Getting pregnant seems like it should be so easy. You do the deed unprotected, sperm comes out and goes in, and bam, you’re pregnant. If only it were this easy when you’re TTC, right? For me, it took two years and I’m so thankful it finally worked. I feel like I Googled everything, from sex positions, to ovulation tests, to fertility apps. I even searched how to keep sperm in when trying to conceive, because, like, what if it falls out? Then it’s a wasted effort, as fun as it may have been.
Although science has yet to prove its validity, many women attest that if you can figure out how to keep sperm in when trying to conceive, you'll have success getting pregnant. If you aren't afraid to approach your conception quest with a “don't knock it 'til you try it” attitude, you may find yourself happily surprised with the results. But to start, Dr. Sherry Ross, OB-GYN and women’s health expert, says in an email interview with Romper that you should start having sex as soon as you have a positive ovulation test. Whether you stay in bed after that sex romp is up to you.
Should You Stay In Bed After Intercourse?
Getting those little swimmers exactly where you want them is key when trying to become pregnant. After you and your partner have had your romp, some experts say you shouldn’t rush off too soon — but you don’t want to cause a UTI. Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, OB-GYN, tells Romper that you can compromise — stay in bed for about 15 minutes after you do the deed, “which is all it should take for the quickest guys, which are the healthiest sperm, to make it up into the cervix.” Then get up and pee. But don't worry, there's no need to prop your hips up or pull your knees to your chest unless you want to, since neither of these positions make the sperm-to-egg connection any more effective.
Do Certain Sex Positions Help Conception?
You’d think things like gravity would be something to take into consideration when trying to keep sperm inside of you after intercourse. So wouldn’t sex positions help with this? Not so much, according to experts. When it comes to getting busy on Operation Pregnancy, feel free to mix things up in the bedroom and get creative with your sex positions to rev up the excitement. As Dr. Serena Chen reported for Parents, "When a man ejaculates, sperm swims out, goes directly into the cervical mucus, and into the fallopian tubes," regardless of which position you're using. The exchange happens so fast, you don't need to stick with “missionary” to guarantee success.
What Really Matters When TTC
But all the fun sex and lounging in bed won't do you any good if you haven't done a little ovulation math. Ovulation is the time a woman's body is able to conceive, so making sure you have a gauge on where you are in your cycle is your first step in getting pregnant. According to Mayo Clinic, there are four ways to know when you're ovulating. To figure out when your body is dropping eggs you can track your period for a few months, examine your cervical mucus, track your basal body temperature, or use an ovulation predictor kit.
Ross suggests having sex every day for the next three days, because a positive test indicates you’re having your luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. (Made in your pituitary gland, luteinizing hormone helps the reproductive system to function, according to WebMD.) Ross adds you could also have sex around days nine and 10 of your cycle (if your cycle is around 28 days), but then stop until you have a positive surge so the sperm is fresh, because it apparently tends to live in your body for a couple of days after ejaculation, and some experts believe your egg could drop right into where it needs to go at the right time, and they’ll be waiting.
So if you want to try the "rest and wait" tactic to keep the sperm in, by all means, kick back with a magazine and a glass of tea until you're good and ready to get up. Just make sure you’re having sex during your fertile period and right before, during, or after ovulation.
Sherry A. Ross, MD, OB-GYN and women’s health expert in Santa Monica, California, and author of she-ology, the she-quel. Let’s Continue the Conversation, and she-ology. The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period.
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