So many myths, urban legends and old wives tales abound regarding what does and does not enhance your chances of getting pregnant. However, some of these suggestions do align with what fertility specialists will tell you.
First and foremost, remember that making a baby is the fun part! Relax and enjoy your lovemaking and, although your chances of getting pregnant are best if you frequently engage in sex around your ovulation point, don’t regiment your sex schedule to where it feels like a chore. The added stress and tension will only create another obstacle to conception. Approach it with joy.
Many people advise using the good old missionary position, face to face, with the man on top and the woman’s knees raised. The bottom line is that you want any position that enhances deep penetration, where the penis reaches as close to the cervix as possible. The concept is pretty simple on this one — the less distance the sperm has to travel to reach the egg, the greater the likelihood that it will reach the egg and fertilize it.
Some recommend that, after ejaculation, raising the woman’s hips for 20 minutes by placing a pillow beneath them may also speed the sperm on their way from the cervix up toward the fallopian tubes where the egg will emerge.
Although the effectiveness of this approach hasn’t been scientifically proven, many couples swear by it. If your doctor advises you against this for some reason or you cannot assume the position without discomfort or pain, avoid this.
In addition to the missionary position, intercourse from behind, where the woman is either lying down or on all fours, is also conducive to deep penetration.
Positions that don’t permit as deep a penetration, such as standing up or having the woman on top, can potentially be less effective but certainly don’t prevent pregnancy. Just make sure the penis is inside the woman when ejaculation takes place to maximize your chances of getting pregnant.
If you’re not tracking your ovulatory cycle, then start doing so. Your chances of getting pregnant understandably increase dramatically if you’re frequently engaging in sex while you’re at your most fertile. That fertile period starts around five days before you ovulate up until the day of ovulation.
A woman’s egg is only viable for about 24 hours whereas a man’s sperm can last up to four or five days. So you can see why having sex a couple of days before you ovulate can still increase your chances of becoming pregnant, while doing so the day after is ineffective.
If tracking your ovulation cycle does not appeal to you or you feel it takes the romance out of it, a steady lovemaking schedule of three times a week every week will also maximize your success rate.
Avoid using any lubrication products as they can inhibit and even destroy sperm. (That doesn’t mean they’re an effective form of birth control, however!) There are products that can enhance lubrication if this is a problem for you, that do not inhibit sperm viability. Check with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you’re in the habit of douching after sex, don’t. Just as with lubricants, douches can inhibit or damage the sperm that you want reaching your egg.
Are you having orgasms during sex? Scientists have suggested that, if the woman has an orgasm during sex after the man ejaculates, this increases the chance of getting pregnant.
The idea behind this is that, when a woman has an orgasm, her cervix tilts slightly forward, reaching toward where the ejaculated sperm has pooled, making it easier for the sperm to find its way through the cervix. So, although an orgasm isn’t critical to getting pregnant, it sure is a pleasurable way to increase your chances!
In essence, if you think something might work for you, even if it only increases your chance of becoming pregnant by a miniscule percentage, consider doing it, as long as it’s safe and healthy for you.
After all, the brain and belief are powerful mechanisms. If you think assuming a yoga position of standing on your head will maximize the effects of gravity to pull your partner’s sperm down through your cervix to your fallopian tubes, who’s to argue you’re wrong? Go for it!