If you’re trying to conceive — and you’ve let the cat out of the bag — you’ve probably heard your share of “tips” for having sex that will really make a baby. But there’s some advice you just shouldn’t believe — and some of the biggest ones have to do with sex positions.
1: MISSIONARY IS THE ONLY POSITION TO USE
Some people will tell you that doing it missionary style (with the man on top) will make you more likely to get pregnant. As the theory goes, the vagina slants downward the cervix when you’re in this position, so gravity will be on your side. And it’s worth it to try. But don’t worry too much about sticking to the old standby — sperm are pretty fast swimmers and they know how to reach their destination.
2: YOU DEFINITELY SHOULDN’T BE ON TOP
For the same reason people recommend missionary, they believe it’s impossible to conceive if a woman is upright. But no one really knows if that’s true — and the experts say position probably really doesn’t matter. “There is no research on whether certain sexual positions are more likely to result in conception,” says Jean Twenge, author of The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant.
Sex is sex — and your vagina is a warm, thriving environment in which sperm can live for a day or two (or as long as a week!) and make it to your fallopian tubes within one minute. Do it at the right time of your cycle, and you’ve already boosted your ability to get pregnant. Remember: Your partner’s sperm might have around 100,000 million sperm in it, and you only need one to fertilize the egg.
If you’re really worried about gravity, try lying with your knees bent and pelvis tilted backwards after sex, to hold the semen in a bit, recommend The Mommy Docs (Allison Hill, MD; Yvonne Bohn, MD; and Alane Park, MD), ob-gyns in practice in Los Angeles, California. They explain this method hasn’t been proven either, and the exact amount of time to you should do it isn’t clear. But like many other conception tricks, it’s worth a shot.
3: USE THE POSITION WHERE YOU’RE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE AN ORGASM.
We’re not saying this is a bad idea (by all means, do it — it will make the whole process way more fun), but while some experts believe an orgasm pushes the semen up higher into the vagina, it’s not a proven method. “One study found that the little swimmers found their way just fine [without orgasm],” says Twenge. “Female orgasm moving things along would also require simultaneous orgasm, and that’s found a lot more often in romance novels than real life.”
Of course, there’s something else to be said for having the big O. “The more you enjoy yourself, the more likely you’re going to be doing it often enough to improve your chances of conception,” say The Mommy Docs.
4: DO IT DOGGY STYLE TO CONCEIVE A BOY
Your partner might be more excited about practicing this theory than you are. One author, Dr. Landrum Shettles has a theory about determining your baby’s gender before conception. He believes that if you have “deep penetration”, which can be taken to mean doggy style, and time sex as close to ovulation as possible, you can increase your chances of conceiving a boy. But if you’re interested in buying blue onesies, sorry: even though Shettles claims the method worked for him, other studies haven’t backed up his theory.