Sex = babies, right? Actually, it’s surprising as many people get pregnant as they do. If everything is in working order for both partners and the timing is just right, you still only have a 25% chance of egg + sperm = pregnancy.
Getting pregnant tips: There are a few things you can do to improve your odds
Timing is everything
When our mothers warned us it could happen the first time no matter when we had sex, they were mostly trying to scare us. Granted, it can happen, but the best time to get pregnant is when you’re ovulating – usually somewhere between days 12 and 20 of your cycle. There’s a whole science to determining when you’re ovulating – you can pee on a stick, check your cervical mucus, or chart your temperature. Find out which method works for you and circle the day on your calendar.
Sex every day when you’re ovulating is ideal if the sperm count is good; if not, aim for every other day instead. Men should refrain from unproductive ejaculation for 48 hours prior to the woman’s fertile time.
Get an oil change
While sperm can be pretty hardy, it doesn’t take much to slow them down. Unfortunately, using most kinds of oils, lubricants or similar products can keep sperm from getting where it wants to go.
“Even if your lubricant doesn’t contain a spermicide (such as nonoxynol-9), it may contain other ingredients that can be toxic to sperm. At a recent meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, experts put several lubricants to the test and deemed a new product called ConceivEase to be the most “fertility-friendly.” Compared to other popular lubricants like K-Y Jelly, Replens, Touch and Astroglide, ConceivEase was the least likely to interfere with sperm motility, explains Sandra Fryhofer, M.D., a board certified internist in Atlanta, Georgia and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. There are other fertility friendly brands on the market as well.
Some kinds of sex play need to wait until later in the month when you’re not trying to have a baby. Since saliva can slow down sperm on the way to meet the eggs, keep the spit away from your nether regions.
While every couple has their faves, gravity rules in this game. Any position you choose for sex needs to help sperm get to the cervix (and then fallopian tubes) as easily as possible. For example, woman on top isn’t going to work and neither is sitting, standing or bending over. Old-fashioned man on top while lying down may just be your best bet, although there is not scientific research to back this up.
Toni Weschler, MS suggests that “if you have a tipped uterus, you may have better luck having intercourse from behind with the female on her hands and knees. Having intercourse in this position it allows the sperm better access to the cervix.”
Stay out of the water
Even if you’re trying to jazz up the baby-making sex, nix the hot tub – for a couple of reasons. First, hot tubs can make his swimmers too hot – even a single episode in the hot tub can adversely effect sperm function, says Dr. Malpani in How to Have a Baby: Overcoming Infertility.
And if you have sex in the water, the water will not help you keep sperm to the right place- unless you want them swimming all over the hot tub.
Was it good for you?
Some folks believe the woman needs to have an orgasm on the theory that the contractions of her reproductive system may draw the sperm further toward the cervix and into the uterus, enhancing conception. There’s no research to back that up, but it won’t hurt, either. The male partner, however, should definitely ejaculate.
You can’t share a post-coital cigarette, but you can’t get up and go to the bathroom or anywhere else for that matter, either. When you’re done playing, stick a pillow under your hips and elevate them slightly for 15-20 minutes. You’re increasing your odds and sperm swimming to the cervix. You don’t have to put your legs in the air and you don’t need an expensive “infertility pillow,” either – just throw a towel over the pillow and get comfy.