From Positions to Timing: 5 Tips for Sex While Trying to Conceive

From Positions to Timing: 5 Tips for Sex While Trying to Conceive

When we’re trying to get pregnant, we want to check all the boxes that might improve our chances of conception—including the act of actually doing the deed. But beyond timing sex around ovulation, what are some other factors to keep in mind?

Is it true, for example, that gravity can help sperm meet the egg? Or that certain sexual positions can help optimize our fertility?

We went straight to the experts to get answers—and they might surprise you.

First things first: Timing is everything.

You likely know this already, but there’s only one window of time during your monthly menstrual cycle that you’re likely to get pregnant. “Your fertile window is highest in the five days leading up to ovulation, along with the day of ovulation and the day after,” says Dr. Banafsheh Bayati, MD, FACOG, OB/GYN. In order to conceive, a sperm cell has to fertilize your mature egg within 12 to 24 hours of ovulation—but sperm can actually survive in the uterus for up to 5 days, hence the length of your fertile window.

Everyone’s cycle is different, but you might be able to tell if you’re ovulating based on changes in your cervical mucus (it’ll be stickier around this time, like egg whites), an increase in sex drive, and sometimes, through symptoms like mild cramping. But if you’re unsure, you might try using an ovulation kit to pinpoint exactly when during your cycle to have more sex.

Don’t get too hung up on frequency.

If you’re down to do it all day, every day, by all means—but Dr. Caitlin O’Connor, ND, says that an every-other-day cadence during your fertile window is plenty to avoid burnout.

What are the best sex positions for conception?

The short answer? Whatever feels great. “As long as sperm is getting deposited vaginally, sex position really doesn’t impact the ability to get pregnant,” says Dr. Andy Huang, MD, FACOG.

You might have read that deep penetration can help position sperm closer to the cervix—but the truth is that healthy sperm should be able to find its way through the uterus and up the fallopian tube by itself.

In non-medical terms: Just do your thing.

Use a fertility-friendly lube.

Some lubricants on the market can impact sperm motility, says Dr. O’Connor—so it’s not a bad idea to opt for a formula that’s specifically fertility-friendly.

Can orgasms impact my chances of conceiving?

Not directly—but it certainly doesn’t hurt. “While orgasm doesn't increase rate of conception it does produce oxytocin, a stress relieving hormone,” says Dr. O’Connor. “And stress reduction definitely has a net positive impact on fertility. “

All in all, it can be really easy to overthink everything when it comes to trying to conceive. But aside from understanding the fertile days of your cycle, sex is an area where you have full freedom to lean into the connection with your partner—and just have fun.

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Curious about other ways to optimize your fertility? Check out 10 tips from an expert here.