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How Is Sex for Conception Different Than Sex for Just for Fun?

Improve Your Chances of Conceiving With These Small Changes


Updated June 30, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Woman on top of man, smiling in bed, having fun

Don't skip foreplay if you want to get pregnant! Having more passionate sex boosts your odds of conception.

Photo: Cavan Images / Taxi / Getty Images

Is conception sex any different than sex for fun? Obviously, you'll need to stop using contraception. But does sex need to change?

Generally speaking, conception sex isn't different than sex for fun. There are, however, things you can do to improve your chances of conceiving.

Use Only Sperm-Friendly Lubricants

The best lubricant for conception sex is your own cervical fluids. In fact, cervical mucus increases right before you ovulate.

Also known as egg white cervical mucus (because it looks like raw egg white), it serves two purposes: to help the sperm swim and survive and to increase your sexual arousal. (Biology's way of making sure you have sex at the right time.)

While cervical mucus should increase around ovulation, that's not true for all women. There are a variety of reasons for a lack of or lower amounts of cervical fluid, including stress, age, fertility drugs, and hormonal imbalances. Lubricant may be necessary to have enjoyable sex.

When you're having conception sex, it's important not to use regular lubricants. Studies have shown that they can harm sperm, keep them from swimming well, and even kill them. Instead, you should try to use sperm-friendly lubricants.

Timing for Conception Sex Is Important

Sex for fun can happen any time. However, if you're trying to have conception sex, there are just a few days every month when sex has the best chance of leading to pregnancy.

There are many ways to determine the best time for conception sex, and knowing when your most fertile time is can help you get pregnant faster.

However, don't think you should not have sex the rest of the month. In fact, having sex frequently can lead to healthier sperm.

Fun Is Still Important During Conception Sex!

While I'm making a distinction here between sex for fun and conception sex, I don't want to imply that conception sex shouldn't be fun.

In fact, having more fun during sex may boost your chances of pregnancy success.

Research has found that lengthier foreplay time can lead to higher sperm counts. Female orgasm that occurs close to the time of ejaculation, or after ejaculation, has also been found to slightly increase conception rates.

Don't misunderstand -- I'm not saying that having fun sex will cure infertility, or boring sex can cause infertility. But fun sex just may give you a slight boost towards success.

More on infertility, trying to conceive, and sex:

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Kutteh WH, Chao CH, Ritter JO, Byrd W. "Vaginal lubricants for the infertile couple: effect on sperm activity." International Journal of Fertility and Menopausal Studies. 1996 Jul-Aug;41(4):400-4.

Pound N, Javed MH, Ruberto C, Shaikh MA, Del Valle AP. "Duration of sexual arousal predicts semen parameters for masturbatory ejaculates." Physiology and Behavior. 2002 Aug;76(4-5):685-9.

van Roijen JH, Slob AK, Gianotten WL, Dohle GR, van der Zon AT, Vreeburg JT, Weber RF. "Sexual arousal and the quality of semen produced by masturbation." Human Reproduction. 1996 Jan;11(1):147-51.

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