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Making love to get pregnant

In order to get pregnant, you need to start by making love at the right time… and know how to optimise the chances of pregnancy afterwards.

Making love to get pregnant
© Thinkstock

The farfetched advice on this subject is legendary. Is there an ideal sexual position? Does an orgasm really encourage fertilisation of the egg?

First off, you need to have mastered the practical side… Here is an overview of the situation so you can give your chances of getting pregnant a little boost.

The right timing to get pregnant

First of all, if you’ve been trying a while with no success, you must work out the right timing: sexual relations must take place during the period around ovulation, when an egg is released into the uterus, ready to be fertilised.

In general, this is around the 14th day of the menstrual cycle (counting from the first day of menstruation). But the best and surest way of knowing is to use an ovulation test from your chemist. The idea is to make love as much as possible from three days before ovulation until three days after. Men are advised to avoid sex three days before this period in order to maintain a high sperm level.

Here is a little bit of extra info to sort out a popular misconception: the idea of making love before ovulation in order to have a girl, and on or after the day of ovulation to have a boy has absolutley no scientific basis.

The ideal position to get pregnant

Firstly, you should note that the ideal position for falling pregnant is a myth! But it does seem preferable nonetheless, to have gravity working for you rather than against you: so choose positions that will encourage the sperm to the neck of the uterus. Even though spermatozoids can swim regardless of the sexual position, and will zero in on their target thanks to chemical signals, you can still help them along with their task.

The Missionary position is thus ideal, with all the variants where she is laying on her side or back, such as the Flower in bloom position. Avoid positions such as the Lotus or the Andromaque, where she is on top.

You need to be clear that ovulation and the orgasm are totally separate. An ovule ready to be fertilised is produced during each menstrual cycle, and not solely if you have an orgasm at the time of ovulation, as some people mistakenly believe.

Nevertheless, some specialists do say that if the woman does reach orgasm, this allows more sperm to pass through to the contracting uterus. In any case, while the orgasm is not necessary to fertilisation, it doesn’t have a negative effect either so there is no need to deprive yourself of pleasure while trying to get pregnant.

After the lovemaking is over…

You don’t need to immediately go into a headstand after all the action. The sperm doesn’t pour into the uterus like it is going through a funnel and it’s the sperm closest to the neck of the womb that will swim through.

On the other hand, it is advisable not to get up immediately after, and stay lying down for around 10 minutes. This gives more sperm the chance to swim through to the uterus and up to the fallopian tubes where fertilization takes place.

Some gynaecologists advise putting a cushion under your hips, and even to put your feet up against the wall - but none of these have been scientifically proven to work. At the same time, do not douche afterwards as this does risk killing the sperm.

And don’t forget about pleasure! Making love should not turn into an obsession or stressful or obligatory activity. These are some of the stress factors that can lead to difficulties in getting pregnant.

Lastly, remember that a romantic atmosphere and little loving attentions between you two are at least as important as the more practical advice given for falling pregnant - after all your future child is above all a 'labour of love'.

Posted 08.09.2011

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