If you're trying to get pregnant, we know you're likely up to try just about anything that may help. But before you test any of these trending fertility-boosting tales (from eating pineapple to eating parasitic worms—yes, really), see what experts have to say.

By Christin Perry
December 05, 2019
Illustration by Sarina Finkelstein; Daniel Schneider/Getty Images

Are you and your partner ready to hop on the "TTC" (that's trying to conceive, ICYMI) bandwagon? If so, there's a good chance you've already heard some of the crazy old wives tales about different "tried and true" tricks to get pregnant faster. From common sense notions, like laying down with your legs up (you know, to let gravity do its thing) to the truly bizarre, like tossing your underwear on the roof (we don't recommend this one FYI) couples around the world have come up with some pretty wild things that they swear helped sperm and egg meet up and make that delicate journey.

We discussed a few of the wackiest methods for getting pregnant we've heard lately with Renee Wellenstein, M.D., a double board-certified physician in Obstetrics & Gynecology and Functional Medicine to get her professional opinion. Why? Because we figure if we're talking about them, you probably are, too.

Get the scoop on whether these off-the-wall methods could possibly work. And who knows—maybe one of the doctor-approved tricks on our list will be the thing that ends up doing the trick. As for the others? Well, at least they're good for a laugh.

1. The Magic Menstrual Cup

The claim: Inserting a menstrual cup after sex can help you get pregnant faster because it keeps sperm close to the cervix for much longer than it would otherwise. This method follows the same basic belief as lying with your legs up after sex, with a modern twist.

What our expert says:  Dr. Wellenstein believes this method could be a legitimate way to aid couples on their fertility journey. "I do believe using a menstrual cup can help increase the chances of a couple achieving a pregnancy. Inserting a cup after sex can allow more sperm to stay close to the cervix for a longer period of time than simply having sex. I do believe it is effective and safe, as long as couples are careful to remove the menstrual cup within 12 hours, as indicated on the packaging."

The bottom line? We're optimistic! As long as you don't leave the cup inserted longer than the recommended time, this could be an exciting new development if you're struggling to get pregnant.

2. Eating a Parasitic Worm

The claim: There's a parasitic roundworm prevalent in Bolivia that experts claim can increase a woman's fertility. Just when you thought there would be no possible way to draw a parallel between a parasitic worm and a pregnancy, scientists say the infection caused by the worm can alter a woman's immune system to make it more likely for her to get pregnant.

What our expert says: While this bizarre story may lead to future developments in the fertility field, Dr. Wellenstein brings up a good point: "There would most likely be other symptoms and possibly more serious complications. What's more, getting rid of the infection would require administration of another medication, which is usually not recommended in pregnancy."

The bottom line? Do not try it. We can't imagine many of you would line up to be infected by a parasite, no matter how much you'd like to get pregnant. But, perhaps scientists will use this information to develop other, less disgusting, ways to utilize the worm's fertility-enhancing powers.

3. A Baby Aspirin Regimin

The claim: Taking a baby aspirin daily can increase your chances of getting pregnant by creating a more friendly environment for a developing embryo. But before you hit the drugstore, it's important to weigh the risks, since many studies also claim that aspirin can increase the risk of miscarriage.

What our expert says: Dr. Wellenstein isn't an advocate of widespread use of aspirin when you're trying to conceive. "I do believe that aspirin can be beneficial in women who have a history of infertility, especially if it's unexplained infertility with a likely source being some type of inflammation. But I wouldn't recommend it for just any woman trying to conceive."

The bottom line? Talk to your doctor. Different medications work differently based on your individual needs, so it's important to always discuss with your doctor before taking anything. And that's even more the case when you're pregnant or trying to conceive.

4. Pineapple + Ovulation = Pregnancy

The claim: Eating pineapple core immediately after ovulation can help you get pregnant.

What our expert says: "The thought is that an enzyme in pineapple juice or the stem, called bromelain, can help with inflammation," says Dr. Wellenstein. "While this isn't likely to help the chances of getting pregnant, I do believe that vitamin C in pineapple, which helps support the immune system, is a healthy option for any woman trying to get pregnant."

The bottom line? Eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables can have a dramatic positive effect on overall health. And that's always a great way to start your pregnancy. But don't bank on pineapple core being the magic bullet to making a baby.

5. Consuming (Safe Amounts) of Cough Syrup

The claim: Certain cough syrups contain guaifenesin, an expectorant that can thin cervical mucus in the same way it thins nasal mucus. This can make it easier for sperm to travel to the egg during ovulation.

What the experts say: "While this may be the case, it does not necessarily equate to an increase in fertility rates, as there are many other factors that come into play when trying to get pregnant," explains Dr. Wellenstein.

The bottom line? Consult your doctor before trying this to ensure you're using a safe dosage and that you don't have any other issues preventing you from getting pregnant. If your doctor gives you the go ahead, there's no real reason you can't try this method.

6. All-Powerful Acupuncture

The claim: Acupuncture can aid fertility. According to the American Pregnancy Association, "Acupuncture can be used to treat any type of fertility disorder including [unbalanced hormone levels], repeated pregnancy loss, unexplained infertility, luteal phase defect, [and] PCOS."

What the experts say: "I strongly believe in using acupuncture for fertility. If done by a trained professional, I do not believe there is any harm in trying acupuncture, and it may increase your chances of getting pregnant," says Dr. Wellenstein.

The bottom line? Try it. Acupuncture seems to be a safe, promising and relatively inexpensive way to try to get pregnant if you're struggling to conceive. What's more, this practice can safely be combined with traditional medicine and fertility practices to increase your chances of having a baby.

7. Inserting Egg Whites You Know Where

The claim: The most fertile cervical mucus resembles egg whites, so real egg whites can be inserted into the vagina as a substitute for the real deal to up your fertility.

What the experts say: According to Dr. Wellenstein, "I think the only instance where it may possibly be useful is if someone is on fertility treatments using Clomid, which thickens cervical mucus. The egg whites may aid in allowing sperm through the cervix into the uterine cavity."

The bottom line? Um... Consider it? Admittedly, we were surprised our medical expert was down with this. While it does make sense on some level, a regular lubricant could probably do the trick just as well and it's not a good idea to try this without a doctor's supervision.

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Comments (1)

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January 16, 2020
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