Although you can calculate when you're at your most fertile during each monthly cycle, and any couple can read up on top tips for conception, even the best medical knowledge can't completely fathom the hows and whys of conception!
There are average statistics that tell us that couples regularly having sex will usually get pregnant in the first six months to a year of trying, but even couples with no health issues can sometimes find it takes a lot longer to have a baby. Then there are women who are on the pill but who perhaps skip just one and get pregnant by accident. There are also couples who go through the prolonged treatment of IVF with no luck but who then get pregnant completely naturally.
So, with nature confusing our expectations all the time, is the idea that a romantic break can help with conception just a myth or might it really help?
Can a holiday help us get pregnant?
Although there is no doctor who will write out a prescription saying 'take a holiday' based on medical facts, getting away from it all has been known to work for many couples. Here are a few reasons why that might well be the case:
- It takes two to make a baby! Many couples who claim that they are having regular sex without any luck will find, if they stop and think about it, that they are NOT getting intimate as often as they thought.
- Work leaves you tired and less inclined to have lots of midweek sex, and business trips may well mean that as your cycle reaches that key window of opportunity for successful conception, you and your partner are on different sides of the world.
- Taking a few days or ideally, at least a week off together means that you are both in the same place and same time. On holiday many couples tend to have sex at least every other night if not every night, as opposed to once or twice a week.
- Even if you don't actually get pregnant on your break, being more relaxed might put a bit of fun and romance into your sex life again and make you more enthusiastic about having sex through the week once you're back home.
The importance of unwinding, de-stressing and relaxing
If you're experiencing a high level of stress in your life then the progesterone needed as part of the vital chain of hormonal activity that brings about conception can be severely affected. The progesterone might be converted instead to cortisol (the stress-hormone) and affect the levels and efficiency of the blend of hormones needed to get an egg released, fertilised and safely implanted in the womb. For more about how this affects conception go to Progesterone and Pregnancy.
In addition, the pituitary gland may also still be producing too much prolactin. This will also affect the body's ability to produce the hormones essential for conception in the right balanced quantities.
Getting away from work, and from leaky pipes and walls that need decorating at home, you can find that your bodies do some vital relaxing.
You don't need to go anywhere exotic if your budget won't stretch to the Maldives, and you don't need to be somewhere particularly romantic (unless like the Beckhams you plan to name your child after the place he was conceived!), but do think about going somewhere that's going to be an easy and relaxing break. Perhaps a march to the top of Everest or a working holiday volunteering to build a railway are not good ideas!