Menstuff® has compiled the following information on myths.

8 Myths About Trying to Conceive
Pregnancy Tales: Hit or Myth?
All about the Fear of Friday the 13th aka Paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobi

8 Myths About Trying to Conceive

How can you separate the fertility myths from the facts?

If you're trying to get pregnant, chances are you've been overwhelmed with tips and advice. Books, magazines, Web sites, and well-meaning friends and relatives are full of suggestions. But how do you separate the myths from the facts? Here are some common misconceptions about conception.

1. You'll have a better chance of conceiving if you relax and stop worrying about it. Even assuming this were possible, there's no clinical evidence that it makes a difference. While extreme stress can affect your ability to ovulate in very rare cases, "worrying about it" -- especially if that worry takes the form of monitoring ovulation and timing intercourse to coincide with your most fertile time -- can only help.

2. Drinking Robitussin before you ovulate will make you more fertile. The theory is that guaifenesin, the expectorant ingredient in Robitussin, will help thin your cervical mucus in the same way it thins the mucus in your lungs, making it easier for the sperm to swim through your cervix and reach the egg. While guaifenesin may, indeed, result in thinner mucus, it's not clear that thin mucus alone will make you more fertile. The quantity of mucus is as important as its consistency, and Robitussin will not affect this.

3. You'll conceive more quickly if you make love during the day, with the lights on. While studies have shown that sperm levels are somewhat higher in the morning, there's no clinical basis for keeping the lights on. (If you enjoy it, of course, that's another matter.)

4. Having sex every day increases your odds of getting pregnant. You can have sex 10 times a day and it won't result in pregnancy unless it's timed to coincide with ovulation. And even if you've timed things correctly, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reports that a major study found no difference in pregnancy rates between couples who had sex daily and those who had sex every other day.

5. If you have sex early in your fertile period, the baby will be a boy; later, a girl. There's an old wives' tale that "boy sperm" (those with Y-chromosomes) swim faster than their female counterparts, but the NEJM study found no difference.

6. Bike riding will reduce your husband's sperm count. If your partner is an Olympic-level, long-distance cyclist, it is theoretically possible (although not clinically proven) that the extra heat, jostling, and grinding on the testicular region will affect fertility.

7. Eating nonorganic bananas can make men sterile. This claim is based on a report that chemicals used in growing bananas had a negative effect on the sperm of farm workers. There is no clinical proof that men who eat the bananas could be similarly affected.

8. Cooling your husband's "jets" with an ice pack can increase his fertility. Like many conception myths, this one has a basis in fact: Sperm counts tend to rise in cooler temperatures. For this reason, men who are trying to conceive are advised to wear loose underwear (boxers instead of briefs), and avoid long, hot baths, saunas, and hot tubs. However, since it takes at least two months for a man's sperm count to be positively affected by cooler temperatures, using an ice pack on his genital area is hardly a practical solution.

Sources: By Deborah Gaines, New England Journal of Medicine; American Society of Reproductive Medicine,,

Pregnancy Tales: Hit or Myth?

Technology and medicine have transformed the experience of pregnancy for modern women. Prenatal medical testing can indicate the sex of your child, the amount of fluid in your uterus, the weight of your baby before birth, and many other facts. Despite this increased reliance on diagnostic information, pregnancy continues to inspire its own set of myths and tales - some that are wacky and some that are downright weird.

Parents who wouldn't dream of skipping a prenatal appointment often find themselves wondering whether Great Aunt Sally's predictions about Junior's gender could be on the money. Why would parents choose to follow pregnancy advice from friends and family that is not grounded in medical science?

In many cases, hearing predictions about the baby's sex or how much hair the baby will have is fun and harmless. If the sales clerk at an infant clothing store tells you that you are carrying a girl because your cheeks are round and rosy and women who carry girls possess rounder cheeks, there's no harm in hearing how often she has made accurate predictions.

In some cases, however, it may be harmful to do what a pregnancy myth or tale suggests. Here's when you should beware:

Common Pregnancy Myths

Pregnancy myths may vary from generation to generation and from region to region. Myths your grandmother in Texas claims are true might be different from what your uncle in Alaska believes. Here are a few of the most common pregnancy myths:

Myth: Standing on your head after sex can increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
Truth: Although some experts say that lying down after sex for 20 to 30 minutes can increase your chances of conception because it keeps the sperm inside you, standing on your head has not been proven to aid in conception (and you might hurt your neck while trying to do it!).

Myth: The shape and height of your belly can indicate your baby's sex.
Truth: The popular belief that women carrying boys carry low and women carrying girls carry high just isn't true. The shape and height of your belly is determined by your muscle tone, uterine tone, and the position the baby is in. That's why someone may think you're having a boy because you're carrying low, when actually the baby just dropped lower into the pelvis because you are closer to delivery. The most accurate way to determine your baby's sex? Talk to your doctor about an ultrasound.

Myth: Fetal heart rate can indicate your baby's sex.
Truth: A normal fetal heart rate is between 110 and 180 beats per minute (bpm), although some people think if it's faster (usually above the 140 bpm range) it's a girl and if it's slower it's a boy. But there have been no studies that conclusively show that heart rate is a predictor for sex. Your baby's heart rate will probably differ from prenatal visit to prenatal visit anyway - depending on the age of the fetus and activity level at the time of the visit.

Myth: The shape and fullness of your face during pregnancy can indicate your baby's sex.
Truth: Every woman gains weight differently during pregnancy, and every woman experiences different skin changes. If people tell you that because your face is round and rosy you are having a girl, they might be right - but it's just as likely that they are wrong!

Myth: If you experience heartburn during pregnancy, your baby will be born with lots of hair.
Truth: Heartburn throughout pregnancy is extremely common, so heartburn isn't an accurate predictor of whether your baby will be born with lots of hair. And don't forget that your baby's hair will fall out shortly after birth anyway!

Seeking the Truth

As you go through your pregnancy, it can be fun to collect these tales, and many baby books have sections for you to record predictions. However, for medical advice pertaining to pregnancy, you should consult your doctor first. For example, before you rely too heavily on your mother's idea that the baby is a boy, talk to your doctor about getting an ultrasound if you want to know for sure.

Keep in mind that every woman's pregnancy is different: your doctor will know that and provide information tailored for your medical situation. That's information friends, family, and strangers at the mall won't have when they tell you their pregnancy tales. So enjoy the stories - but talk to your doctor before you do anything that could affect the health or well being of your baby.
Source: George Macones, MD,  

All about the Fear of Friday the 13th aka Paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobi

This long word is derived from three Greek words = "Paraskevi" which means Friday, "dekatria" which means Thirteen and "phobia" meaning fear. Or, Latin frigga meaning "Friday" and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen

Although Friday the 13th isn't a genuine official holiday, it does cause commotion. Every year will have at least one Friday the 13th fall in one of the months, with a maximum of 3 times (months) that it will occur in a year. Which months it will fall on is part of it's mystical uncertainty and surprise. And, Friday the 13th doesn't really have any official symbol or color to go with it.

How the Fear of Friday the 13th Began

It is surprising how subtly superstitions and folklore creep into our lives even in this new millennium and all our technology. We, civilized folk, like to think we are beyond such silly things. But are we really?

It's uncertain exactly when or how Friday the 13th became a suspicious day. Some say that it begins with Jesus and the Last Supper. There were 13 at the table and well, one of them died the next day. It has been considered bad luck (and poor etiquette) to have "13 for dinner" (Note: Also a title of an Agatha Christie book I might add!). And, that Christians also considered Friday back luck because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Others believe that it goes way back to the Knights Templar. On Friday, October 13, 1307 King Phillip of France secretly ordered the rounding up and killing of all the Knights Templar because they were becoming very powerful (which threatened the King's rule.)

Another version states that the fear goes back to the 14th century and The Canterbury Tales, where starting a journey or any kind of deed on Friday the 13th is bad luck.

Going along with this....According to ancient maritime tradition, no voyage should ever begin on a Friday because sailors felt that if it did, that voyage would have back luck. Even Lloyds of London (famous insurance company) in the 1800's refused to insure any ship sailing on a Friday the 13th. Sailing tales tell of many captains who tried to defy this silly fear by sailing on Friday, only to find their ship not in good shape after a day or two (or never heard from again!).

If some ocean liners were scheduled to leave on the 13th (regardless of the day of the week) captains would actually come up with excuses to delay leaving port until after midnight when it was technically the 14th. The US Navy today will not launch a ship on any Friday the 13th. And, many of us will not travel by any means on Friday the 13th. Some won't even leave their homes!

Other superstitions are: That it is bad luck to be born on a Friday, marry on a Friday, accept (or begin) a new job on a Friday, clip your nails on a Friday or visit the sick on a Friday. If you change your sheets on a Friday, you will not sleep well. Some criminals pray that they don't get sentenced on a Friday as they feel the consequences will be even worse for them.

Doesn't this make you wonder about today's phrase, "TGIF" (Thank God It's Friday) if Friday is suppose to be so terrible?

And, what about dying on a Friday? As if some of us have a choice in that matter even?

A few other quirks about 13

According to a poll in USA Today in 1992, 2 out of 5 people in the US believed that cars built on a Friday have more mechanical problems because workers are more careless on those days.

French socialites (quatorziens = fourteeneers) would make themselves available as emergency guest fill-ins for dinner parties which held 13 names so they could be the 14th guest.

Many theatre managers will refuse to open a new show on a Friday, esp. if it is the 13th.

Some ball players feel it is bad luck to play a game on a Friday.

Threats of computer viruses run amuck on Friday the 13th often needlessly scaring many users.

Many businesses (or their CEOs) dislike beginning a new venture on a Friday, starting on a business trip or even signing a contract on any 13th of any month, esp. if it's a Friday the 13th.

Otis Elevator Company says that 90% of skyscrapers (and many big hotels) have no 13th floor.

Many hospitals, hotels, office complexes, etc. have no Room 13.

Universal Studios in California has no studio lot 13.

Many airlines, sports arenas and auditoriums eliminate a "seat 13" or even a row 13.

The airport in Fresno, CA doesn't have a Gate 13.

And, many folks will not have 13 as a house number so the Post Office gives them 12 1/2. And in France to replace the number 13, they use 12 two times as 1212.

When discussing how bad 13 is, we have to think of 12 first.

As I said above, some people feel that the source for the number 13 being bad luck goes back to biblical times because there were 13 at the table of the Last Supper, with Judas being the 13th of course. It actually goes even further back than that. One anthropological theory is that early man was comfy with the obvious and feared the unknown. They counted using all 10 fingers and then 2 feet which equalled 12. (I have no clue why they didn't count their toes too.) Anyway, after 12, well Duh? So they feared 13.

In ancient Greek and Roman numerology, the number 13 for fortune telling meant a sign of destruction. (You'll have to go to a numerology site to see why.) In early Rome, witches gathered in groups (covens) of 12. So the 13th one was said to be the evil one.

According to Norse Mythology, there were 12 gods gathered for dinner when suddenly the 13th guest, named Loki, (who was uninvited) popped in. He is said to be cruel, mischievous and for some, even evil. He also has red-hair.

The Viking's hangman noose had 13 knots, and so they considered 13 to be unlucky.

Why is Friday so fearful?

We all hate Mondays, so why not hate it?

Just how did Friday get this bad rap?

In Nordic mythology, Frigga is the Goddess of Friday. She isn't mean or evil. Actually she is married to Odin, the father of all gods. She is also the mother of Balder, the god of goodness. But, because her main activity was to stay in her home and weave golden threads and make multi-colored clouds, I guess that's how you get the "staying in on Fridays" connection?

Ancient manuscripts imply that Eve gave Adam that infamous apple on a Friday and some say it was a Friday the 13th. But, this is just a guess and not proven at all!

Another biblical reference is the rumor that it was on Friday that Cain slew his brother Abel. And, the crucifixion, as we know, fell on a Friday. For the Druids, Friday was the night of the "Witch's Sabbath."

So, if you mix the two items: evil 13 + ominous Friday together, you get a day that for some feel is a guaranteed dismal day.

In regards to the bible....

Some feel that evidence shows that the real mark of the beast or anti-Christ is 616. So, if you add up 6 + 1 + 6 = 13 then some feel that 13 is really the number for the anti-Christ or beast, thus making 13 a bad number in that aspect.

Friday the 13th Phobia

Some people have the Friday the 13th phobia only slightly where they simply refuse to travel. And yet, others will literally call in sick and not even go to work that day. Is this why you're home and reading this page? (wink!>

We all have fears. It's when those fears determine our actions (or non-actions) that determines the seriousness of a phobia. I don't want to dwell much on this because the fear of Friday the 13th and it's symptoms is pretty much the same as any other extreme fear. For those who want advice and help, I suggest checking out other phobia websites or local support groups.

But the basic low-key symptoms are nervousness, giggles and constant comments about the day, what's going on, mentioning 13's etc. More serious symptoms are having a real intensive panic attack (hyperventilation, dizziness, sweats, rapid heartbeat) to an actual heart attack for some! Some people won't even get out of bed for a day they are so afraid of Friday the 13th. Others limit their phobia to 1 activity they refuse to do, such as write a check, go to a doctor, eat in a restaurant or drive a car (they walk!).

Good Fridays & other 13 Stuff

According to the Irish, "It is good to die on Friday, be buried on Saturday and get prayed for on Sunday."

Whether something is lucky or unlucky is all how you want to view it.

On Friday, September 13, 1939, Igor Secorsky invented the helicopter.

On Friday, July 13, 1900, Teddy Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for the new county courthouse in New York.

On Friday, September 13, 1814 Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star Spangled Banner". This is a good thing for our country, but not necessarily for all our ears (depending on who sings the song).

On Friday, September 13, 1857, Milton Hershey was born. And, thus gave us Hershey chocolate!

And, many couples choose on purpose to marry on a Friday the 13th just to defy the divorce ratio in the United States!

But, what is bad to one country isn't to another...

In Japan the number 3 is considered unlucky. And in Madagascar the number 6 is unlucky. Yet, in China, they think 3 and 9 are lucky. On the other hand, the Turks don't like 13 so they literally removed it from their vocabulary.

To each his own

The US had 13 original colonies.

Regarding our Dollar Bill and it's images:

The 13th Amendment freed the slaves.

Ike Eisenhower has 13 letters in it.

President Eisenhower was an honorary member of Missouri's "Lucky 13 Club" (made up the states 13 presidential electorates).

I'm not sure how many of the states have 13 electoral votes.

But Rhode Island our 13th state.

A baker's dozen has 13 items, not 12.

And, ah..well a certain adult film star named John Holmes is said to have a certain male organ 13 inches long!

Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics claims that fewer traffic accidents, fires, thefts, etc. happen when there is a Friday the 13th because people seem to be more cautious on that day.

Being 13th isn't always so bad.

Who was the 13th President? Who was the 13th Nobel Prize winner? Who was the 13th Oscar Winner for ----? Maybe you are the 13th child in a family? Or,...

Who was the 13th person you dated?

Or was your first kiss on a date experienced on a Friday?

And, we could go on and on...

For most of us, 13's and Fridays don't matter at all.

For those who are in need of some protection there are silly rituals and cures galore to protect them on Friday the 13th.

A few of them are:

1. Walk around your house 13 times on Friday the 13th.

2. Hang your shoes out the window. (My guess is the smell will drive all the evil away!)

3. Sleep with a mirror under your pillow for the first 3 Fridays before Friday the 13th comes. You are suppose to dream of your true love on Friday the 13th then also.

4. Walk around the block with your mouth full of water. If you do not swallow it, you will be 100% safe on Friday the 13th.

and finally there's always 13th century age-old Aristotle cure...

5. Wear and/or eat garlic!

Need to be prepared for Friday the 13th?

Well, here's when they're coming for the next 25+ years.




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Pregnant women, during the time they are with child, must tell the chlid they're carrying everything they see when they're walking through the woods. - Rigoberta Menchu

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