A lot of factors have to align in order for a pregnancy to occur: the acidity of the vagina has to be just right in order to not damage the sperm, the sperm not only have to find their way into the uterus but also be present when the egg is released, and a fertilized egg has to implant into a perfectly built-up uterus, just to name a few. In fact, in any given month, a couple has only about a 15-20% chance of conceiving! Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to increase your odds of success.
Don’t forget about foreplay! Foreplay is important for a few purposes. First, it prevents sex from becoming a stressor. Trying to conceive is stressful enough and sex shouldn’t be part of it! Sexual stimulation also improves cervical mucous and increases the flow of hormones, both of which increase fertility.
After sex, it is important for the woman to stay put for 10-20 minutes. This will allow the sperm to stay in the vagina so that they do not have to fight against gravity alongside everything else! This “cuddle time” is also important for stress relief and bonding with your partner.
When you are trying to conceive, frequency is key! As long as the male partner has not been diagnosed with a low sperm count or low semen volume, you should be having sex every day, especially around your fertile period. Research has shown that couples who have sex about once a week have a 15% chance of conceiving on any given cycle while those who have sex every day increase their chances to 50%!
Although changing up your routine is fun, the best position when it comes to fertility is the missionary position. This position allows for penetration closest to the cervix which means that the sperm don’t have to ask for directions on how to get to the uterus.
If lubrication is an issue for you and your partner and foreplay doesn’t help (see Tip #1), the type of lubricant you use is very important! Sexual lubricants, especially the scented varieties, can interfere with conception as they are, in general, to acidic for the sperm to survive. Further, the concentration of salts in the lubricant can cause the sperm to shrink or swell. If you are looking for a little extra moisture, there are a few fertility-friendly lubricants on the market such as Yes Baby or Pre-Seed. Do not use water or saliva as a lubricant as they substances can either kill the sperm or prevent them from swimming.