Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could boost your odds of conceiving a baby by just performing a few (fun) acrobatics during your next romp in the sack? Well, it’s not necessarily that simple. That’s because there’s not really anything in the way of scientific research that proves that one sex position is better than another for conception (and we think it’s safe to say that babies have been conceived using every position possible).
“Clearly, someone needs to write a research grant to study this,” jokes Jean Twenge, who researched the subject extensively for her book The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant—and found nada in the way of cold, hard facts.
There are plenty of myths out there about the subject, though—so even though science doesn’t offer a solution, you can have some fun trying out some of the best theories about sex positions.
Missionary Position Some believe that the classic missionary position — man on top — is best for conception. The idea is that you (literally) get more bang for your buck by using gravity to your advantage. This may sound boring, but hey — you’re free to be creative during foreplay!
Hands-and-Knees If you really want deep penetration, try the position most of us lovingly refer to as “doggy style” (you on your hands and knees, and him behind). Some believe that getting closer to the cervix during sex makes it easier for sperm to swim to their target. But they’re fast swimmers, so chances are, they’ll get there anyway. As another theory goes, if you have a tipped uterus, you might be better off using this position. If you’re having trouble conceiving missionary style, you might want to try switching it up.
Woman on Top Sure, you’re working against gravity here, but some experts say that may not matter, with the whole fast-swimming thing. Plus, for some women, this is the most pleasurable position, and that may actually be what’s most important. “We tell our patients the best positions for conception are the ones that are most comfortable for the woman,” say The Mommy Docs Allison Hill, MD; Yvonne Bohn, MD; and Alane Park, MD — ob-gyns who practice in Los Angeles.
After-Sex Position After sex try this trick: Lie with a small pillow under your hips for 20 minutes. This can help the sperm swim toward your uterus. “Among women who had IUIs, there was a higher conception rate among those who stayed lying down for 15 minutes,” says Twenge. “There aren’t any studies about whether lying down makes any difference after actual sex, but it can’t hurt.” Use it as an excuse to have a little post-coital pillow talk.
Speaking of gravity, you may have heard that standing on your head after sex helps the sperm swim down to their target. But (unfortunately for all you yoga masters) there’s no scientific evidence supporting this.
More Sex Tricks Of course, it’s not just about position. Having the right kind of sex to conceive a baby depends mostly on timing and frequency. Get the scoop on exactly when and how often you should be doing it here.
Plus, more from The Bump:
10 Common Conception Myths — Debunked!
Embarrassing Babymaking Questions Answered
10 Surprising Fertility Facts