A Complete Guide to Baby Making Sex

Everything You Need to Know About Sex for Conception

If you're trying to get pregnant, you may have questions on the very basics of baby making: having sex for conception. Is there a difference between sex for fun and conception sex? Does position matter? What about lying down afterward?

Here are common questions and answers on baby making sex.

Couple's feet touching in bed, thinking about having baby making sex
Sex for baby making is all about timing. Letizia McCall / Taxi / Getty Images

Timing is important when you're trying to conceive. Many of us got the impression in school that sex any time can get you pregnant. This isn't quite true.

You are more likely to get pregnant from sex that occurs on just three days out of the month. At most, you are potentially fertile for seven days each month.

If you're experiencing ovulation signs, this is the ideal time to have sex to get pregnant. You can detect ovulation using a number of methods, including ovulation predictor kits, basal body temperature charting, or cervical mucus tracking.

What if you don't have any ovulation signs? You may not be ovulating. This is a possible cause of female infertility.

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picture of calendar with an X marked on every day, how many times they had sex
It really isn't nessecary to have sex every day. Image Source / Getty Images

Another common question is how often you should have sex. Some couples go all out and have sex every day, all month, and if you're into that, it's usually ok. But most people get tired of this schedule, especially if it takes longer than a few months to conceive.

Plus, sex every single day can be a problem if your sperm count is low.

Having sex three to four times a week all month long is a good plan. While you can't get pregnant from sex after ovulation, there may be other benefits to sex during this non-fertile time.

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Woman lying on top of man in bed, being romantic before baby making sex
The best position for sex is the one that gets semen near the cervix and is most pleasurable for both of you. PeopleImages.com / DigitalVision / Getty Images

The position doesn't matter that much for baby-making sex. As long as ejaculation happens as close as possible to the cervix, it's good enough for baby making.

However, there is some debate on whether or not the missionary position (man on top) may be best.

Truthfully, you can have sex in any position. Variety may help improve your sex life, and that can help you cope better with the stress of trying to conceive.

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woman-on-back-loleia-stock-xchng.jpg
Lying down after sex may or may not help. User loleia / Stock.Xchng

Some couples wonder if lying down after sex may help, thinking that if you remain horizontal for awhile, the sperm will have a better chance of getting to their destination.

No one is certain whether this helps.

However, there has been some research on IUI treatment that indicates it might be helpful.

If you want to try it, remaining on your back for just 15 minutes after sex is more than enough time.

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Check list with
Does female orgasm make a difference when it comes to conception?. Ever / iStock

The female orgasm is not required for baby making, and plenty of women conceive without it. But could female orgasm help?

The research isn't clear, but some studies indicate it just may give sperm a boost.

One theory is that female orgasm helps move the sperm up from the cervix to the fallopian tubes. Another is that orgasm makes you feel sleepy, which increases your odds of remaining horizontal after sex (which may or may not help with conception—see information just above this!)

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line up of generic cosmetics, lubricant, and body lotion bottles
Always use fertility-friendly lubricants when trying to make a baby. Letizia Le Fur / ONOKY / Getty Images

Personal lubricants with spermicide are an obvious no-no when it comes to conception sex. But what about the regular lubricants?

This is an especially important issue, since couples dealing with infertility may experience stress during sex, which means fewer arousal fluids. (Plus, hormonal imbalance can lead to less cervical mucus.)

Unfortunately, lubricants like KY Jelly are not sperm-friendly.

The good news is there are fertility-friendly lubricants available.

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Frustrated man sitting on edge of bed
Pressure to have sexual intercourse when trying to conceive can lead to performance anxiety. momentimages / Getty Images

As part of fertility treatment, you may be told when to have sex. If you're taking Clomid, your doctor may give you a range of days to have sexual intercourse on.

Your doctor may tell you to use an ovulation predictor kit, or she may tell you which days using ultrasound and blood work to predict ovulation.

This can be very stressful for a couple. Some men may experience performance anxiety. Some things you can do cope better include making a date of it, maintaining a sense of humor about the situation, and being patient with one another.

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Man getting massage
Massage is one way to reduce the sexual stress of infertility. monkeybusinessimages / iStock

Trying to conceive can change your sex life, often for the worse if you’re trying for several months (or years). You may feel alone and frustrated.

You should know that having trouble with sex when trying to conceive is common. There are things you can do, though.

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woman lying on a pillow looking away
Sex should not hurt. There is help out there. PhotoAlto/Antoine Arraou / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections / Getty Images

Between 30 and 50 percent of women will experience painful sex sometime during their life. Sex shouldn't be painful. If it hurts, something is wrong.

Surprisingly, only 1 in 4 women will ever tell their doctor about their pain.

What should you do if you want to get pregnant but sex hurts? What causes sexual pain? Could it harm your fertility? You should talk to your doctor about these concerns. Painful sex can be a symptom of a serious problem.

If sex is so painful that sexual intercourse isn't possible, there are other options for conception.

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