Around 80% of infertility cases in couples can be traced and treated, while the remaining
20% are attributed to unknown causes. These “unknown causes” are usually the root of myths. Sociologist Rene Borromeo opines that Filipinos sometimes cling to myths or pamahiin due to despair or a need to explain the unexplainable.
Though there is nothing wrong in subscribing to pamahiin, Borromeo stresses the importance
of scientific and logical explanations to balance the equation. Conceiving involves serious planning and responsibility. Believing solely in myths and idle talk can cause a lot of wasted effort, time, and money.
“Sumayaw sa Obando.” (“Dance in Obando.”)
Traditionally held in Obando, Bulacan, mid May each year, the celebration of the patron saint of the childless Santa Clara has many couples participating in the street dance, believing they will conceive. According to Shana Rizza Dumana, M.D., a resident at the East Avenue Medical Center, “This can help psychologically. But there is no scientific basis to this practice.”
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“Mag-ampon muna. ’Pag may bata na sa bahay, sunod-sunod na ’yan.” (“Adopt first. Once there are children in the house, more will come.”)
The pregnancy achievement rate for those that adopt versus those that do not is the same. If an infertile couple decide to adopt and they later find that they are pregnant, it should be seen as nothing more than a happy coincidence. Another similar myth states that you have to be constantly around children to be able to conceive. “Being around children doesn’t make you more fertile,” says Dr. Dumana.
“Huwag ka munang tatayo...” (“Don’t get up right after...”)
The notion of not standing up right after sex is probably from imagery that doing so might “spill” out semen. Other versions of this myth include “wrapping or crossing your legs after sex.” While it does not take any effort to lie in bed a few minutes after sex, it has no bearing on your chances to conceive. “You cannot prevent seminal fluid from dripping,” says Dr. Dumana. Ann Douglas, author of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books, writes that after ejaculation, semen thickens and sticks to the upper cervical area. “The fluid that drips out of your vagina after intercourse tends
to be cervical mucus—seminal fluid and sperm that are too old or damaged to penetrate the cervical mucus...what you’re losing are the waste products of intercourse, not the sperm itself.”