Our understanding of how to optimize health and our chances of conception has come a long way in recent decades. We have more effective treatments and a lot of knowledge about the right nutritional programs, supplements and stress reduction therapies.
But when it comes to good old natural conception, and understanding how sexual positions help the chances of pregnancy, things are actually still quite unclear. Women are often overwhelmed with tips and tricks, urban legends, and old wives’ tales that generally are not backed by any real scientific evidence.
As an acupuncturist with a specialty in fertility, I am frequently asked to share the best sex positions to increase your chances of getting pregnant. The truth is, there is no one sexual position that will increase your chances of pregnancy.
Having a healthy approach to your sex life is really the answer — and let’s be honest, healthier couples tend to have more sex. But for fun, and based on the best anecdotal (not scientific) evidence I could find, I want to present you with three of my recommended positions for conception based on my experience caring for women.
Passion Position: The Shortest Way To The Finish Line
“Missionary” is the gold standard as far as positions go. When a woman is lying on her back, her vagina tilts down towards her cervix. Gravity may assist the sperm swimming to the egg.
Unlike many other positions, this one allows you and your partner to gaze closely into each other’s eyes, which is truly a more connected approach to baby-making.
Penetrating Position: The Deep End
Rear entry position, aka doggie style, is an ideal position for deep penetration, which could help sperm get even closer to the cervix. This might be a good position for the estimated 25 percent of women who have a retroverted uterus (tilted backwards towards the tailbone) to be able to conceive.
Power Position: On Top Power-pleaser
You’re working against gravity here, but for some women, this is the most pleasurable position, allowing for maximal control of penetration and position. Enjoying sex is key, and if getting on top gets you in the mood, then go for it.
The lead sperm after ejaculation are up inside the uterus within minutes, so you don’t need to worry about losing all the sperm to gravity.
After sex, I recommend placing a pillow under your hips for 10 to 15 minutes. This might assist the sperm on their journey towards your cervix and beyond. There are no reliable studies proving that this makes a difference, but it can’t hurt — and it also provides an excuse to have some pillow talk afterwards.
As a last anecdotal tip, people often ask about strategies to maximize their chance of having a boy or a girl. An old wives’ tale claims that the sperm that produce girls live longer, so having sex a few days before ovulation is best, while for boy babies, sex on the day of ovulation is best.
I’ve yet to see a study that proved this, however I do recommend that you try to keep track of your ovulation closely to help time sex to optimize the chances for conception.
Sex should, most importantly, be fun and not a chore. Feel comfortable and explore the positions that work best for you and your partner, because there are no rules and no hard evidence either way.
If you enjoy the positions mentioned above, that’s great, but don’t feel obligated to stick to them. Mix it up, trust your instincts, and let your mood guide you to your best position for baby-making.
1) Tilted uterus: Can it lead to infertility? Mayoclinic.com. Retrieved March 3, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tilted-uterus/expert-answers/faq-20058485