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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sex Ed for Baby-Making

When to do it
You’re most likely to get pregnant if you have unprotected sex in the five days before you ovulate, or on the day itself. And the number one mistake women make when they’re trying to get pregnant? Not getting the timing right.
Counting day one of your period as day one of your cycle, most women ovulate about 14 days before their next period. So if your cycle varies between 24 and 30 days, you’ll ovulate somewhere between days 10 and 16. Once the egg is released from the ovary, it’s only receptive to sperm and able to be fertilized for about 12 to 24 hours, but sperm can remain viable for days after intercourse...which is why you can have sex days before ovulation and still get pregnant. If your cycle is very regular you have a good idea when you ovulate. If not, it might make sense to buy an over-the-counter fertility monitor to help you get the timing right.
How often to do it
Logic tells us that if a little is good, a lot is better. But that’s not the case with intercourse when you’re trying to get pregnant. Sperm counts may actually be lower if men ejaculate too often. On the other hand, if men don’t ejaculate for weeks, the sperm are relatively old and may not be as capable of swimming and fertilizing an egg. So many experts have concluded that sex every other day—and not more than once a day—is ideal for baby-making.
How to do it
The good news is, you don’t have to read the Kama Sutra or do any daredevil acrobatics to get pregnant. Nor must you rely on the missionary position night after night. No study has ever found that one position is better than another for conception success.
Some experts still recommend the man-on-top position, so that the sperm is deposited closest to where it’s supposed to be, at the top of the vagina. And some women trying to get pregnant avoid being on top for fear that gravity will be working against the sperm, and that it will leak out immediately. But sperm are speedy swimmers, and once they’re out of the gate they’re on their way to the fallopian tubes within seconds.  The stuff that leaks out after sex is just fluid and some dead sperm.
What to do immediately afterwards
Some experts do recommend staying in bed anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour after intercourse to keep the sperm pooled at the top of the vagina. A woman can put her knees up to accentuate this position, or she can place her feet on the wall with her hips on a small pillow, which works even better.
Don’t feel like lying around? Other experts don’t believe there’s much medical basis to recommend it anyway. So lie around or not—you decide. One big afterglow no-no: Don’t douche, which can increase the risk of pelvic infection and lower your risk of getting pregnant. Another thing to avoid right after intercourse: anything that will raise your core body temperature, meaning no hot tubs, saunas, or long runs.
Making conception sex fun
Trying to conceive can be stressful on a relationship. So anything you can do to make it more pleasurable and fun is great. Sex toys are a good idea, though obviously be careful to keep them clean.
And while lubricants may make intercourse more comfortable, be careful to choose a “safe” one if you’re trying to make a baby. There are now a number of “sperm-friendly” lubricants on the market. Or you can try canola oil, which has no effect on sperm. One other option: Tell your husband to work a little harder!  Make conception sex fun with lots of foreplay, so you’ll get lubricated on your own.
-- Leslie Pepper

Sex Positions to Conceive Baby

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could boost your odds of conceiving a baby by just performing a few (fun) acrobatics during your next roll in the sack? Well, it’s not necessarily that simple. That’s because there’s not really anything in the way of scientific research that proves that one sex position is better than another for conception (and we think it’s safe to say that babies have been conceived using every position possible). “Clearly, someone needs to write a research grant to study this,” jokes Jean Twenge, who researched the subject extensively for her book The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant and found nada in the way of cold, hard facts. There are plenty of myths out there about the subject though (read about the 4 Biggest Conception Sex Myths here)! But even though science doesn’t offer a solution, you can have some fun trying out some of the best theories about sex positions.
Missionary Position
Some believe that the classic missionary position -- man on top -- is best for conception. The idea is that you (literally) get more bang for your buck by using gravity to your advantage. This may sound boring, but hey -- you’re free to be creative during foreplay!
If you really want deep penetration, try the position most of us lovingly refer to as “doggy style” (you on your hands and knees, and him behind). Some believe that getting closer to the cervix during sex makes it easier for sperm to swim to their target. But they’re fast swimmers, so chances are, they’ll get there anyway. As another theory goes, if you have a tipped uterus, you might be better off using this position. If you’re having trouble conceiving missionary style, you might want to try switching it up.
Woman on Top
Sure, you’re working against gravity here, but some experts say that may not matter, with the whole fast-swimming thing. Plus, for some women, this is the most pleasurable position, and that may actually be what’s most important. “We tell our patients the best positions for conception are the ones that are most comfortable for the woman,” say The Mommy Docs Allison Hill, MD; Yvonne Bohn, MD; and Alane Park, MD -- ob-gyns who practice in Los Angeles.
After-Sex Position
After sex try this trick: Lie with a small pillow under your hips for 20 minutes. This can help the sperm swim toward your uterus. “Among women who had IUIs, there was a higher conception rate among those who stayed lying down for 15 minutes,” says Twenge. “There aren’t any studies about whether lying down makes any difference after actual sex, but it can’t hurt.” Use it as an excuse to have a little post-coital pillow talk.
Speaking of gravity, you may have heard that standing on your head after sex helps the sperm swim down to their target. But (unfortunately for all you yoga masters) there’s no scientific evidence supporting this.