It’s very possible that you’ve spent quite a lot of time, perhaps the major part of your life until now, trying to avoid becoming pregnant. You may have rolled your eyes and tittered during that high school sex education film, but don’t deny you were eager to drink in the details. Be that as it may be, the shoe is now on the other foot, and thank goodness, you don’t need classes to know how to get pregnant. But you may want to know if there’s anything you can do to boost the odds that a given lovemaking session will result in a baby. The short answer: of course!


When it comes to myth-busting in Conception 101, the first thing to know is that less is more. Don’t have sex every day when you’re trying to conceive. To maintain the highest sperm counts, you’ll want to wait a day before you try again. Most experts suggest having sex every other day. To be specific, the best days to have baby-making sex are days 10, 12, and 14 of your cycle. This will ensure you’ll have sex three times during the part of your cycle when you are most fertile.

If the idea of sex with no spontaneity doesn’t appeal—sex every other day, throughout your fertile period—you can try to pin down the time of ovulation through the use of a basal thermometer or with an over-the-counter ovulation prediction kit. The idea is to have sex every other day the week before you ovulate until 1-2 days post-ovulation.


Believe it or not, most of the lubricants on the market are harmful to sperm. They may add to your sexual comfort, but they can lower your chances of becoming pregnant. There are two ways to go in terms of lubricants: you can try a natural lubricant such as canola oil (rather messy), or you can look for a commercial lubricant that is marked “sperm-friendly.”

Getting into the right position for baby-making is easy, because, in fact, it makes no difference. You can choose any position you like. No matter how you make love, the natural tendency of sperm is to swim in the direction of the cervix. It doesn’t matter a bit to sperm whether a woman is right side up or upside down. But there are some experts who feel it helps to have sex in positions that will introduce sperm as close as possible to the cervix. The ideal position to make that happen is—you guessed it—the missionary position.

By the same token, remaining in bed with your legs stuck straight up in the air after you’ve made love doesn’t really make a difference. The sperm will do their thing and dogpaddle their way to the cervix no matter how you position yourself. The fluid that leaks out of you after sex consists of dead sperm and seminal fluid. The live sperm remain inside of you, doing their darnedest to get to your eggs. Still, it can’t hurt to stay still for twenty minutes before you get up to do your thing. One never knows what will make the difference between conception and going through the same rigmarole next cycle, same time, same place.

Chat with other women about the many ways to get pregnant in our pregnancy forum.

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