Your fertility is one of those things you take for granted until you actually want to put it to use.
That’s usually when you realise you actually have no idea what goes into making a baby beyond the basics.
Of course, your fertility is about more than having an egg that’s ready and psyched to join up with your partner’s sperm.
Actions that you take now can have an impact on your future ability to have kids, so it makes sense that you’d want to do what you can to ensure that your eggs are healthy, and that they’ll be ready to do their thing when the timing is right.
That said, don’t freak out and worry that you killed off all your good eggs during your happy hour streak of 2016. It’s a little more complicated than that and odds are if you’re taking care of yourself, your eggs are doing great, too.
But even if you’re not planning to try to have a baby this second, you probably have a few fertility questions that are percolating but you’re too afraid to ask.
That’s why we asked Dr Suzanne Fenske, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, to weigh in on some of the biggest fertility questions women have.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Can I do anything to get more eggs?
Nope! You’re born with all of your eggs.
“It’s not like your grow more eggs or develop more throughout your life,” Dr Fenske says. Women are born with about two million eggs and gradually lose them throughout their life and menstrual cycles.
Still, it’s more than you’ll ever need.
Read more: 17 weird things that can mess with your fertility
2. How will going on the pill impact my future fertility?
It shouldn’t impact your future fertility at all. You don’t ovulate when you’re on birth control, but that doesn’t mean you’re killing off extra eggs – you’re just not using them, Dr Fenske says.
That doesn’t mean you’re stockpiling eggs for the future, though. Your eggs naturally degrade and die with time, even if you don’t ovulate.
If you have a medical condition like endometriosis, being on the pill can actually help with your fertility by keeping your condition at bay. The pill also decreases your risk of ovarian cancer, so there’s that, too.
Read more: 5 questions gynaecologists have asked their own gynaes
3. Can IUDs Impact Your Fertility?
Nope – IUDs will not negatively impact your fertility in any way, Dr Fenske says.
You still ovulate with an IUD but the little device makes your uterus inhospitable for a fertilised egg while it’s in. When it’s out, you’re back to normal.
Read more: Why you should re-think your lube if you’re trying to get pregnant
4. Can you get pregnant even if you don’t orgasm?
While an orgasm is awesome, not having one doesn’t decrease your odds of getting pregnant.
“You can get pregnant regardless as long as an egg is released at the same time as semen arrives,” Dr Fenske says.
5. Does eating anything, in particular, induce labour?
There are tons of myths out there about how eating spicy food, pineapple, garlic and pretty much everything else will make you go into labour. Unfortunately, those claims are bogus.
“None of those foods have been proven to induce labour,” Dr Fenske says.