What to Do After Sex to Conceive

Nicole Day
By Nicole Day
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published July 3, 2022.

Man and woman cuddling under white bed sheets

For many people, trying to conceive—or even the topic of conception—can bring about emotions of sadness or even grief. Every couple's journey of falling pregnant is different and one needs to be sensitive when bringing up this topic in conversation.

Conception can occur within weeks of trying and can come about quite easily for some; but for others, it can be difficult and take months, years, or even require additional methods such as inducing ovulation to increase the chance of falling pregnant. Every human's body is different, so one method will not work for all, but there are tips and tricks that can be tried first before jumping to any major conclusion or trying hasty methods.

What to Do After Sex to Conceive

For those willing to give it a try, there are some interesting methods to try to possibly increase the chance of falling pregnant:

  1. Lie flat We're all aware of gravity and how it works, and the same applies to sex and those eager sperm swimmers! To help them along and reach their destination quicker and with less difficulty, lie flat on your back after sex for about 30min. You can even place a pillow under your knees to relieve the tension in your lower back and be more comfortable.
  2. Don't run to the bathroom Most women are aware that going to the toilet straight after sex reduces the chance of getting UTIs. However, if your current objective is to conceive, then you may want to wait on that toilet run. By delaying that pee, you are allowing the sperm to remain within your system a little longer.

What Not to Do When Trying to Conceive

When you are ready to take that next step with your partner and become parents, there are definite lifestyle changes that need to be made or even certain habits that need to be avoided:

  1. Alcohol Alcohol reduces fertility; therefore, it is advisable to limit one's alcohol intake—or avoid it completely.
  2. Smoking Smoking lowers a woman's chance of falling pregnant by about 40% according to a report published by the British Medical Association (BMA). It's not just all on the women though, as men who smoke are decreasing their sperm count and increasing possible sperm abnormalities. If both of you are smokers, it is advisable to quit prior to trying to conceive.
  3. Caffeine intake To those caffeine lovers out there, don't panic! Caffeine while trying to fall pregnant is fine, it just depends on the amount. If you are having more than 5 cups of coffee a day, you may be lowering your fertility.
  4. Sweet treats As much as we all enjoy those chocolates or sweets, too much of a good thing may hamper your chances of falling pregnant. Too many sweets may result in an increased level of adrenaline, which combats the female reproductive hormone and, therefore, reduces your chances of falling pregnant.

As a final thought on what not to do, you should also be wary of rushing your tests. As much as you may feel eager to take that pregnancy test, taking it too early may lead to inaccurate results which could leave you feeling disheartened and discouraged. As such, it is essential to take a pregnancy test at the right time.

How to Increase Your Chances of Conceiving

When trying to get pregnant, it is most critical that we look after our bodies and give them the best possible chance of conceiving. Just like there are things we should avoid when wanting to fall pregnant, there are also many things we can do to increase those chances:

  1. Healthy diet One of the most important things you can do when trying to conceive is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. This should include all food groups (fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, dairy, and fats). You can also boost your body's folic acid levels by taking vitamins to boost fertility.
  2. Time sex properly Yes having sex regularly will increase the chances of falling pregnant, but it is also important to have sex during the right time in your cycle, so learn the phases of the menstrual cycle. If you experience regular cycles, your fertile window should be about seven days prior to ovulation. If you experience irregular cycles, it might be a little harder to predict. You can use an Ovulation predictor kit or an ovulation test to help time things right.
  3. Water intake Water makes up about 60% of adult human bodies. As much as water directly links to a healthy body, water is also the main component of cervical mucus in which the sperm swims to get to the egg.
  4. Choose lubricants wisely If you and your partner need a vaginal lubricant during sex, it is best to go with natural oil-based lubricants such as peanut oil, canola oil, or baby oil. Avoid using water-based lubricants. Additionally, consider using a fertility lubricant.

When trying to conceive, it is best to be patient with our partners. It is an exciting time when trying to start a family, but we must be careful to not let it consume us.