My husband and I are trying to get pregnant and I have a few questions that I’m kind of embarrassed to ask our doctor. Does an orgasm help you get pregnant? Should I try and keep the sperm in for awhile, and is there a best sex position for conception?
Dr. Chris Herndon joined the Alta Bates IVF program in 2011 shortly after completing a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at UCSF. A native of California, he received his M.D. degree with honors at Yale University and underwent residency training at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard University. Dr. Herndon is board-certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology and is on the faculty at UCSF. Trained at the cutting edge of contemporary IVF practice, Dr. Herndon brings to his scientific background an uncommon focus and commitment toward making high quality infertility services more accessible to all individuals in the Bay Area community.
It is not clear if having a orgasm increases the chance of conception. Contractions of the muscles and elevation of the cervix may indeed enhance efficiency of sperm transport. We do know with certainty that orgasm is not necessary for conception.
It may likewise help to bring the legs close to the abdomen to facilitate pooling of sperm near the cervix. The sperm takes only minutes to travel from the cervix to the fallopian tubes, and can persist in there for as long as several days. This is the reason why the fertile window begins as early as five days prior to ovulation.
My recommendation for couples starting out is to make conception as stress-free and intervention-free as possible. Infertility is medically defined as the inability to conceive after 12 months of regular unprotected intercourse, or six months for women at or over the age of 35.
The concept is that infertility is not defined as specifically timed intercourse, with the understanding that every month may not be optimal in terms of the timing or other factors, but over several months there should be sufficient good chances to permit conception. Patients who do not conceive within this time frame, or those with identified risk factors, should consider getting an evaluation.
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