women are producing the most eggs and the eggs divide well. Nondisjunction is when we end up with uneven numbers of chromosomes and that tends to be more common the older we get. At age 35 and beyond, it’s harder to get pregnant and there are other issues, like diabetes during pregnancy. There’s also the risk of Down Syndrome. After the age of 35, the chances of having a baby with Down Syndrome is about 1 in 300, and at age 40 it’s about 1 in 100, and at age 44 it’s actually 1 in 25. It’s because the chromosomes don’t sort themselves out properly."

2. Sperm can live in your uterus for a day or longer.

"Usually, sperm lives in the uterus for a day or so, but they may live longer than that. If you are trying to get pregnant, you can have sex a day or two before you begin ovulating because the sperm can stay alive, waiting for that egg to come along," said Minkin.
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"Usually, sperm lives in the uterus for a day or so, but they may live longer than that. If you are trying to get pregnant, you can have sex a day or two before you begin ovulating because the sperm can stay alive, waiting for that egg to come along," said Minkin.

3. The average probability of a woman becoming pregnant while she's ovulating is 15 to 20 percent.

youtube.com

"If a couple is having regular sex – like every other night – it’s 15 to 20 percent."

4. Women are typically born with about half a million eggs.

"But, even by the time you’re born, you lose eggs. Your peak egg count is actually when you’re inside the womb."
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"But, even by the time you’re born, you lose eggs. Your peak egg count is actually when you’re inside the womb."

5. If you pee after sex you may pee out a few million sperm, but there will still be millions more inside you.

Minkin said, "The average sperm count is about 50- to 70-million per CC. So, you will pee out some of the semen and possibly a few million sperm, but there will still be many more millions inside you." So, peeing after sex won't really reduce your chances of getting pregnant, FYI!
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Minkin said, "The average sperm count is about 50- to 70-million per CC. So, you will pee out some of the semen and possibly a few million sperm, but there will still be many more millions inside you." So, peeing after sex won't really reduce your chances of getting pregnant, FYI!

6. You can still get pregnant if you have irregular periods.

"I have had patients with very wacky periods who have gotten pregnant with no problems whatsoever. Hormonal shifts, activity, running, exercising, nutrition – all sort of things can affect your pattern. But if you’re wanting to get pregnant and not succeeding, then you’ll want an evaluation."
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"I have had patients with very wacky periods who have gotten pregnant with no problems whatsoever. Hormonal shifts, activity, running, exercising, nutrition – all sort of things can affect your pattern. But if you’re wanting to get pregnant and not succeeding, then you’ll want an evaluation."

7. Women can be allergic to certain men's sperm.

Bravo

"There are what we call sperm and cervical incompatibilities. There's a test that can be taken called a postcoital. It's where a couple has sex, then their cervical mucus is examined. If we see a bunch of sperm, but they’re all dead and not moving, then you could have incompatibility where the cervical mucus is killing the sperm. If a couple with incompatibilities wants to conceive, they can do so through in vitro or intrauterine insemination (where they take sperm and inject it directly into the uterus). I have also seen a few people who do have a true allergy to their partner’s semen, but when they use a condom they’re fine."

8. Putting your legs in the air after sex probably won't increase your chances of getting pregnant.

"Mostly those are old wives tales, but I guess it couldn't hurt to lie down for a few minutes!"
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"Mostly those are old wives tales, but I guess it couldn't hurt to lie down for a few minutes!"

9. Endometriosis is very common in women.

Minkin said endometriosis is, unfortunately, all too common. "If a woman has blocked tubes from scarring, we can do in vitro fertilization."
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Minkin said endometriosis is, unfortunately, all too common. "If a woman has blocked tubes from scarring, we can do in vitro fertilization."

10. You can get pregnant immediately after you stop taking the pill.

However, for women wanting to get pregnant, Minkin suggests waiting two to three cycles after getting off the pill before trying so your cycles can get more regular.
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However, for women wanting to get pregnant, Minkin suggests waiting two to three cycles after getting off the pill before trying so your cycles can get more regular.

11. Fertilization does not happen in the uterus. It happens when the sperm swims up the fallopian tube and meets the egg.

Netflix

"The sperm that is deposited up into the vagina will migrate up to the fallopian tube, where the actual fertilization occurs. Then the sperm and the egg start dividing, it travels down and implants into the uterine wall. It takes a couple of days to implant. If you’ve heard of tubal pregnancies, they happen when the egg and sperm end up getting stuck in the fallopian tube instead of making it down into the uterus."

12. Lubricants can impact sperm mobility.

Minkin says there are some lubricants that hinder sperm activity. "First Response makes this thing called “Pre-Seed,” and it’s been shown to not hinder sperm activity."
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Minkin says there are some lubricants that hinder sperm activity. "First Response makes this thing called “Pre-Seed,” and it’s been shown to not hinder sperm activity."

13. A women's ovulation cycle is typically anywhere from 22 to 35 days.

"A female’s cycle is around 28 days, but there’s quite a lot of variation from woman to woman. Anything from 22 days to 35 days is normal, but if your cycle is less than 22 days or more than 35 days, there’s a good chance you’re not ovulating properly."
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"A female’s cycle is around 28 days, but there’s quite a lot of variation from woman to woman. Anything from 22 days to 35 days is normal, but if your cycle is less than 22 days or more than 35 days, there’s a good chance you’re not ovulating properly."

14. You can track your ovulation cycle.

"The best way to track it is with ovulation predictor kits. Some people do basal body temperature (BBT) which is where you take your body temperature before you get out of bed to pee and you write it down. Right before you ovulate, your temperature will dip a tiny bit. It's not a super-accurate measure, though. Ovulation predictor tests are more accurate and will check your urine for LH surge, which is the hormone produced by the pituitary gland."
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"The best way to track it is with ovulation predictor kits. Some people do basal body temperature (BBT) which is where you take your body temperature before you get out of bed to pee and you write it down. Right before you ovulate, your temperature will dip a tiny bit. It's not a super-accurate measure, though. Ovulation predictor tests are more accurate and will check your urine for LH surge, which is the hormone produced by the pituitary gland."

15. Stress can interfere with ovulation.

A24

"We’ve all heard stories about a couple who was trying for years to get pregnant and then they adopt a child and boom, they're pregnant. So, It’s certainly a possibility that stress can interfere with ovulation. There’s plenty of data that says women who are depressed or stressed may not ovulate as well," said Minkin.

16. Some medications – not all – can alter the effectiveness of your birth control.

Minkin says that most medications actually aren’t a major problem. "There is one that most people don’t know about because it’s not a medication per se: the antidepressant, St. John’s Wort. It actually acts very similar to Prozac, and that has actually shown to decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. There are certain antibiotics, that if you take every day, prove to be problematic. But, there’s not too many medications."
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Minkin says that most medications actually aren’t a major problem. "There is one that most people don’t know about because it’s not a medication per se: the antidepressant, St. John’s Wort. It actually acts very similar to Prozac, and that has actually shown to decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. There are certain antibiotics, that if you take every day, prove to be problematic. But, there’s not too many medications."

17. If you have problems conceiving your first child, that does not mean you will struggle to conceive your next child (and vice versa).

"Let’s say you had a fertility problem getting pregnant with your first kid, but you eventually get pregnant and everything goes great. Do not assume you’re going to have the same problem with your next pregnancy. "
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"Let’s say you had a fertility problem getting pregnant with your first kid, but you eventually get pregnant and everything goes great. Do not assume you’re going to have the same problem with your next pregnancy. "

18. Folic acid is extremely important if you get pregnant.

Netflix

Minkin says she actually encourages people to take prenatal vitamins, especially folic acid, before they conceive. "We have pretty good data that shows women who conceive while taking a folic acid supplement have a substantial reduction in babies born with neural tube defects like spina bifida."

19. If you have twins naturally, there may be a slight influence from the maternal side.

"There’s probably a slight influence from the maternal side, but it’s not a huge influence. The major contributor to the number of twins out there these days is assistive reproductive technology."
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"There’s probably a slight influence from the maternal side, but it’s not a huge influence. The major contributor to the number of twins out there these days is assistive reproductive technology."

20. Clomid is a pill designed to help women ovulate better.

"It’s basically designed to get your pituitary and hypothalamus working to make you ovulate better. I would strongly discourage taking Clomid if you are just trying to have twins. You could end up with too many babies. I have personally delivered 'Clomid quads.'"
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"It’s basically designed to get your pituitary and hypothalamus working to make you ovulate better. I would strongly discourage taking Clomid if you are just trying to have twins. You could end up with too many babies. I have personally delivered 'Clomid quads.'"

21. During In Vitro Fertilization, eggs are taken trans-vaginally and fertilized by the sperm in a laboratory dish. Once the egg is fertilized, it is placed in the uterus.

CBS Films

"Most of the time, we try to get out a bunch of eggs, so they usually give you some meds to try to increase the ovarian activity. We then harvest the eggs. We use to operate to get the eggs out, but now we do it trans-vaginally, using an ultrasound to guide things. We get sperm from the donor and mix the egg with the sperm in a laboratory dish. The sperm will fertilize the eggs, and once the eggs start dividing, we implant them in the uterus. More and more people are only implanting one fertilized egg rather than two like they used to do."

22. There is such a thing as "unexplained infertility."

"It’s extremely frustrating that sometimes we don’t know why women are not getting pregnant when they want to so badly. I would tell those women to not give up. Keep having sex and you may get pregnant. And keep taking folic acid because you might get pregnant."
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"It’s extremely frustrating that sometimes we don’t know why women are not getting pregnant when they want to so badly. I would tell those women to not give up. Keep having sex and you may get pregnant. And keep taking folic acid because you might get pregnant."

23. Women usually start menopause in their fifties.

Netflix

Minkin says the average age is between 51 and 52. "So if you’re 46, and you’re not taking birth control, you could still get pregnant."

And, ladies, this has nothing to do with OUR bodies, but I was curious about male birth control. Unfortunately, there's nothing yet...

"I have to say – honest to God’s truth – we’re nowhere on it. There are no fabulous advances out there, nothing is even close. And just logistically, with female birth control, you’re suppressing an egg from coming out. If I were doing male birth control, I would have to suppress millions and millions of sperm. Logistically it’s a very tricky thing and no one is even close to male contraception, but that doesn’t mean they’re not working on it," said Minkin.

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