What are the best positions when you are trying to get pregnant

What are the best positions when you are trying to get pregnant

It is going to be difficult to get through this article without getting very cheeky with my wording, but in the name of journalism, I am going to try. I figure that if you are preparing to be a parent you need to have at least some cheeky humour in you anyway.

One thing that couples who really want to get pregnant need to know is, are there some sexual intercourse positions which are better than others?

Are there ones that are better for conceiving overall? What about if you wanted a boy or a girl specifically; are there recommended positions to maximise your chances of getting a certain gender?

And what about putting your feet over your head afterward; does this help?

Let’s look into this all a bit more and try to separate the fact from the fiction.

Are there positions that are better for getting pregnant?

The scientific answer to this question is no, there are not any positions that are better for conception.

There seems to have been plenty of study and research into this, but no conclusive evidence that supports one position over another, as long as you are doing it the correct way to begin with.

And I am not going to get into the nitty-gritty of the correct way to do it; you really should know that one by now.

Some experts suggest that there are certain positions that are more favourable than others, including:

  • Missionary position, which is the one everybody knows, with both partners lying face to face and the man on top.
  • Doggy style, which is when both partners are on their knees and the man enters the woman’s vagina from behind.
  • Lying side by side with the man entering the woman’s vagina from behind.

These positions are considered to be the most reliable because there is the deepest penetration by the penis, allowing the sperm the best chances to make its way to the cervix.

Are there any positions to avoid?

Technically anything that involves the man inserting his penis into the woman’s vagina and then ejaculating there can result in conception.

We certainly don’t want you thinking that there is a way to have sex that won’t get you pregnant because any method that involves this can get you there.

But positions that involve some of the sperm not making its way to the cervix may be better to avoid if you are trying to give yourself the best possible chances of conception.

So perhaps stay away from positions where the woman is on top or upright, or where the sperm has to deal with gravity as well as everything else the little guys have got going against them.

Are there positions that can help you to conceive a certain gender?

Possibly, although there is not a lot of solid science behind this.

The Y chromosome (baby boy) sperm may be lighter, speedier and not as hardy as the X chromosome (baby girl) sperm. Experts say that the baby boy sperm gets to the egg faster than baby girl sperm but is not as strong and does not last as long in the vagina environment, thus the baby boy sperm dies out quicker before getting to the cervix.

This means that positions which put the sperm closer to where it needs to be may be better for conceiving boys, and positions that make the sperm work a little harder to get there are better for conceiving girls.

For having a baby boy, you are better to go for positions with deeper penetration, such as ones where the penis enters the woman’s vagina from behind. Missionary position has been touted as being better for conceiving girls.

For more information on tricks on how to determine the gender of our baby, read here.

Does the woman need to have an orgasm?

It is not at all necessary for the woman to have an orgasm to get pregnant, however, it may help things along. Some schools of thought will tell you that the female orgasm creates uterine contractions that may encourage the sperm on its path to the cervix, so it certainly can’t hurt!

Other schools of thought are that the female orgasm is only ideal if you are trying to conceive a boy, as the Y chromosome sperm don’t last as long in the vagina, and need to get where they are going quickly.

Do you need to put your feet in the air afterward?

You do not need to stand on your head or put your feet up in the air after sex to make sure that the sperm gets to the cervix. Throughout time billions of sperm have made their way to the cervix without the woman having to undertake some weird sort of contortionism afterward.

Medically speaking, sperm is chemically programmed to move towards the egg. That is their whole purpose for existing and they know what they are doing, even if it defies gravity.

It also might help you to know when the man ejaculates he releases 2-3 cubic centimetres of semen, each cubic centimetre containing between 20 and 80 million sperm. And you only need one, so your odds are pretty good that you don’t need to stand on your head.

You can do this if you like, such behaviour is not going to hurt your chances of getting pregnant, but it is not really recommended because it can be a good way to contract a urinary tract infection.

For women, it may feel like the semen all comes back out again as soon as you stand up or go to the toilet, which is what encourages us to put our feet over our heads and stay where we are for as long as possible after sex. But this isn’t necessary at all. The semen still gets where it needs to go.

What about if we have sex all the time?

Although your partner may try to convince you otherwise, it is not better to have as much sex as you possibly can. Sperm needs a little time to recharge and get back up to full speed, so it is better to wait at least one day in between for this to happen.

It is better however if the man refrains from masturbating during this time because his sperm can be put too much better use actually inside a cervix.

Timing when to have sex does help you to conceive, although the positions you use don’t really seem to matter. To give yourself the best chances of conception, time your ovulation cycle and aim to have sex two days before and on the day itself.

Some things that don’t have an effect towards you getting pregnant:

  • Having sex during a thunderstorm
  • Having sex during a full moon
  • Having a shower straight after
  • Consuming semen (some bright spark came up with the myth that this makes women more fertile. No…just, no)

Can you use lubricant?

Chemical based lubricants may be a bit harsh for sperm, especially the baby boy sperm which find even the vagina environment harsh. It is recommended that if you are trying to conceive, you look for a natural lubricant to give yourself the best possible chances.

You can use olive oil, baby oil, egg whites, coconut oil or saliva as a lubricant, or you could just slow things down a lot and focus on foreplay to do the job for you.

There are conception-friendly lubricants you can buy as well, talk to your local pharmacist for advice, or check out Astro Glide or Conceive Plus products online.

What if none of the above is working?

In our article about the chances of getting pregnant, we discuss that if everything about the couple is at its optimum, the chances of conception in any one month are at about 35%.

This means if you are the right age, fit and healthy, and having sex at the right time of the month, on average it will still take you until the fourth go to conceive.

So, if you have tried for a couple of months and it hasn’t worked yet, don’t get despondent that your positioning is to blame. You don’t need to be a tantric expert or a gymnast to be having intercourse in the right positions for conception, you might just need some patience and time.

When do we need fertility assistance?

If you are under 35 years old keep trying for twelve months before you seek additional help with conception. If you are over 35, try for six months, and then maybe talk to your doctor about your treatment options. If you have an irregular menstruation cycle it may help to talk to your doctor sooner as well.

The best advice

The best advice is to take the stress out of the process. So often, when a couple starts trying to conceive, their having sex becomes all about trying to get pregnant and less about love or enjoyment.

Adding stress to the mix is never a good idea. While positioning does not play a very big role in getting pregnant, stress and mental anxiety have been shown to make your chances of conception a bit harder.

As much as you can, focus back on the relationship with your partner and the fact that you are building a family with this person. Track your ovulation cycle, as we’ve talked about in our article here, and then have intercourse on the optimal days, but apart from that, don’t worry too much if it takes a little while to happen.