The question about the best position for increasing the odds of pregnancy has long been debated. Most medical researchers claim that there is no research to back up the fact that certain positions aid in conceiving. It’s possible to get pregnant through having intercourse in nearly any position.
That being said, gravity does play a role in conception. Many medical professionals recommend against positions that don’t require sperm to travel upstream—thereby having to fight the pull of gravity—such as woman-on-top or standing positions. Generally, man-on-top positions such as missionary are said to be most effective in increasing the odds of conception.Some experts also recommend placing a pillow beneath the woman’s hips to help make the sperm’s journey easier.
Most medical professionals will note that there is no research to back up these claims, but the common sense idea that easing the sperm’s journey in any way possible seems to hold value for many fertility experts.
Although the research tying sex positions to odds of conception is limited, there has been research done on artificial insemination processes in which a small tube is placed into the uterus to insert sperm. One study found that when women lay on their back for a period of 15 minutes following artificial insemination, there was a 27 percent incidence of pregnancy after three tries, whereas women who got up immediately after insemination had only an 18 percent incidence of pregnancy.1
So, if you are trying to become pregnant, it may be worth laying still for a short period post-coital rather than standing immediately.
Some fertility experts also recommend women who are TTC to practice yoga poses that require them to go upside down, called inversions. It’s been suggested that inversions could have positive impacts on the endocrine system, which may positively affect the reproductive system. There is little research to back these claims, but it won’t hurt anything to try! (For non-yogis who can’t just pop a handstand on demand right after orgasm, placing the legs up against a wall is a reasonable substitute.)
More important than pursuing specific sex positions is making sure that you and your partner enjoy the act of sex while TTC. Yes, sometimes this is easier said than done. But this might help motivate you: one study showed that men who engaged in foreplay for longer periods of time had a higher sperm count in their semen samples than those who had shorter periods of pre-sexual engagement.2