You may have heard that some positions, such as your partner on top (missionary position), are better than others for getting pregnant. 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 show what’s going on inside when you’re doing the deed. 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 for deep penetration. This means that they’re more likely to place sperm right next to your cervix (the opening of your uterus).
The scans confirm that the tip of the penis reaches the areas between the cervix and vaginal walls in both of these positions. The missionary position allows the penis to reach the area at the front of the cervix. The rear entry position reaches the area at back of the cervix.
It’s amazing what some experts spend their time doing, isn’t it! Other positions, such as standing up, or woman on top, may be just as good for getting sperm right next to the cervix. We just don’t know yet.
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. 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 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! One claims that 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 what actually works, 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, millions of sperm are released with every male orgasm, so there should be plenty in your vagina even if you do stand up straight afterwards.
If you have the time to spare, it may be worth staying in bed for up to half an hour after having sex. Try lying on your back with your hips raised on a pillow to encourage the sperm to travel towards your egg. Don’t try this if your GP has advised you to empty your bladder straight after sex, though.
Another trick that some women swear by is lying on your back and cycling your legs in the air for a few minutes after sex. If nothing else, it should give you and your partner a good giggle. And what could be better for 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 a year, compared to having sex only once a week .
If you’ve been trying to conceive for a year or more without success, see your GP. If you’re over 35 or have irregular periods, you can make an appointment even sooner.