The Best Sex Positions and Techniques to Encourage Conception

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Trying to Conceive? Here’s What You Should Try in Bed

The Best Sex Positions and Techniques to Encourage Conception

Trying to Conceive? Here’s What You Should Try in Bed

You may have heard the urban legend at some point that having sex in the cowgirl position — that is, with the receiving partner on top, “riding” the penetrating partner — can reduce the risk of pregnancy, or even prevent it entirely.

So it stands to reason that this position would be no good for the opposite scenario, where a couple is trying to conceive.

In fact, data suggests that for many couples, conceiving doesn’t just happen by accident — so “trying to conceive” isn’t just a state of mind, it’s also a fair way to describe a period in your relationship, which could easily last as long as a year.

If you’re one of those people who are finding their “trying to conceive” period stretching out longer than they anticipate, you might be curious about ways to speed up the process. Are there sex positions or techniques you should be using to encourage conception?

In order to get to the bottom of the matter, AskMen spoke to a handful of sex and reproductive health experts. Here’s what they had to say:

Best Sex Positions to Encourage Conception

The aforementioned bit of advice about the cowgirl position? Unfortunately, it’s totally fictional, so avoiding any specific positions isn’t likely to help you out. In fact, there’s no proof that your sex position of choice has any impact whatsoever on conception odds.

Basically, according to Robin Hilmantel, senior director of editorial strategy and growth at What to Expect, “There is no scientific data backing the idea that particular sex positions can boost the odds of getting pregnant.”

However, according to certified sex educator Nora Langknecht, marketing manager at FUN FACTORY, the lack of verified evidence doesn’t mean there aren’t some options that are theoretically advantageous when it comes to trying to conceive.

“While there’s no research that definitively proves that some positions are better than others,” Langknecht says, “certain positions can get semen closer to the cervix (the opening of the uterus) during ejaculation, so the sperm has a shorter distance to travel.”

Which positions? Luckily for you, they’re popular ones, and easy to pull off — not advanced sex positions by any means.

“There have been a few studies on the impact of sexual positions on the likelihood of conception, but the evidence is limited and inconclusive,” says urologist Dr. Jagan Kansal, founder of Down There Urology. “One study found that the missionary position (man on top, woman on bottom) resulted in higher rates of pregnancy compared to other positions. The researchers attributed this to the fact that the position allows for deeper penetration and can deposit more sperm in the vagina.”

“Another study found that the ‘doggy style’ position (man behind woman) resulted in the highest rates of sperm retention in the vagina, potentially increasing the likelihood of conception,” says Dr. Kansal. “However, this study was small and involved only a few couples, so its findings should be taken with a grain of salt.”

The Best Sex Positions and Techniques to Encourage ConceptionCarlee Ranger

There you have it. Assuming you don’t have a compelling reason to do it in other positions, doggy style and missionary, two long-standing, classic positions, are your go-tos.

The Best Sex Positions and Techniques to Encourage ConceptionCarlee Ranger

In the end, other factors are more likely to impact conception odds much more significantly, says Dr. Kansal.

“The position you have sex in is just one factor in the complex process of conception,” he explains. “Timing intercourse around ovulation is the most important factor, as having sex within the six-day period leading up to ovulation provides the best chance of conception.”

But if you want to give yourselves an extra boost, doggy style and missionary certainly can’t hurt your chances.

Common Conception Myths

Sex Position Can Have a Serious Impact on Conception Odds

Status: Myth

“In general, people underestimate how great sperm are at swimming,” says Langknecht. “For that reason, your sex position might make a slight difference for conception, but it isn’t make-or-break (unless the penis-having partner pulls out, of course).”

It’s Useful to Have Sex as Much as Possible When Trying to Conceive

Status: Mixed

“Couples who have regular sex, which means every day or every other day, enjoy the highest pregnancy rates,” says Hilmantel. “If getting busy this frequently isn’t realistic (or appealing) for you, having sex every two to three days a week starting soon after your partner’s period ends can help you optimize your chances of conceiving.”

However, this only applies during your partner’s fertility window — having sex during when they’re not ovulating won’t positively impact your chances, and could even worsen them if you’re too sexed-out to get it on later in their cycle.

Saliva Is a Natural Lubricant That Can Help You Conceive

Status: Myth

While many people turn to spit in a pinch when they need to get things a bit more lubricated and there aren’t any personal lubricants at hand, in a conception context, spit can be your enemy, rather than your friend.

“Many types of lubricants, and even saliva, can slow sperm’s motility and speed,” says Hilmantel. “If you prefer to use a lubricant, choose one marked as fertility-friendly when trying to conceive.”

Getting Pregnant Is Easy and Won’t Take Long

Status: Myth

It can be easy, given that accidental or unplanned pregnancies are hardly a rarity, to believe that you’ll conceive on your first go. But the truth, according to Hilmantel, is that it can take “up to 12 months for the average couple trying to conceive.”

More Sex Tips to Encourage Conception

Of course, sex position isn’t the only determinant to take into account. As noted above, lube choice can be a factor. Another one is your partner’s uterus.

“If your partner has been told that she has a tilted uterus (which is when the uterus tilts toward the spine, rather than the belly button), then doggy style with penetration from behind might be a good position to try,” says Hilmantel.

Then there’s post-coital stuff. As adept as sperm are at reaching eggs, if you’re trying to conceive, it doesn’t hurt to give them the best chance possible. One way to do this is by enlisting the help of good ol’ gravity.

“It can help when the person with a vagina lies down after sex, so the sperm doesn’t have to swim against gravity,” says Langknecht. “Some people also like to lie with a pillow beneath their hips, so gravity is actually pulling the semen down toward the cervix. Sperm do live in the reproductive system for up to five days, though, so don’t stress too much on the exact moment after sex. Do your normal aftercare.”

Dr. Kansal echoes that not stressing things might be your best bet overall.

“Ultimately, the best position for conception is the one that is most comfortable and enjoyable for both partners,” he says. “Trying different positions can also help to promote intimacy and a positive sexual experience. Don’t stress too much about the position — focus on timing intercourse around ovulation and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

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Best Sex Positions During Pregnancy

All illustrations by Carlee Ranger.

Source: AskMen


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