Can Sex Positions Really Help a Couple Conceive?
Science lacks evidence that certain sex positions can improve fertility and guarantee fast and easy conception. The only requirement for pregnancy to happen is the union of the sperm with the egg upon ovulation, which is a matter of knowing when to have sex, not how.
However, despite no scientific data, various positions are favored more than others for increasing the chances of getting pregnant. Best sex positions for pregnancy include those that meet the following criteria:
Allow for deep penetration so that the sperm is deposited as closely to the cervix as possible. In that sense, the missionary and doggy-style positions are considered the most effective ones.
Prevent the sperm from being pulled down from the vagina by gravity, which can be achieved by avoiding upright positions. Women are often recommended to remain lying down or elevate their pelvis with a pillow for 15-30 minutes following intercourse.1
Missionary Position to Get Pregnant
Missionary position is one of the most popular sex positions to conceive. It consists of a woman lying on her back and a man lying on top of her. This set-up allows for comfortable and deep penetration that places the sperm near the cervix. Upon ejaculation, a woman can easily remain lying down to prevent the gravity from disrupting the sperm's journey to the egg.
For couples who perceive the missionary position to get pregnant as too plain and boring, there are numerous ways to make it more appealing. Popular variations to this baby-making position might include:
The anvil position: A woman pulls her legs close her chest (might place them on a man's shoulders) for better vaginal access
The slow climb position: A woman lays down on her back and places a pillow under her hips for a deeper thrust
The guard position: A woman bends her legs at knee level and lifts the hips up to reach a man's pelvis
Doggy Position to Get Pregnant
Doggy-style is another popular position to get pregnant, consisting of a woman crouching on all fours and a man entering her vagina from behind. It not only provides excellent access to the vagina, but it is also known to be highly stimulating to the penis, which encourages healthy ejaculation.
This type of rear-entry position might also come in many variations, according to the couple's preference. They include:
Taurus position: A woman bending over instead of crouching and finding balance by placing her hands on the ground (or its variation, the Wheelbarrow)
Spooning position: A couple lying on their sides with a man entering the vagina from behind a woman
Jockey position: A woman lying down on her belly with her legs tightly together with a man straddling over her and entering the vagina from behind
Sex Positions to Avoid
When it comes to fertilization, it is important to understand that all sex positions with vaginal penetration can lead to pregnancy as long as intercourse happens during a woman's fertile window.
Nevertheless, certain positions are less encouraged for baby-making purposes, including:
Positions that require a woman to be on top of a man or be standing up, which might contribute to the sperm being pulled down by gravity
Positions that only allow for shallow penetration and might limit the penis' access to the vagina, especially preceding ejaculation
Positions that are very complicated and require physical strength, which might not lead to successful ejaculation
Among the most popular positions of all times are the missionary or the doggy-style positions, both of which also happen to be favored by those trying to conceive as they allow for deep penetration and prevent the sperm from being pulled down by the gravity. Those that place a woman on top or allow only for shallow vaginal penetration are generally less encouraged. However, although the most effective sex positions to get pregnant are high in demand by aspiring parents, there is no scientific evidence that a certain position increases the chances of getting pregnant more than another. As such, the best piece of advice there is for couples trying to conceive is not to get caught up in the hows, but rather find what gives them pleasure and enjoy the baby-making process to the fullest.
- Healthy Women. (n.d.). 4 Sex Tips to Help you Get Pregnant. Retrieved March 7, 2019 from https://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/4-sex-tips-help-you-get-pregnant
- Fertility and Sterility. (2013). Optimizing natural fertility: a committee opinion. Retrieved March 7, 2019 from https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(13)00790-5/fulltext#sec5
- Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. (2011). Magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI) of Sexual Intercourse: Second Experience in Missionary Position and Initial Experience in Posterior Position. Retrieved March 7, 2019 from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00926230252851203
Sharkey, H. & Greer, I. (2013). Need to Know Fertility, Conception and Pregnancy. Retrieved March 7, 2019 from https://books.google.com.pe/books?id=Mc7qlSypV6UC&pg=PP17&dq=best+sexual+positions+conception&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=best%20sexual%20positions%20conception&f=false
British Medical Journal. (2009). Immobilisation versus immediate mobilisation after intrauterine insemination: randomised controlled trial. Retrieved September 8, 2021 from https://www.bmj.com/content/339/bmj.b4080