Are some sex positions better than others?
You may have heard that some positions, such as your partner on top (missionary position), are better than others for conception. In fact, there’s no evidence to back these theories up. Experts just haven’t done the research yet.
What experts have done, though, is use scanning to reveal what’s going on inside when you’re doing the deed. Some brave couples volunteered to be scanned using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) while having sex.
The research looked at two positions: the missionary position and doggy style. (Doggy style being when you’re on all fours, and your partner enters you from behind). Common sense tells us that these positions allow deep penetration and are likely to place sperm right next to your cervix (the opening of your uterus). The MRI scans confirm that the tip of the penis reaches the recesses between the cervix and walls of the vagina in both these sexual positions. The missionary position ensures the penis reaches the recess at the front of the cervix. The rear entry position reaches the recess at back of the cervix. It’s amazing what some experts spend their time doing, isn’t it?!
It may be that other positions, such as standing up, or the woman on top, may be just as good for getting the sperm right next to the cervix. We just don’t know yet. So, in the meantime, enjoy some variety in your sex life and keep it fun while you’re trying to conceive.
Do I have to have an orgasm to conceive?
Obviously, it’s very important for your partner to reach orgasm if you are trying for a baby. Some sperm can even leak out before the point of ejaculation. There is no evidence, however, that you need to orgasm to conceive.The female orgasm is all about pleasure and satisfaction. It doesn’t really help to get the sperm to the fallopian tubes and the egg.
Gentle contractions in your uterus can help the sperm along, but these happen without you having an orgasm. So, it’s really not vital for you to reach orgasm after your partner, or even to reach orgasm at all, for you to conceive.
Are there any sex positions that can help us conceive a boy or girl?
There is no evidence, but legends abound! According to one, having sex with the woman on top will lead to a girl, while sex with the man on top will produce a boy. For more on the techniques that actually work, see our article what the scientists say about sex selection.
Should I stay lying down afterwards?
It won’t hurt to try it. The semen is more likely to stay in your vagina and around your cervix than if you get up straight away. However, there are millions of sperm in every ejaculation, so there should be plenty in your vagina even if you do stand up soon afterwards.
If you have the time and the inclination, it may be worth staying in bed for up to half an hour after having sex. You could also try lying on your back with your hips raised on a pillow to encourage the sperm through the cervix, uterus and into your fallopian tubes. However, this isn’t a good idea if you’re prone to urinary tract infections and have been advised by your doctor to empty your bladder straight after sex.
Another trick that some women swear by is lying on your back and bicycling in the air with your legs for a few minutes after sex. If nothing else, it should give you and your partner a good giggle. And what could be more conducive to successful baby-making than having fun in bed?
The main thing to remember when trying to conceive, is that having regular sex can really help. Having sex every two to three days increases your chance of getting pregnant within the year compared to having sex only once a week.
If you’ve been trying to conceive for a year or more without success (or sooner if you’re 36 or older), or your periods are irregular, it’s best to see your GP Find out more in our guide to making babies.