Sexual Positions To Get Pregnant

Try to have sex more often, but don’t force yourself into a schedule. It could lead to unnecessary stress. Ultimately, the ideal number of times to have sex is what feels comfortable to you.

Babymaking 101: Ways to Get Pregnant Faster

When you’re trying to get pregnant, sex is about more than just having fun. You want to do everything right in bed to maximize your chances of conceiving.

No methods have been proven to produce a pregnancy. Yet a few changes to the timing and frequency of your lovemaking might help increase your odds of success.

The best time to get pregnant is at the most fertile point in your menstrual cycle. Your ‘fertile window’ includes five days prior to ovulation and the day of ovulation.

The two days before you ovulate and the day of ovulation have the highest probability of conception . Having sex on those days will give you the greatest odds of conceiving.

During ovulation, your ovary releases a mature egg. That egg makes its way down the fallopian tube on its way to your uterus.

On this route, the sperm will (hopefully) meet up with and fertilize the egg. Sperm can live for about five days. So if you’re trying to conceive, your goal is to have live sperm in your Fallopian tubes when you ovulate.

How do you know you’re ovulating? One way is to count your cycle days.

Keep a calendar of your menstrual cycles or use an app to keep track. Each cycle starts on the first day of your period, and ends on the day before your next period starts.

Look for the midpoint of your cycle. If you have a 28-day cycle, you’ll generally ovulate around day 14.

Did you know?

  1. Not all women ovulate at the midpoint of their cycle. If you’re having trouble getting pregnant and suspect your ovulation may be earlier or later than the midpoint, talk to your doctor about using another method to confirm ovulation.

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You can also look for signs like these, which indicate ovulation:

  • Change in vaginal discharge. When you ovulate, your mucus will turn clear and thick — about the consistency of an egg white.
  • Rise in basal body temperature (BBT). Your body’s resting temperature will increase slightly after you ovulate. You can measure BBT with a basal body temperature thermometer before you get up in the morning. Note: This will only tell you that you ovulated and cannot predict ovulation. However, if you track your temperature for a few cycles, you can see in hindsight what cycle day you generally ovulate.

Drugstores also sell over-the-counter ovulation kits. These tests look for hormone changes in your urine, and can let you know when you’re most likely to be ovulating. Refer to the test kit instructions for more information.

With hundreds of millions of sperm released in each male orgasm, any unprotected sex around the time of ovulation could result in a pregnancy. As long as sperm enter the vagina, you have a chance to conceive.

No certain positions during sex have been proven to increase likelihood of conception. Yet certain positions may be better than others for ensuring those little swimmers find their way up to the egg. The missionary (man on top) and doggie-style positions (man behind) allow for deeper penetration — bringing sperm in closer proximity to the cervix.

In the standing and woman-on-top positions, gravity works against you. Yet standing up right after sex shouldn’t reduce your odds of a pregnancy. Sperm are pretty good swimmers. Once deposited in the vagina, they can reach the cervix within 15 minutes.

Though you don’t need to raise your legs in the air after sex, or even lie flat on your back to help them get there, it can’t hurt. Placing a pillow under your lower back will also keep the sperm swimming in the right direction.

You might have read that having sex too often reduces sperm quality and quantity. Some research has shown that sperm have better quality when collected after a 2-3 day period of abstinence. Studies have also shown that higher rates of conception are seen in couples who have sex every 1-2 days.

Making love once a day or every other day during your fertile window will increase your odds of getting pregnant.

Try to have sex more often, but don’t force yourself into a schedule. It could lead to unnecessary stress. Ultimately, the ideal number of times to have sex is what feels comfortable to you.

Just under two-thirds of women use a lubricant during sex, but there have been questions about whether these products might affect sperm quality. In lab studies, water-based lubricants like Astroglide and K-Y Brand Jelly reduced sperm movement by 60 to 100 percent.

Before you panic and throw out the lube tube, studies of actual couples trying to conceive have found no negative effect on fertility. In fact, lubricant might aid in your efforts to get pregnant by making sex comfortable enough to have more often.

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If you’re concerned about lubricant reducing your chances of getting pregnant, try sperm-friendly brands like Pre-Seed.

Changing your sex practices isn’t the only way to improve your likelihood of conceiving. Here are a few other things you can do to boost your fertility:

  • Orgasm. For a man, ejaculating is essential to getting his partner pregnant. Though a woman doesn’t have to climax to get pregnant, the movement of her orgasm can help propel sperm closer to their destination.
  • Control your weight. Being too heavy or too thin could lower your fertility.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking increases the odds of infertility and miscarriage, and reduces sperm motility.
  • Limit caffeine. In large amounts — more than five cups of coffee a day — caffeine can lower fertility.

If you’ve been trying to get pregnant but are having no luck, see your primary care doctor or a fertility specialist.

How long should you wait before seeing a doctor? That depends on your age.

  • Women younger than 35 should try for at least 1 year before seeking medical help.
  • Women 35 or older should see a healthcare provider after 6 months of trying.

Make an appointment sooner if you have any of these issues, which could affect fertility:

  • irregular or no periods
  • endometriosis
  • pelvic inflammatory disease
  • a history of miscarriage
  • hernia surgery or a problem with the testicles (in your male partner)

The doctor will do an evaluation of your health and medical history. Medications, insemination techniques, and surgery can help people with fertility issues conceive.

Any type of unprotected sex is good for getting pregnant. But timing your encounters right and having them more often will boost your odds of success.

If a pregnancy isn’t happening for you right away, don’t pressure yourself or your partner. Getting pregnant can take a few months — especially if you’re in your 30s or older.

But if you’ve been trying for a long time and you’re still anxiously awaiting that baby bump, see a doctor for advice.

Last medically reviewed on August 10, 2018

How we reviewed this article:

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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  • Lower chance of pregnancy if woman is on top during sex? (n.d.).
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  • Sharkey H. (2013). Need to Know Fertility, Conception and Pregnancy.
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  • Trying to get pregnant. (2018).
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  • Women’s guide to getting the timing right. (n.d.).

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

What Is the Best Sex Position to Get Pregnant?

Rachel Gurevich is a fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association.

Updated on November 12, 2022

Leyla Bilali, RN is a registered nurse, fertility nurse, and fertility consultant in the New York City area. She works in house at a reputable private clinic in New York City while also seeing her own clients through her concierge fertility consulting and nursing services business.

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Ellen Linder / Stocksy

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Many think that the missionary position (man on top, woman on bottom) is the best intercourse position to get pregnant. However, there’s no research to back up that claim.

Any intercourse position that gets sperm near the cervix (or vagina, for that matter) can get you pregnant. Sperm will swim up the reproductive tract with or without the help of gravity.

Positions to get pregnant may include:

  • Man on top, woman on bottom (aka “missionary position”)
  • Woman on top, man on bottom
  • Side-by-side
  • “Doggy style,” or rear-entry
  • Edge of the bed
  • Right angle sex

That said, if the woman is lying on her back when ejaculation occurs, that may possibly improve the chances of conception. But there’s no research on sexual intercourse to prove it. Creating lab conditions to study this topic would be difficult. However, there is research on intrauterine insemination (IUI treatment) that may imply that position can make a difference.

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Missionary Position

Intrauterine insemination is a fertility treatment that involves taking specially washed semen and directly transferring the sperm via a special catheter to the uterus. The sperm are transferred while the person with a uterus is lying on their back.

Doctors wondered if remaining horizontal after the procedure might improve pregnancy success. In one study, they found that people who lay on their back for 15 minutes after the sperm transfer had a 27% rate of pregnancy after three cycles. Compare this to the people who got up right away after the transfer—they had an 18% pregnancy rate.

Doggy Style

Using MRI scans, researchers were able to compare which sexual position—missionary or “doggy style”—gets ejaculate closest to the cervix.

You may be surprised to hear that rear entry gets the penis closer to the ideal location to deliver sperm when compared to the missionary position. This research doesn’t tell us anything about how this may affect pregnancy success. But it’s assumed that ejaculation closer to the cervix would be better.

If you’re bored with missionary position, but you still want a position that may be best for conception, consider rear entry.

What Feels Best

While the actual position may not matter, how that position makes you feel might matter. For example, longer foreplay and a higher level of sexual arousal before ejaculation have been shown to increase sperm counts in some research studies. If a particular position is more of a turn-on, that may boost fertility. By how much is unknown, however.

But arousal isn’t only about the person with the sperm. Female orgasm that occurs just before, during, or sometime after ejaculation has been shown in some studies to boost pregnancy rates. Positions that allow extra female simulation may be better for getting pregnant.

Taking time to bring a woman to orgasm may improve semen parameters.

Researchers wondered what the possible biological purpose of cunnilingus (oral sex) might be for reproduction. Both humans and some animals perform oral sex, which you might assume has little to do with reproduction.

However, they found that performing cunnilingus increased the volume of semen produced during later sexual intercourse. Could it be that different sexual positions that seem “less than ideal” for conception might be better? We just don’t know.

Sex when trying to conceive can begin to feel like a chore. Bedroom burnout is common. Changing sexual positions could bring renewed excitement into your sex life. Even if it doesn’t boost your odds for pregnancy, it still may be worthwhile for emotional and relationship reasons.

Things to Avoid if You Want to Get Pregnant

There is no sex position that decreases you chance of getting pregnant, but there are some things you can do that could get in the way of conception. If you use lubricant, make sure that the one you have is fertility-friendly. Some lubricants can impede sperm movement, making it harder to get pregnant. When in doubt, look for a lubricant that is designed for couples who are trying to conceive.

Although having sex frequently should do the trick, you don’t want to miss your fertile window: the days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation. Track your ovulation and check your schedule. If something gets in the way of intercourse during this period of time, you are much less likely to get pregnant.

A Word From Verywell

If the missionary position just doesn’t do it for you—but you’re wondering if it might be better for getting pregnant—you can switch to this position just before ejaculation. Doggy style, or rear entry, may also be better for conception.

Hot sex, as it were, will not cure male infertility due to low sperm counts. If anything, it may just give the still low counts a small boost. However, keep in mind that a less-than-ideal position for intercourse is not going to cause infertility. Any position that gets semen near the cervix (or anywhere in the vaginal area) can lead to pregnancy.

Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Custers IM, Flierman PA, Maas P, et al. Immobilisation versus immediate mobilisation after intrauterine insemination: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2009;339:b4080. doi:10.1136/bmj.b4080
  2. Faix A, Lapray JF, Callede O, Maubon A, Lanfrey K. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of sexual intercourse: second experience in missionary position and initial experience in posterior position. J Sex Marital Ther. 2002;28 Suppl 1:63-76. doi:10.1080/00926230252851203
  3. Pound N, Javed MH, Ruberto C, Shaikh MA, Del Valle AP. Duration of sexual arousal predicts semen parameters for masturbatory ejaculates. Physiol Behav. 2002;76(4-5):685-9. doi:10.1016/s0031-9384(02)00803-x
  4. Puts DA, Dawood K, Welling LL. Why women have orgasms: an evolutionary analysis. Arch Sex Behav. 2012;41(5):1127-43. doi:10.1007/s10508-012-9967-x
  5. Pham MN, Jeffery AJ, Sela Y, et al. Duration of cunnilingus predicts estimated ejaculate volume in humans: A content analysis of pornography. Evol Psychol Sci. 2016;2:220. doi:10.1007/s40806-016-0057-5
  6. Steiner AZ, Long DL, Tanner C, Herring AH. Effect of vaginal lubricants on natural fertility: Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2012;120(1):44-51. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31825b87ae.

By Rachel Gurevich, RN
Rachel Gurevich is a fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association. She is a professional member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and has been writing about women’s health since 2001. Rachel uses her own experiences with infertility to write compassionate, practical, and supportive articles.

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