A Complete Guide to Baby Making Sex

Everything You Need to Know About Sex for Conception

Baby making isn't complicated if you and your partner have good fertility. The most important thing is to have sex when you're most fertile. This is typically mid-cycle, and around week two to three of your menstrual cycle in those with regular ovulation. There are a variety of ways to detect this time.

Even so, you likely have questions beyond timing. Is there a difference between sex for fun and conception sex? Does position matter? What about lying down afterward or the role of female orgasm in fertility? How often should you be having sex?

When Is the Best Time for Conception Sex?

Couple's feet touching in bed, thinking about having baby making sex
What do you need to know about sex for baby making?. Letizia McCall / Taxi / Getty Images

Timing is critical 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 entirely 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.

How Often Should You Have Baby Making Sex?

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 to get pregnant. Image Source / Getty Images

Another common question is how often you should have sex to get pregnant. Some couples go all out and have sex every day, all month. If you're into that, it's usually OK. In fact, it's usually a good idea for your relationship to make sure you're having sex when you're not ovulating, so that sex doesn't simply become a conception machine.

But most people get tired of this schedule, especially if it takes longer than a few months to conceive. Plus, sex every single day may 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.

Does Sex Position Matter When Trying to Get Pregnant?

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.

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.

Does Lying Down After Sex Help?

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

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

It takes sperm between 2 and 10 minutes to travel up from the cervix to the fallopian tubes (which is where they will meet the egg.) However, this movement occurs regardless of whether you're standing up, lying down, or standing on your head.

No one is certain whether lying down after sex helps, however, there has been some research on IUI (intrauterine insemination) treatment that indicates it might be helpful.

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

Is Female Orgasm Important for Baby Making Sex?

Check list with "Extremely satisfied" checked
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 it 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 the information just above this!)

Are Lubricants Like KY Jelly Safe for Conception Sex?

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. What about the regular lubricants? Unfortunately, lubricants like KY Jelly are not sperm-friendly.

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.)

The good news is there are fertility-friendly lubricants available. Some of the more popular brands include Pre-Seed, Conceive Plus, and Astroglide TTC. You could also use plain (no fragrance) baby oil.

How Can I Cope with Having Sex on Demand During Fertility Treatment?

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 intercourse ("doctor prescribed sex.") If you're taking Clomid, your doctor will help you choose the best days to boost conception.

Your doctor may tell you to use an ovulation predictor kit at home. Alternatively, she may detect your most fertile days for you by using ultrasound and blood work to predict ovulation.

This can be very stressful for a couple. Some men may experience performance anxiety. To cope, consider making a date of your "scheduled sex," maintaining a sense of humor about the situation, and being patient with one another.

How Can I Improve My Sex Life Now That We Are TTC (Trying to Get Pregnant)?

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 to improve your sex life.

What If Sex Hurts?

woman lying on a pillow looking away
Sex should not hurt. If it does, here 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 all of these concerns. Painful sex not only interferes with your relationship and ability to get pregnant but 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. But first, talk to your doctor and have a thorough exam. Pain is often our body's way of telling us that something isn't right. Listen to what it is saying.

Bottom Line on Baby-Making Sex

If you're having sex to make a baby, the most important step is timing. We're not entirely sure if sexual position makes a difference, if female orgasm makes a difference, or if it helps to lie down afterward. There a number of ways to figure out your most fertile days and aim for those.

If you're not getting pregnant and are starting to get anxious, talk to your doctor. And don't forget that sex without the intention of making a baby is important as well!

Sources:

Cunningham, F. Gary., and John Whitridge Williams. Williams Obstetrics. New York: McGraw-Hill Education Medical, 2014. Print.

Levin, R. Can the Controversy About the Putative Role of the Human Female Orgasm in Sperm Transport be Settled with our Current Physiological Knowledge of Coitus?. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2011. 8(6):1566-78.

Continue Reading