Conception can be a complicated subject. There are all kinds of factors that play roles in a couple's success, ranging from their individual health to the time of month when they decide to try for a baby. But when it comes down to it, conception is really about sex. Without it (or help from a lab), there's no chance his sperm will ever hit your egg.
So, are there certain positions that make conception more likely? Is there a specific time when you should get down to it? Here are some tips to help you maximize your sex life for baby-making possibilities.
1. Time it right
Timing really is everything when you're trying to conceive. The "fertility window" is the best time to get pregnant, and it stretches from five days before ovulation to the day you ovulate. You're most fertile on the two days before you ovulate and on the day you ovulate.
Calculating when you're going to ovulate can be tricky, because it varies depending on how long your menstrual cycle is and whether or not it's the same every month. A good rule of thumb is to figure out the date of your next expected period, then subtract 14 days. Or, try using a free online fertility calculator.
There's no specific time of day when having sex is best. Ideally, you'd have sex right at the moment you ovulate, but it's not easy for most women to tell when this happens. There are certain symptoms of ovulation you can watch out for:
- Pain or cramps in your lower abdomen, thought to be the result of the maturation or release of an egg from an ovary
- Slightly higher basal body temperature
- Softer, wider and slightly higher cervix
- Thin, clear, slippery discharge
2. Do it regularly
While keeping ovulation in mind is important, you don't want to limit sex just to your fertility window. While it can help to try to have sex once a day in the days leading up to ovulation, you should ideally be having sex every few days throughout the month, which makes you more likely to hit the fertility jackpot. Basically, have sex as often as you'd like, and pay a bit more attention to the days when you're most likely to be fertile.
3. Find a good position
As far as how you should have sex, there's no scientific evidence that says one position is more likely than another to get you pregnant. Women have gotten pregnant from all kinds of positions, but you can help improve your chances by making sure that a couple of conditions are met.
First, you want your partner's sperm to get as close as it can to your cervix, which means you need deep penetration. Research has found that missionary and doggy-style allow the penis to reach the recesses at the front and back of the cervix, respectively.
Second, you want to make it as easy as possible for the sperm to reach your egg, which means they shouldn't be fighting against gravity. Avoid positions like woman on top and those that involve standing up. After you have sex, it may be worthwhile to stay lying down for up to 30 minutes so none of the ejaculate leaks out. Some women also put a pillow beneath their lower back so their pelvis is slightly tilted up.
4. Don't worry about having orgasm (but try anyway!)
Your man is the only one whose orgasm is critical when you're trying to conceive. Don't feel pressured to orgasm before your guy manages it, but you should obviously try to get there for the sheer pleasure of it! Having fun and feeling good will only serve to make sex better and conception easier.