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Does how I have sex affect my chances of getting pregnant?

When you are trying for a baby you are open to just about anything to make it happen as fast as possible. One of the most common questions asked is does sexual position matter?

What does science say?

Although an unpopular truth, scientific research has shown no proof for any specific sex position being able to improve the chances of conception or pregnancy. Having said that what has been shown to help. Having said that it has been shown that dispensing sperm as close to the cervix as possible may help. So position may not make a difference but depth of penetration might.

So how can you get sperm close to the cervix?

One way to make sure that sperm is put close to the cervix as possible is to ensure the penis goes in deep during sex. Other than full penetration during sex two sex styles are recommended by doctors to allow sperm to be deposited at the opening of the cervix:

  • Missionary (where the man is on top)
  • From behind (often known as doggy style)

Should I do anything after sex?

 There are a couple of steps that are popular amongst the trying to conceive community when it comes to things to do after sex:

  • Stay lying down
  • Prop your pelvis
  • Put legs up

There is very little scientific proof for the effectiveness of any of the above steps. Having said that practicing these common-sense steps does not hurt and choosing to cuddle for 10-15 minutes in bed after sex can help lower stress levels and help you enjoy intimacy while trying to conceive. Remember to empty your bladder no later than 15 minutes after sex to help reduce risk of infection.

Some women report noticing semen like liquid on their underwear after sex. This may very well be semen (the liquid part of sperm) but there is no cause for concern. Healthy sperm great swimmers and shortly after being deposited they are already in your uterus on their way to find an egg. So don’t let any signs of semen after sex stress you out.

What should I not do?

There is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get up after sex and go on about your normal daily activities. But there are some factors linked to sex that you may want to avoid: 

Using lube

Laboratory studies have demonstrated that most commercially available or commonly used lubricants have a significant negative impact on sperm ability to swim towards the egg. Some studies also suggest lube may have a toxic effect on the sperm itself. So, if you don’t need lube, it may be best to avoid it when having sex to conceive. Some practitioners recommend fertility friendly lube to be used in your fertile window if needed.

Douching

Douching has become popular in the recent years. It’s important to know that your vagina is great at cleaning itself and you don’t need to use douche. It has also been shown that douching may strip the healthy bacteria from the vagina which are crucial for your reproductive health.

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