Medical Q&As

Conception - does sex position matter?

I have read that, in order to maximise the chance of conception, sexual intercourse should take place with the man on top, and that having the woman on top is unadvisable. However, my husband and I usually have sexual intercourse with me on top, finding that penetration is more complete, ejaculation delayed, and semen leakage less (probably because of the previous two points). Are we eliminating (or significantly reducing) the chance of conception, as a number of websites suggest?

Some experts suggest that a couple should avoid having sex while standing, sitting or with the woman on top. The theory goes that these positions defy gravity and might impair the upward movement of the sperm. It is further suggested that if the man is on top that there is a greater chance of the semen being deposited next to the opening in the cervix. In other words these theories are suggesting that particular positions are giving the sperm a helping hand by dropping them closer to their final destination. It is important to emphasise that there is no evidence to support any of these theories because they have never been tested. It is also important to remember that the sperm do not just drip out of the penis at the time of ejaculation. They are shot out. So irrespective of the sex position being adopted by the couple most of the sperm are deposited high up in the vagina. I note from your question that you indicate that you experience very little leakage of semen, which clearly indicates that the bulk of the sperm have been retained in your vagina. I see no reason for you to change your current practice.