The Daily Mail Guide to Infertility
Why your lifestyle almost certainly isn’t to blame for your infertility (despite what the Daily Mail headlines say)
If you’re struggling to have a baby, it can feel overwhelming to know what you should and shouldn’t do, to give yourself the best chance of success.
Well fear not! Having conducted a full meta-analysis of one leading UK tabloid newspaper (Jan 17-Aug 18), here is a summary of its bulletproof guidance and absolutely rock solid health advice, guaranteed to give you the miracle baby of your dreams.*
*disclaimer: may not be bulletproof guidance, rock solid health advice, or guaranteed to give you the miracle baby of your dreams.
Things to stop doing. Right now. These are practically contraceptives.
Reasons the Daily Mail says your lifestyle might be to blame for your infertility:
- Not going to the hygienist often enough
- Sitting on sofas or car seats
- Using antiseptic toiletries or cleaning products
- Using heated toilet seats or drinking tap water
- Using any makeup or skincare product containing parabens
- Using tampons
- Eating any non-organic fruit and vegetables
- Using any kind of plastic whatsoever (even the ‘safe’ kind)
- Exercising too much
- Not getting enough sleep
- Chasing ‘masculine’ work goals
- Trying to conceive in spring or autumn
- Working night shifts
- Not enough zinc
- Eating takeaways
- Drinking fizzy drinks
- Wearing briefs or jockeys
- Wearing cycling gear
- Using laptops, saunas or mobile phones
- Using any non-paraben-free toiletries
- Being stressed
- Being depressed
- Getting too much sleep
- Living in a city
- Too much sex
- Being obese
- Weight loss surgery
- Being vegetarian or vegan
- Eating processed meat or potatoes
- Drinking alcohol
- Taking hay fever medication
- Taking ibuprofen
Daily Mail miracle infertility cures
Things the Daily Mail says will help you to get pregnant:
Gadgets you can buy:
- The Ava fertility wristband
- The Ava fertility wristband (again. They really like this, apparently)
- The Stork Home Conception Device
- The Ovusense fertility monitor
Specific ways you should be having sex:
- Having sex at 07:30 in March, April & May
- Having sex twice in one hour and cuddling
- Having sex twice in one night
- Having sex every other day
- Having sex in the missionary position or doggy style
Supplements you can buy:
Lifestyle and nutrition changes you need to make
- Stick a cushion up your top and pretend you’re pregnant
- Give up exercise and perfume
- Eat a handful of almonds, hazelnuts & walnuts every day* (ok, a handful, got it)
- Eat 2.5 oz of walnuts every day (er…how many ounces of walnuts are there in a handful? what about the other nuts in the handful? what size hands are we actually talking about?)
- Eat seafood more than twice a week
- Eat steak
- Eat salmon and dark chocolate
- Eat fish, extra virgin olive oil & chick peas, and drink full cream milk and green juices
- Drink five glasses of red wine a month
- Eat watercress
- Eat no more than one portion of carbs a day
- Drink a daily fruit smoothie
- Have just 5 close friends
Alternative therapies you need to try
How infertility will probably kill you anyway
Reasons the Daily Mail says infertility is bad for your health:
- Infertility raises the risk of an early death by 10%
- Infertile men are up to three times more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer
- Men with low sperm counts are at increased risk of heart disease and diabetes
- IVF ‘may double the risk of women giving birth prematurely’
- Children born after IVF may have a greater risk of developing heart disease than those conceived naturally
Clear and simple, right? When you’re not throwing out your tupperware; getting rid of all your cleaning products; replacing all your toiletries; going cold turkey on your mobile phone; buying your partner new boxers; strutting around with a cushion up your top pretending you’re pregnant; rethinking your career goals to make sure they’re not too ‘masculine’; trying to get just the right amount of exercise (not too little, not too much); making sure you’re getting just the right amount of sleep (not too little, not too much); cutting back on alcohol (whilst still drinking 5 glasses of red wine a month); guzzling fertility supplements; charging up all your various fertility devices (one on your wrist, one up your vagina); moving out of the city to the countryside (but not taking any anti-histamines when your allergies play up); avoiding sofas, car seats, laptops, water bottles and receipts; trying to precisely measure out the exact recommended quantity of walnuts; planning your trip to China to sit on cock-shaped rocks; working out your top 5 friends; and running back from yoga and acupuncture just in time to have sex at precisely the right time of day, in precisely the right month, in precisely the right position, and for precisely the right duration — just remember that the Daily Mail has also told you that stress can double the risk of infertility.
DO ALL THESE THINGS BUT UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IN DOING THEM MUST YOU GET STRESSED AND UNDO ALL YOUR HARD WORK.
Ignore these at your peril — because why wouldn’t you want to be rewarded for your hard work with surprise twins or triplets, like the couples featured in these stories, with their miracle babies, all thanks to these miracle cures?
And does any of this really matter anyway - because if you’re infertile you’ll probably die early regardless?
An alternative to the Daily Mail infertility regime
Maybe it’s not your fault if you’re struggling to get, or stay, pregnant.
Maybe your infertility issues aren’t caused by anything you did or didn’t do.
Maybe you didn’t do anything to deserve this.
Maybe it’s just shitty, shitty luck of the draw.
Maybe trying to be generally healthy, taking a prenatal vitamin and following any specific guidance from your Dr is enough for you to have ‘done your bit’.
Maybe it’s more important to look after your body and mind for your own general wellbeing and sanity, than in pursuit of a miracle infertility cure.
Maybe you don’t need to beat yourself up for ‘not trying hard enough’.
Maybe you’re trying your best, and it’s now down to science and luck.
Maybe the Daily Mail doesn’t have all the answers.
Have your say
Thanks so much for reading — all and any feedback is very gratefully received.
I’m currently trying to write a book that challenges the fantasy infertility narrative of endless positivity and happy endings, by sharing real women’s stories about what it’s really like to struggle with infertility and pregnancy loss. It’s a club that no-one wants to join: but knowing that you’re not alone can provide solace and support in the darkest times.
My goal is to represent as many different perspectives as possible: if you’ve experienced infertility or pregnancy loss — whether your journey is current or past, whether successful or not — I’d be honoured if you’d consider sharing your story anonymously.