Quiz: How much do you know about making a baby?

Congratulations! You’re ready to start (or grow) your family. But besides the basic mechanics, how much do you really know about conceiving? Take our quiz and test your baby-making savvy.

Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

1. When is the best time during your cycle to have sex if you want to conceive?
a) As soon as your period is over
b) As ovulation approaches
c) During ovulation
d) Regularly throughout the month
e) B & C

Answer: As ovulation approaches and during ovulation. You are most fertile, and have the highest chance of getting pregnant, during ovulation. That’s when your egg leaves your ovary, travels down your fallopian tube and waits 12 to 24 hours to be fertilized. Have sex too soon and the egg won’t be there to meet the sperm. Do it too late and the egg will already have dissolved. (Getting pregnant has a lot to do with timing!) Because it’s so easy to miss that 12- to 24-hour window, your best bet is to have sex as ovulation approaches and when you think you’re ovulating.

Read more: Ovulation predictor

 2. What’s the best way to know when you’re ovulating?
a) Counting cycle days
b) Monitoring cervical mucus
c) Taking your basal body temperature
d) Noticing when you have pain or cramps in your middle
e) Depends on the woman

Answer: Depends on the woman. There are many different ways to figure out when you’re ovulating. If you have a regular cycle, counting cycle days is the simplest way to determine ovulation. (You ovulate 14 days before the start of your next period, so if you have a 30-day cycle, you ovulate around day 16.) If your cycles are irregular, you can monitor your cervical mucus throughout the month (with clean hands and a tissue) or take your temperature every morning and watch for fluctuations.

Read more: 5 signs you’re ovulating

3. How often should you have sex when you’re trying to get pregnant?
a) Every day—don’t want to miss that window
b) Every other day is plenty

Answer: Every other day is plenty. It only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg. That being said, the more mature sperm there are, the better your chances for conceiving, says Stacey Grossman, an obstetrician/gynaecologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. “Having sex every other day from day 10 to 20 of your menstrual cycle increases the number of mature sperm,” she says.

Read more: 9 things to do before you conceive

4. Which sexual position boosts your chances of conceiving?
a) Missionary
b) Spooning
c) From behind
d) It makes no difference

Answer: It makes no difference While many believe that missionary position (woman on the bottom) is best for conceiving, Grossman says there is no evidence to support that theory. Your best bet is to choose the position that you enjoy the most!

Read more: Pregnancy: Your changing sexual relationship

5. True or False: Taking folic acid or a prenatal vitamin is an essential element to getting pregnant.
a) True
b) False

Answer: False Taking folic acid or a prenatal vitamin won’t increase (or reduce) your chances of getting pregnant. But because every pregnant woman is at risk of carrying a baby with neural-tube defects, it’s essential that you take a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid every day, starting at least three months before conception and throughout the pregnancy. (Speak to your health-care provider about how much folic acid you need.) The supplement helps reduce cases of neural-tube defects by up to 70 percent if it’s taken during the preconception period, reports Folic Acid Alliance Ontario.

Read more: Healthy pregnancy: Essential supplements and vitamins

6. True or False: After having sex, elevating your hips with a pillow or lifting your legs in the air helps your chances of conceiving.
a) True
b) False

Answer: False According to Grossman, there’s no proven benefit to elevating your hips or lying with your legs in the air. (Still, common logic suggests that you should try to prevent the semen from flowing out of you for at least a few minutes.)

Read more: How to use a home pregnancy test

7. True of False: Your chances of getting pregnant increase if you have an orgasm.
a) True
b) False

Answer: True An orgasm is definitely not essential for getting pregnant, but it can boost your chances. Grossman says that’s because the female orgasm results in uterine contractions that push the cervix into the vagina; others add that contractions in the uterus may help carry sperm further into the womb. “It’s an evolutionary attempt to improve conception,” says Grossman.

Read more: 10 tips for boosting your libido—naturally

8. You’re not getting pregnant as fast as you thought you would. After how many months of trying should you call your doctor to see if there’s a problem?
a) Three months
b) Six months
c) 12 months
d) 18 months

Answer: 12 months Most couples get pregnant within six to 12 months of regular unprotected sex. If you’re having regular periods and there is no obvious cause for fertility problems (such as a previous repeated miscarriages or a condition such as endometriosis), doctors recommend trying for at least one year before . That said, if you’re having irregular cycles or you’re nearing the end of your childbearing years, you may want to seek advice sooner, recommends Grossman.

Read more: 5 reasons you’re not getting pregnant

9. True or False: Getting pregnant has little to do with what you eat or how active you are.
a) True
b) False

Answer: False A healthy lifestyle is important when trying to get pregnant, says Grossman. A balanced diet and 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise most days of the week is recommended for women who want to conceive.

Read more: Pregnancy food guide: Truth about what you can eat (+ cheat sheet)

10. When it comes to getting pregnant, being overweight or obese:
a) Can make conceiving more challenging
b) Has no effect whatsoever

Answer: Can make conceiving more challenging  On its own, being overweight or obese does not impact fertility, but extra weight can sometimes be responsible for irregular periods, which make tracking ovulation trickier. Consider instead tracking basal body temperature, monitoring cervical mucus or using an ovulation kit.

Read more: Important precautions for a healthy pregnancy

11. Compared to a first baby, how long does it usually take to conceive a second baby?
a) Less time
b) More time
c) About the same
d) None of the above

Answer: None of the above You conceived your first child in lightning speed, so Baby #2 is likely to be conceived quickly too, right? Wrong. Grossman says there’s no connection. “Conceiving a second child is faster [than conceiving a first child] for some and slower for others.”

Read more: Your second pregnancy: What you need to know

12. After a miscarriage, when can you try to conceive again?
a) After one menstrual cycle
b) After three menstrual cycles
c) After six menstrual cycles

Answer: After one menstrual cycle Health-care providers used to recommend that female patients hold off trying to conceive after a miscarriage until they had completed three menstrual cycles. Today, most doctors say you only need to wait until you’ve had one period.

Read more: Miscarriage & pregnancy loss

13. You’d like to choose your baby’s gender. Which method works best?
a) Eating sweets (for a girl) and salty foods (for a boy)
b) Having sex on specific days, according to the Shettles or Whelan methods
c) You probably can’t influence your baby’s gender
d) Using the Chinese gender predictor

Answer: You probably can’t influence your baby’s gender Some gender-determination methods have been around for generations — from Dr. Landrom Shettles and Dr. Elizabeth Whelans’ (opposing) theories on timing intercourse to your cycles to the Chinese gender predictor, which compares the mother’s age at the time of conception and the month of conception to predict the gender of your bundle of joy. Grossman says gender is determined by which sperm is the strongest and successfully fertilizes the egg. “It is one of nature’s last wonderful surprises,” she says. Still, it doesn’t mean you can’t try! More on choosing your baby’s gender.

Read more: Can you choose your baby’s sex?

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