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Let’s Talk About Sex: Can Position Improve Your Chances of Conception?

Let’s Talk About Sex: Can Position Improve Your Chances of Conception?

Positions to increase your chances of conceptionIt seems that when you are up against fertility struggles, stories of unlikely or unexpected pregnancies bombard you at every turn. The friend who gets pregnant while on birth control, the teenager who gets pregnant her first time, and the woman who conceives just months after giving birth, even while still breastfeeding; those stories are out there, and they are enough to make you want to scream. When you have been trying everything in your power to achieve pregnancy and still haven’t seen those two lines for yourself, it can be extremely frustrating to hear tales of those who conceive without even trying.

It is for that reason alone that talking about the role sexual positions may play in achieving pregnancy can be a touchy subject. After all, we are taught as teenagers that intercourse of any kind can lead to conception. Shouldn’t it simply take getting the sperm to the egg, without much concern for actual position?

Well, that may be the case. In fact, there are absolutely no studies which look into whether or not certain sexual positions may be more beneficial for conception than others. This is an area that is devoid of cold, hard facts one way or the other. But, there are theories…

The Closer, The Better

While a couple with no fertility issues between them may be able to get pregnant having sex standing up in the shower, for those with barriers to conception already at play, there may be some logic to assisting the journey of traveling sperm with positions that allow for ejaculation as close to the cervix as possible. In this case, the missionary position may provide a smoother transition for sperm than, say, woman on top would. That’s because with the missionary position, deeper penetration is allowed for and gravity eases sperm to where they need to be upon ejaculation.

Another position which allows for deeper penetration is Hands and Knees, with the female partner on her hands and knees and the male partner entering from behind. This deeper penetration ensures ejaculation occurs close to the cervix, which may create a safer passage for the sperm to reach the egg.

Additionally, it is believed that if the male partner remains inside the female for several minutes after ejaculation, it may prevent the leakage of sperm, which otherwise could have safely traveled through the cervix. So rather than pulling out and cleaning up right away, convince your partner to remain close for a brief period of time, and allow yourselves to enjoy that connection.

Don’t Neglect the ‘O’

There are further theories that suggest the female partner’s orgasm can be nearly as important to conception as the male’s. This is because the muscle contractions which occur during an orgasm may help to push the sperm along in their path towards your uterus. Sexual encounters while trying to conceive have a way of becoming routine and almost chore-like, but try to avoid that fate in your own sex-life if you can. Keep the romance alive and don’t let your own pleasure be neglected in the quest for a baby. Remember that your orgasm may be important to this whole conception equation as well!

Relying on Gravity

After intercourse, you may want to consider remaining on your back for 20 to 30 minutes with a pillow under your hips. This can help to prevent sperm from leaking out, while also aiding in the travel towards your uterus. After 20 to 30 minutes, standing up shouldn’t be a problem, as any sperm which have not yet passed your cervix would no longer be viable. Relying on gravity may help those that do make it past the barrier, however, just so long as you don’t take this method too far. There is no reason to stand on your head or get into complicated yoga positions, for instance. Simply remaining on your back while cuddling with your partner or catching up on a good book should do the trick.


Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN

Dr. Traxler is a University-trained obstetrician/gynecologist, working with patients in Minnesota for over 20 years. She is a professional medical writer; having authored multiple books on pregnancy and childbirth; textbooks and coursework for medical students and other healthcare providers; and has written over 1000 articles on medical, health, and wellness topics.  Dr. Traxler attended the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences and University of Minnesota Medical School,  earning a degree in biochemistry with summa cum laude honors in 1981,  and receiving her Medical Doctorate degree (MD) in 1986.

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  1. Avatar

    Very Good Article Nice

  2. Avatar

    Good and fascinating article!! Nice advice on how to improve the chances of conceiving quickly. Thanks for sharing these tips.