The Complete Guide To Baby Making Sex

With old wives tales galore, it seems everyone has an opinion on how to make a baby. But when it comes down to it, conception simply requires one sperm to meet one oocyte.

Whether it be through old fashioned sex or with the help of science, baby making is simple in theory but pregnancy is not always easy to emulate.

Fertility specialists offer a number of general recommendations to support fertility and increase the chances of natural conception through sex. We lay them bare in this guide to baby making.

How does conception occur?

Babies are made when two cells (gametes) – an ovum, or egg- produced by the woman, and a sperm- produced by the man, join together. For sex to have a chance to result in a pregnancy, a few elements are required.

  1. Normal, healthy, actively moving sperm
  2. A healthy egg
  3. The woman carrying the pregnancy needs her reproductive organs to be physiologically functioning

Now let’s talk sex.

How much sperm is needed to fertilise an egg?

Alright, let’s talk about the magic number when it comes to sperm and baby-making. While it’s crucial for the man to provide a sufficient amount of sperm to increase chances of falling pregnant, quality is just as important in this equation as quantity. The more healthy and active swimmers there are in the mix, the higher the chances of fertilisation. Mobile sperm moves up into the fallopian tubes on its way to fertilise an egg after ejaculation, but many sperm are lost along the way, with only a few hundred making it to the egg. Vying for penetration with the outer shell of the egg, it only takes one sperm to release its contents inside the egg, fertilising the egg and starting the process of conception.
While there isn’t a precise number of sperm required to get the job done, a general ballpark figure of at least 20 million per millilitre of ejaculate is considered optimal. Yep, it may sound like a lot, but hey, Mother Nature likes to make sure there’s enough to get the party started!

Does the frequency of intercourse influence my chances of falling pregnant?

While sloppy and spontaneous sex may be your norm, sex during your fertile window can be more intentional, and timed to increase your chances of falling pregnant.

Aimee Lewis of Flow Naturopathy recommends sex “once every alternate day in the fertile period is definitely sufficient, but if you want to go daily there is no harm.” She references studies which suggest unprotected sex specifically 2 days before ovulation allow for the highest probability of pregnancy.

According to expert Clinical Naturopath Leah Hechtman, there’s a common misunderstanding that multiple ejaculations reduce a man’s ability to have children. However, a study looked at almost 10,000 men who had normal sperm quality and found that even those who ejaculated every day still had normal sperm. What’s actually more important, she notes, is that men who have problems with low sperm count and poor sperm movement may have a better chance of having children if they ejaculate more often, like every day.

Stress plays a role in reproductive health, so it’s worth noting sex frequency is ultimately best defined by the couple’s own preference so as not to negatively influence outcomes here.

Are there sex positions which increase my chances of falling pregnant?

You’ll likely find a range of contradictory advice here, but the physiology of it all remains the same. Sperm can be found in the cervical canal seconds after ejaculation, regardless of coital position, but increasing the quantity of sperm that can pass through the cervical opening is advisable.

Experts will often recommend a couple avoid having sex in positions that defy gravity (as this lessens the likelihood of the man’s sperm reaching the cervix) instead choosing positions that encourage deeper penetration in order to place sperm as close as possible to the cervix. The woman’s position should encourage a slight pelvic tilt (eg, prop a pillow under your hips) as the sperm is then positioned in a way it cannot easily leak from the vagina.

Do I need to lie still after having sex to encourage fertilisation?

The less time the sperm spends travelling through the cervix, the better. To achieve this, lessening movement and activity after ejaculation is advisable. Women do not need to literally have their legs raised in the air, but they should be encouraged to avoid urinating for a minimum of 10 minutes after intercourse, experts say.

Woman relaxing in bed

Is it safe to use lubricant when trying to fall pregnant?

Whilst lubrication can be an easy way to increase comfort during sex, most lubes have been found to act as mild contraceptives. How? By their very nature, lubes can adversely affect sperm motility, and its ability to move freely towards the egg by decreasing the sperm’s ability to penetrate cervical mucus. So it’s important to know what’s in your lube before loading up.

When using lube during a baby making session, opt for a lube that’s hydroxyethylcellulose-based as they’re the most similar in consistency and viscosity to natural vaginal mucus, and are less likely to affect the pH of the vagina. For sperm friendly options, see Lovers Smooth Love Lube, which is medically formulated fertility friendly, pH balanced, with no added preservatives and safe to use whilst trying to conceive and during pregnancy.

If I orgasm during sex, will this support my chances of conceiving?

Whilst there’s no confirmed relationship between orgasm and fertility outcome, some research still suggests that the female orgasm is important in promoting sperm transport.

This research claims orgasm should be encouraged after ejaculation, as the contractions that accompany the female orgasm may help carry sperm further into the cervix.

This guide lays bare the sex basics to help support your conception journey. For more on sex, intimacy and conception see our articles:
Preconception Sex and IntimacySex EdOvulation Tracking8 Foods to Boost Fertility and What Does Healthy Sperm Look Like.

Find more articles in our journal.

Visit our shop to find out more about The Prenatal supplement to help support a healthy pregnancy.

moode bottle
Visit our shop to find out more about The Prenatal supplement to help support a healthy pregnancy.

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