It’s a widespread belief that having sex in the missionary position will increase your chances of getting pregnant. And whilst the reasons for believing this aren’t totally absurd – “it allows for deep penetration” or “it keeps semen close to the cervix” –  they haven’t actually been backed up by scientific evidence either.

Many women believe that placing a pillow underneath their bottom after ejaculation has taken place will increase the likelihood of pregnancy. The truth is, sperm can travel regardless of whether you’re raising your pelvis slightly, hanging upside down, or sat in an upright position.

Is there a sex position that can help you conceive a girl or boy?

Again, there’s no scientific evidence behind claims that certain positions will help you to conceive a boy or girl. Old wives’ tales are rife when it comes to the art of conceiving – and we’re sure that if you are, or have been, trying for a baby, everyone you know will have given their two-pence worth on what’s worked for them.

Regardless of whether these tactics are effective or not, it’s always interesting to hear others’ ideas on the best way to conceive.

Does having an orgasm help sperm reach the egg?

Another common question that appears on almost every parenting website is whether or not having an orgasm will increase your chances of getting pregnant. Whilst it’s great to have an orgasm during sex, it doesn’t appear to affect your chances of conception. Sperm are able to live in the reproductive tract for days after intercourse, so your chances of conceiving remain the same, orgasm or not.

Will lubricants help me to get pregnant?

Pick your lubricants carefully, is the answer. Research has shown that certain varieties of lubricant (mainly store-bought) can weaken sperm mobility. This is due to the pH levels of most lubricants not being sperm friendly, and the thickness of lubricants making it difficult for the sperm to travel. There are certain lubricants that have been specifically designed for couples who are trying to conceive. Again, the evidence behind whether or not fertility lubricant works is conflicting, but there’s nothing to say you can’t try it.

Above all else, remember, it’s possible to conceive with any sex position. Just relax and enjoy it, and try not to worry too much about ‘best practice’ – which often isn’t best practice at all!

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Andrew Drakeley

Mr Andrew Drakeley is the Clinical Director at the Hewitt Fertility Centre, working principally at the Liverpool Women’s site but with managerial responsibility for Knutsford.

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