Veröffentlicht am

Does lying down after sex increase your chances of getting pregnant?

While the logic doesn’t sound that farfetched, the long-held belief that it’s easier for sperm to travel in the right direction if you’re horizontal isn’t necessarily scientifically accurate. 

There are a lot of tips out there about trying to get pregnant.

Some say that you should start taking prenatal vitamins, others that you should do it in a certain position, avoid peeing after sexual intercourse… the list goes on, but some of these are true and others not so much.

One piece of advice you may have heard is that you should lie down after sex to boost your chances of conceiving, but does it actually help?

Like what you see? Sign up to our newsletter for more stories like this.

Lying down after sex to conceive: fact or fad?

We’ll go straight to the point with this one: it’s a fad. There’s no actual evidence that lying down after sex improves your odds of getting pregnant.

Sperm are incredibly quick swimmers and, before you’ve even thought about getting up, they’re already close to the finish line. In fact, it can take them as little as two minutes to reach your fallopian tubes, where they need to be for conception to occur.

“We don’t have trials that have investigated this specifically so the best evidence we have is from studies on intrauterine insemination (IUI) – this is when sperm that has been washed and concentrated is placed directly into the uterus,” says Dr Kirsty Wallace-Hor, a GP at Kin Fertility.

“A large study in the Netherlands found that there was no significant difference between women who rested after IUI and those who mobilised straight away. 

“Whilst IUI is different from natural conception, it makes sense that sperm shouldn’t need our help to work against gravity because that’s not how they work. They ‘swim’ through the cervix and uterus and are moved along the fallopian tubes with the help of cilia – small hair-like structures. Whilst some sperm may be lost along the way, we ultimately only need one sperm to reach the egg.”

That said, there’s no harm in trying. If you feel like relaxing in bed after sex, go ahead – just remember that it is unlikely to impact your chances of getting pregnant.

What if I hold my legs up – will that help?

Another myth, we’re afraid.

The logic isn’t all that farfetched: you elevate your hips, gravity does its thing, and it becomes easier for sperm to travel in the right direction. The thing is, those little swimmers don’t rely on gravity to get where they need to go.

If you’re worried about semen falling out, know that some leakage is perfectly okay. After all, it only takes one sperm meeting one egg for conception to happen, and some sperm will be rejected anyway, no matter what you do. And while we’re on this topic, peeing after sex won’t kill sperm or flush them all out of your vagina either. If you need to go, go (especially if you’re prone to getting UTIs).

What you can do to actually improve your chances of conceiving

The most important thing to remember when trying to get pregnant is that timing matters – a lot.

“Sperm can live up to five days, whilst an egg only survives for about 24 hours after it is released by an ovary. If you want to improve your chances of conceiving, it’s far more important to time sex so that sperm is ready and waiting when the egg is released,” Dr Wallace-Hor explains.

If you’re wondering how to know when you’re ovulating, the simplest thing you can do is track your cycle, either through an app or a good old-fashioned calendar.

“You can also use ovulation kits which help detect an increase in luteinising hormone in your urine – the surge in this hormone is a good marker that ovulation will occur in the next 24 to 36 hours,” Dr Wallace-Hor recommends. “Once you have a rough idea of when you’re ovulating, I recommend having intercourse every couple of days in the lead-up to ovulation.”

Of course, your lifestyle also affects your fertility, so make sure to exercise and eat well to maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, limit alcohol and caffeine consumption, keep your stress in check, and consider taking a prenatal supplement.

“Ultimately, if you want to rest after sex, that’s fine. However, if you want to get up and move around, or if you need to get up to urinate, you can rest assured that you aren’t ruining your chances of falling pregnant. The only thing I’d advise against is bathing straight after sex or douching (you shouldn’t ever douche anyway due to the risk of infection),” she adds.

“If you have any concerns about irregular periods or ovulation, or if you have been struggling to fall pregnant, I recommend that you and your partner check in with your GP.”

Source link