Most couples who are trying to get pregnant don’t need to worry about how to have baby-making sex. The only requirement is that the man must ejaculate inside the woman’s vagina at least once during her fertile window (the few days immediately preceding ovulation), and the more sex they can have, the better.
If you have been unsuccessfully trying to conceive for more than a few months, however, you may want to try some of these tips in order to maximize your chances.
Sex positions for getting pregnant
Women get pregnant from sex in about any position every day, and there’s no scientific evidence that a particular position is more effective for getting pregant than another, so don’t obsess over this. Frequent and well-timed sex is much more important than choice of position, so keep it fun!
If you still want to try to give fate that extra push, your concern will be to get your partner’s sperm as close to your cervix as possible in order to facilitate the sperm cells’ journey.
The good old missionary position achieves this very well, as it allows for deep penetration. So does rear entry, or “doggy style”. For variation, you may lie on your back with your pelvis at the edge of the bed (or another piece of furniture), while your partner stands or kneels in front of you.
Using lubricants when you are trying to conceive
Traditional lubricants can damage sperm and should be avoided when you are trying to conceive. Traditional lubricants have the wrong pH (acidity) and ion (“salt”) levels for normal sperm function, and some of them contain chemicals that are toxic to sperm. Baby oil and saliva are not sperm-friendly either.
So what are your alternatives?
Raw egg white from normal chicken eggs is very similar to your own fertile cervical mucus in consistency and composition, and can be used safely when you are trying to conceive.
Regular kitchen-quality canola oil is another natural alternative that does not have any measurable impact on sperm.
Unfortunately, both these natural lubricants are rather messy and may stain your sheets.
If you’d rather use a commercial product, Pre-Seed is a conception-safe lubricant which mimics the characteristics of fertile cervical mucus, providing an optimal environment for sperm.
It comes with applicators to easily and discreetly deposit the lubricant in your vagina, so that its moisture can coat the vagina and cervix, enhancing the comfort of intercourse and supplementing inadequate cervical mucus.
Is orgasm necessary for conception?
While the male partner must ejaculate in order to deposit his sperm inside the woman’s body, female orgasm is not necessary for conception to occur. However, some researchers believe that it may improve your chances for conception.
According to the “upsuck theory”, the contractions of the uterus after orgasm (you might be able to feel these contractions if you pay attention) help “suck up” the semen from the vagina and move the sperm cells through the uterus and up to the fallopian tubes, where they can meet and fertilize the egg.
In order for this to work, semen must already be present in the vagina when the woman climaxes or shortly after. The male partner must therefore have his orgasm first, or more or less at the same time as the woman.
A word of warning: Don’t let this make you feel any pressure to have orgasm on demand, it will only create frustration which is counter-productive. If you do have an orgasm, that’s great for many reasons, but enjoyable and frequent sex is much more important. Again, keep it fun!
Sperm cells don’t really need help to swim to their goal, but it is often advised that the woman lie on her back after intercourse, ideally with her legs up. This is supposed to keep the ejaculate inside her for a longer time, so that a maximum number of sperm cells get the chance to reach the egg. The idea is to let gravity work for you, instead of forcing the sperm to swim upstream.
Although it’s not likely to make a big difference, relaxing in bed for 10-15 minutes after lovemaking certainly can’t hurt if you have time for it (if not, don’t worry). Find a comfortable position lying on your back, and raise your knees. You may want to place a pillow under your hips in order to help the sperm cells “slide” towards your cervix.
Whether you decide to spend some extra time on your back or not, some semen will leak out of your vagina. This is perfectly normal (ever had a fight over who must sleep on the wet spot?).
Around ovulation, however, you may notice that less semen than usual comes out. This is a good thing. When you are not fertile, your cervical mucus plugs the cervix, and all the semen stops in your vagina from where it leaks out much faster. But close to ovulation, the cervix is open in order to let the sperm enter your uterus and fallopian tubes.