by Julie Snyder
If the time is right, a woman may conceive regardless of sexual position. But what's wrong with a little assistance?
All of us could likely cite a case where actual intercourse did not take place but pregnancy occurred! Yeah, right!
Still, if you want to optimize and up your odds, consider these sexual position suggestions. You never know, you could actually enjoy trying for a baby!
All of these positions are speculative by scientific standards, but most -- if not all -- are considered successful by parents worldwide -- not to mention they're fun! Let's talk about sex, baby!
Increase your odds with effective positions
Missionary Position (a.k.a. Man on top): Overwhelmingly, experts and parents alike agree that having the man positioned on top offers the greatest possibility of conception. The degree of penetration combined with the prone position of the woman allows the sperm to be deposited near the cervical opening. Additional "pluses" for this position allow both partners to communicate through sensual looks, intimate kisses, touch and oral stimulation of breasts and nipples (for both partners!), and movement.
From Behind (a.k.a. "doggy style"): The woman kneels before the man, facing away. Penetration is then from behind, enabling the man to enter with deeper thrusts and deposit the sperm close to the cervix. Due to the control this offers the man, his orgasms may be more intense as well.
Want to have even more fun with this position? The man can reach around and fondle his partner's breast or clitoris during intercourse and perhaps even following his own orgasm for additional stimulation. The woman may find she can pleasure her partner by reaching between, "tickling" his testicles gently as he moves and/or stroking the base of his penis. The resulting orgasms may surprise you both!
Spooning: The woman lays with her back to her partner and he cuddles her from behind. Penetration will not be as deep, but both partners are often quite relaxed which can also lead to achieving conception. The woman is able to move against her partner, inviting stimulation and allowing him to enter her from behind. The man is able to manually stimulate the woman's breasts and clitoris. Gentle kisses and communication between the two of you may ignite more pleasure. Something to try? The woman may want to help guide her partner's touch. She may also be able to reach and stroke him as he enters.
"Living on the Edge": Take this one literally! The woman lays on the edge of the bed or couch. The man can then enter from the front from either a standing or kneeling position. Like the missionary position, this allows the man to enjoy a good penetration. The unusual position may excite you both. Again, manual stimulation of both partners can add even more pleasure and intensity. Gravity, ladies, remains on your side helping the sperm meet their goal!
"Scissors": No, this is not your average "rock, paper, scissors" game! This position is one of the more unique used -- but may be just outside of the ordinary enough for you both to increase your enjoyment and result in achieving pregnancy. There are a few variations of this but the basics involve the woman lying on her side; bottom leg is between your partner's legs; top leg may be lifted up or straddled over his side. Men, lay perpendicular to your partner; bottom leg under hers; top leg between hers so the two of you are like "scissors" with the your view being your partner's back. Be certain to adjust either the angle or proximity if needed for comfort. Penetration from this position can and should be sensual for both partners.
Trying for a certain gender?
Whether you want a precious baby girl or a bouncing baby boy, positioning actually may play a role (along with timing and other factors). Male sperm (Y-chromosome) are known for being faster swimmers than their female (X-chromosome) counterparts. They also tend to die off quicker while the female sperm live longer.
Those wishing for a boy may find it best to settle on "doggy style" position. This allows the penetration to be deeper, shortening the distance the sperm carrying the Y-chromosome must travel. According to what is known as the Shettles™ method, the optimal time to conceive a male child is close to ovulation -- generally by having sexual intercourse within the window 24 hours prior to ovulation to 12 hours after. Male sperm also supposedly prefer a more alkaline environment for swimming so ladies, avoid dairy and up the sodium intake. Men, drinking caffeine before sex (NOT alcohol!) can boost the speed of your Y’s!
Dreaming of a girl? Opt for a position with shallow penetration, such as spooning. A greater window of opportunity allows the slower, but much more resilient "female sperm" to take their time in reaching their destination. These sperm typically survive three to five days, and in some (rare) cases up to seven! Female (X-chromosome) sperm tend to prefer a more acidic environment. Increasing dairy products and sweets (don't forget those more natural, healthy sources such as fruits) may provide an additional aid.
How important is orgasm?
What about the O-factor? For the male's role, achieving orgasm certainly aids in distributing sperm to its intended destination. Don't forget though that female orgasm can be as equally important, particularly after the man has climaxed! The reasoning? Achieving female orgasm can improve the environment for the sperm to swim and survive. The resulting contractions help draw the sperm up and into the cervix -- ready to meet that egg and "make" a baby!
The most important dynamic is to relax and enjoy being intimate with your partner. While certainly increasing your personal knowledge and understanding of your fertility is important, you will likely find that leaving that outside the bedroom will allow you both to focus on your love and desire to pleasure one another versus feeling as if being intimate is now yet another chore on your to-do list.
For those that have been trying for a year or more, it could be time to seek out medical advice regarding their own and/or their partner's fertility.
Don't miss our articles, videos, and advice from our experts in our Getting Pregnant secton.
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.