Standing up, missionary, bending over backwards – the list is endless when it comes to tales of what position works best for conception.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a circus contortionist to increase your chances of getting pregnant but here’s what you need to know.
What's the best position to conceive?
While no position is a guarantee some experts do believe that the good old missionary position works the best as it allows for deeper penetration and gives the sperm less of a swim to the cervix.
What about props and post-sex positions?
Again nothing is proven but a small pillow placed under the hips during and after sex for about 10 minutes is believed to help sperm swim to the cervix. Alternatively lying down post sex can help maximise the amount of sperm you have in your body. Though this isn’t essential as each ejaculation releases millions of sperm (estimates from 50 – 500 million) and on average only 400 sperm are required to hit the egg to allow one to penetrate it.
Are there any positions to avoid?
Although all strong healthy sperm can swim upwards, some experts suggest avoiding having sex in positions that make it harder for the sperm to reach the cervix, such as woman-on-top, standing and sitting.
Will any position help me conceive a girl?
There is an idea that having sex in a shallower position such as side-by –side deposits sperm lower in the reproductive system and so gives the X sperm a fighting change of reaching their target first, but this isn’t proven.
Will any position help me conceive a boy?
Again there is no evidence to support this idea, but some experts believe that sex in a position that allows for deep penetration such as doggy style deposits the sperm further into the vagina and nearer the cervix where the Y sperm have less distance to travel.
Will an orgasm help?
Again there is no evidence to support the idea that uterine contractions during orgasm can help push the sperm along it’s journey, meaning you’re just as likely to conceive with an orgasm, as you are without one.
How to get pregnant
1. Know when you’re ovulating
“Be aware that normal ovulation doesn’t always happen on day 14”, warns midwife Sharon Trotter (www.tipslimited.com). “Ovulation can occur as early as day 10 and as late as day 20 or even later if your cycles are irregular or long.” It can help to use an ovulation predictor kit. These detect a surge of the hormone LH, which peaks 24 to 48 hours prior to ovulation.” Though be aware that predictor kits only identify a small window of fertility, and evidence shows that the fertile window lasts from five days before to one day after ovulation. Which means these are the days to be having sex.
2. Have regular sex
If you consistently have sex two or three times a week, you're guaranteed to hit your fertile period at some point in the month. Remember there's no such thing as too much sex.
3. Have sex once a day near the time of ovulation
This will definitely increase your chances of conception (unless your partner has a low sperm count in which case seek advice from your doctor first).
4. Give yourself time
Keep in mind that even if you do everything right you still have only a 25% to 30% chance of conceiving in any given cycle.
5. Seek help if it doesn’t happen
See your GP and an expert if it doesn’t happen and/or you’re worried there is a problem.