All your effort, all your work, every little thing you and your partner have done to maximise your fertility – it’s all preparation for the final and most important step in conceiving your baby: making love!
If simple mistakes are being made in the bedroom, all that preparation is for nothing.
This post will ensure that every aspect of your lovemaking is optimized for successfully conceiving, and it will achieve this without robbing your sex of its fun, its pleasure, and its spontaneity.
Right off the bat it needs to be said that when it comes to sex and fertility there are many unknowns.
This can lead to some very bizarre recommendations, especially if you find your information by surfing the Internet!
That being said, there’s still lots of valuable and reliable information on the subject, and altering your sexual activities accordingly can significantly increase your chances of a successful conception.
How Feelings of Love Can Increase Fertility
Despite research being in its early stages, there’s already considerable evidence that sexual arousal and feelings of love and intimacy can dramatically improve fertility.
Researchers began this investigation based on behavior in certain animals – animals whose desire for mating is triggered to coincide with the females’ ovulation. Research has shown that, on a subconscious level, men and women are the same.
Men, for example, are believed to instinctively sense when a woman is entering her most fertile phase of her monthly cycle.
In response to this, men undergo a series of biochemical changes of their own, subconsciously stimulating their need for sex.
Women pick up on this stimulation and become stimulated themselves, and so sexual intercourse is encouraged at the most fertile period in the month.
This idea is reinforced by women whose sexual arousal is heightened at the midpoint of their cycle, when ovulation is taking place and their hormones are in overdrive.
Men, in return, often feel more sexually stimulated by their partners at this same point in the cycle.
Fertility can also be heightened, in addition to sexual desires, if you have a loving, caring, and emotionally fulfilling relationship with your partner.
There are many cases of women with a history of infertility who have not had a menstrual cycle in years. These women then meet and fall in love with the man of their dreams and suddenly go into spontaneous ovulation.
Do not underestimate the emotional affects of love and contentment on your fertility.
I’m reminded of a story I once heard about a woman who’d been trying to conceive with her husband throughout their ten-year marriage.
They’d tried everything.
Tests had revealed there was nothing physically wrong with her or her husband. His sperm levels were high, she had no discernible problems in her reproductive system, and they were both healthy.
But ten years had passed, and no baby.
Not long after their tenth anniversary, her husband met another woman and ran off with her. Only then was it revealed that their marriage had been an unhappy one.
He had a terrible gambling problem, he was horribly abusive to her, and her self-esteem, as you can imagine, was at rock bottom. His leaving devastated her for a while, but it was a blessing.
A year later, having picked up the pieces of her life, gone back to school, and met a wonderful new man – she became pregnant!
There’s growing evidence that when you feel happy, secure, cared for, loved, and your sex life is fulfilling, your fertility can soar.
This link between a general sense of well-being and increased fertility is due to the hypothalamus gland, which is responsible for production and secretion of all the reproductive hormones.
The hypothalamus gland is extremely sensitive to emotional changes, and when you’re happy and contented it works to its full potential, producing the reproductive hormones at the optimal levels.
When you’re unhappy or depressed, its functionality can suffer a marked decrease, which has an immediate knock-on effect for your fertility. This is believed by many to be the most dominant factor in all cases of unexplained infertility.
Besides emotions, there’s another factor that can cause striking changes to the efficiency of the hypothalamus gland, and that factor is endorphins.
Endorphins are chemicals manufactured by the body to dull pain and heighten the ability to experience pleasure.
An emotionally and physically rewarding sexual relationship with your partner will result in increased levels of endorphins throughout your body, and therefore benefit your hypothalamus gland, maximizing its ability to communicate vital reproductive signals with the pituitary gland.
The result? A higher reproductive potential, and the best chance to get pregnant as fast as possible!
Sex Acts That Reduce Fertility
Not all sex is good when you’re trying to conceive. It would be wise to avoid these acts until after you’re pregnant, especially if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a long time without success.
Oral sex is a common part of foreplay for many couples, and can heighten sexual enjoyment for both partners. But there are a few considerations to keep in mind if you want to optimize your fertility.
Enzymes present in saliva can remain on the penis after oral sex and transfer into the vagina after penetration.
These enzymes can degrade sperm after ejaculation.
Transfer of saliva can also arise during oral sex performed by the man on the woman.
Research on potential damage to sperm due to saliva is in its early stages, and any degradation due to saliva would probably be minimal.
But if you and your partner have a severe case of unexplained infertility, acknowledging potential fertility-reducers such as those associated with oral sex can be beneficial.
But of greater importance are the findings of some recent studies that set out to investigate the effects on a woman’s body due to the swallowing of her partner’s semen during oral sex.
Sperm cells are foreign to a woman’s body and will be attacked by her immune system. Swallowing her partner’s semen could sensitize her body’s immune system against that sperm.
The woman’s body could then manufacture anti-sperm antibodies.
During vaginal penetration, these antibodies could attack the sperm after ejaculation as if they were foreign cells, killing them before they have a chance to fertilize the egg.
The results of these studies have been mixed. Some back it up, and some find no damaging effects. Overall, performance of oral sex should not impact greatly on fertility levels.
However, if a woman enjoys performing oral sex for her partner, but wants to take no risks, she should refrain from swallowing his semen while they’re trying to conceive.
Anal sex is an increasingly popular sexual practice between men and women, and when done correctly and considerately, can be extremely erotic and highly pleasurable. But if done incorrectly, serious fertility repercussions can ensue.
Never, under any circumstances, move from anal penetration to vaginal penetration, without the male partner thoroughly washing his penis with soap and warm water.
This prevents harmful bacteria that reside in the anus transferring into the female reproductive tract.
If this occurs, serious infections can be the result. Worse still, if these bacteria are present when you conceive, the fertilized egg can be seriously compromised.
Lots of couples use lubricants during intercourse to make sex more comfortable and pleasurable. But their use can affect your ability to get pregnant in a couple of ways.
Oil-based lubricants, such as massage oils and petroleum jelly, can upset the natural PH levels in the vagina, which creates a hostile environment that can kill sperm.
Oil-based lubricants have also been shown to inhibit the sperm’s ability to swim through the female reproductive system.
In extreme cases this can block the egg from the sperm altogether.
There are several lubricant manufacturers that specifically write on their packaging that they have no adverse affect on fertility levels, and contain no spermicidal agents. But there’s still credible evidence that these non-spermicidal products can kill sperm.
The safest way to deal with this problem is to increase foreplay, which should allow both the man and the women to secrete more of their natural lubricants.
Increasing foreplay, according to many studies, can also heighten fertility, as discussed earlier in this post.
If increasing foreplay is not an option, or its increase does not result in sufficient natural lubrication, vegetable oil works wonderfully as a substitute.
Vegetable oil can be purchased in any supermarket, and is not harmful in any way to the women, the man, or his sperm.
In addition to having sex at your most fertile time, how you have sex can also have a dramatic impact on how fast you get pregnant.
The positions you and your partner adopt during and after sex can have a massive affect on the passage of sperm from your vagina to your Fallopian tubes.
Everybody’s different, and that includes our internal organs. Because of this, one rule cannot apply to everyone when it comes to optimizing sexual positions for conception.
But there are some very reliable guidelines, and if followed they ensure your highest chance of successfully conceiving.
Male-dominant positions are consistently the best for allowing deep penetration and correct angle of the vagina for the most efficient depositing of the sperm.
A good example of this would be missionary style, with the woman on her back and the man between her open legs, which should remain open as he ejaculates to best facilitate passage of the sperm.
A pillow placed under your hips following sex greatly improves the chance that the sperm will remain in the vagina and pass through towards the Fallopian tubes.
Rear-entry or “doggy-style” sex is also highly-effective for depositing sperm both deep, and at a favorable angle, particularly if the female partner has her knees to her chest and her head down low at the time of ejaculation.
Rear-entry sex is also favored by many experts as the best way to combat a low-sperm count, so men whose counts have been confirmed as less than average should consider sole use of this position during ejaculation.
Many couples enjoy having sex lying on their sides. This can be beneficial to couples where one or both partners suffer from back pain or are overweight.
The relaxed nature of lying on your side whilst making love can ease the tension in nerve endings at the base of the spine, which can help to facilitate a quicker passage of sperm through your vagina.
There are a handful of sexual positions that should be avoided if you’re trying to conceive. These, contrary to the ideal positions for conceiving, are usually female-dominant positions.
The woman on top, straddling the man, for example.
Common logic suggests this is far from ideal for keeping the ejaculated sperm inside the vagina. All sexual positions that involve the woman sitting should be avoided.
Standing sexual positions, whether they’re with the man and woman facing each other or rear-entry with the woman bending over, should also be avoided. These positions hinder efficient passage of sperm from the vagina to the Fallopian tubes.
Despite some sexual positions being far from effective when it comes to conceiving, there’s no reason why they cannot remain in your sex life.
As long as you and your partner are ideally placed in one of the suggested positions at the time of ejaculation, the semen still has the best chance of staying inside the vagina and successfully moving towards the Fallopian tubes.
Sex should remain fun and never become a chore or an exercise in conceiving.
Never eliminate something you and your partner enjoy. As mentioned earlier in this post, a happy, healthy sex life contributes greatly to fertility levels.
There are no statistics to demonstrate that making love at certain times of the day can affect fertility levels, but there are statistics that demonstrate that men’s sperm counts are at their highest first thing in the morning.
This is only true if the man has not ejaculated the night before, whether during sex or masturbation.
Many men are also at their peak of sexual arousal first thing in the morning, which is why so many men experience their most powerful sexual urges shortly after waking.
For men whose sperm counts have been confirmed as low, sex first thing in the morning is potentially very beneficial indeed.
If you remain in bed for 20 to 30 minutes after intercourse, you give sperm the best chance to remain in your vagina and swim towards the Fallopian tubes.
Placement of a pillow under your hips will tilt the pelvis back, creating an ideal angle for the sperm to swim most efficiently.
This is a tried-and-tested method for speeding up conception, and should be practised after sex as often as possible.
If you have sex in the morning, rather than at night, try to allow yourself time to remain in bed for 20 minutes afterwards. It can make a real difference.
However careful you are, some sperm will never make it anywhere near the Fallopian tubes.
This loss of sperm can be caused by many factors, including your partner ejaculating whilst not deeply penetrated, bad choice of sexual position, excessive movement after sex, and simple leakage of the sperm.
Tilting the hips back by placing a pillow underneath you after sex goes a long way to combating this.
To further discourage sperm leakage, lightly press the labia or lips of your vagina together with your fingers and hold this position for five minutes following ejaculation.
Sex and Fertility: What You Can Do
- Have sex often!
- Enjoy sex. Enjoy your partner. Listen to the ever-increasing body of research that suggests a happy, contended sex life can cause fertility to soar.
- Increase foreplay. The more stimulated you are during sex, the higher both partners’ fertility levels can be.
- If lubricant must be used during sex, stick with vegetable oil. All other lubricants have the potential to kill sperm.
- Refrain from swallowing your partner’s semen whilst you’re trying to conceive. This is especially important when the male partner has a low sperm count.
- Enjoy a variety of sexual positions and keep sex interesting. But be sure to be in one of the recommended positions at the time of ejaculation.
- Follow sex with limited movement and the placement of a pillow under your hips.