Is there a way to increase your chance of conception? Given that the sperm has to travel to the egg, does gravity make it harder for the sperm to arrive at its destination? Should you assume certain position during sex and after sex? We explore in this article some of these ways commonly believed to increase the chances of conception!
#1 Missionary position
The missionary position is one with the man on top, and both persons face to face lying down. Do not underestimate this common sexual position because it is one which allows deeper penetration, thus depositing the sperm nearer to the cervical opening. The closer the sperm is deposited near the cervix, the shorter the distance it has to travel. There is no strong scientific evidence that suggests conception is more likely with a shorter distance for the sperm to travel but many swear by sexual positions that allow for deeper penetration!
#2 Rear entry position
This position (also known as doggy style) is one where the man penetrates from behind, with the woman kneeling in front of him but facing away from him. This is another position that allows for deep penetration and the sperm to be deposited closer to the cervical opening.
#3 At the edge position
This position is one with where the woman is on the edge of the bed or a couch and the man penetrates from the front, either from a standing or kneeling position. This is another position with a deep penetration.
#4 Avoid gravity
Again while there is no science backing this, it seems logical to try to keep as much sperms in the vagina as possible and not lose it via sperm leakage or to gravity. You can try keeping the penis in the vagina longer (after ejaculation) and tilt the woman’s pelvis slightly upward to help move the sperm along. This is generally advised for 20 to 30 minutes after ejaculation.
Stress and making sex a chore will not help improve your chance of conception. Stress may affect the timing of ovulation and has been studied to lower the likelihood of conception by as much as 30%. Therefore, enjoying the sex and your partner is important – don’t force your spouse to ‘make babies’!
#6 Ovulation timing
Ovulation is the time when the mature ovarian follicle releases an egg, which then travels down the fallopian tube to ‘wait’ for a sperm to come along and fertilize it. It is therefore a good time to have sex during ovulation but the difficulty is in accurately predicting the timing. It is therefore more effective to use various ways to gauge the timing, for instance, noting that your cervical mucus is thin and slippery, increase in basal body temperature, one-sided twinge of pain and counting the days (ovulation is around day 14 for a 28-day menstrual cycle). You can also consider purchasing an ovulation predictor kit.
#7 Sex on alternate day
Even during the ovulation period, it is generally recommended to have sex every other day rather than daily. This will give a chance for the sperm count to increase, and at the same time, takes the pressure off having to ‘perform’ daily!
Sometimes we may overlook the simplest things. Most commercial lubricants affect sperm motility and reduces the chance of conception. Don’t use water-based lubricant, avoid petroleum jelly but instead choose hydroxyethyl cellulose-based ones. You can also choose a natural oil as lubricant. Also read the label of your lubricant to ensure that it does not contain spermicide!
If you have been trying to conceive and have not been successful for more than six months, do consider seeking help and seeing a doctor. Remember to not be too stressed over getting pregnant!