Does female orgasm help with conception?
Some scientists have hypothesised that a woman increases her chance of conception if she orgasms, because the cervical contractions which accompany orgasm help suck the sperm into her womb and closer to the egg that’s waiting to be fertilised. However, there is no evidence to support this hypothesis. While you certainly shouldn’t refrain from enjoying your orgasms when they occur, don’t worry if you don’t orgasm. You’re still just as likely to become pregnant.
Sexual position and your chance of conception
According to Dr Joe Kosterich, there’s no hard evidence that different sexual positions make conception more or less likely. It’s a fairly difficult topic for researchers to study. It’s feasible that sexual positions which allow for deeper penetration might increase the chance of conception because they allow your partner’s sperm to be deposited more deeply into your vagina.
Some people (scientists included) believe that lying with your legs in the air or lying on your back after sex might increase the likelihood of conception because it helps keep your partners sperm in your vagina. There’s no evidence to support these theories, but they won’t do any harm either.
The timing of conception and the sex of your baby
The gender of your baby is determined by your partner’s sperm and specifically whether it contains an X or a Y chromosome. Most cells in the human body have 46 chromosomes, and the chromosomes contain all the genetic information which determines a person’s characteristics, such as their eye and hair colour, height and whether they are predisposed to genetic conditions. Two of the 46 chromosomes are known as sex chromosomes and these chromosomes contain the information which will determine a person’s sexual characteristics. In females, the sex chromosomes are both X chromosomes, whereas in men there is one X sex chromosome and one Y sex chromosome.
Sex cells, eggs in females and sperm in men, are the only cells in the human body that do not contain 46 chromosomes. These cells contain 23 chromosomes each (and when an egg and sperm bind together in fertilisation they combine their chromosomes to form a single, 46 chromosome cell). In each 23 chromosome egg or sperm, one of the chromosomes is a sex chromosome. In the woman’s egg the sex chromosome is always an X chromosome. In the man’s sperm the sex chromosome may be either an X or Y chromosome. When a sperm containing an X chromosome fertilises an egg, it produces a girl baby. If the sperm contains a Y chromosome, the baby will be a little boy.
According to Dr Joe Kosterich, there is no way to predict whether a Y or X chromosome will be the one to penetrate your egg and thus no way that you can time sexual intercourse to influence the sex of your baby. Millions of sperm are released each time a man ejaculates. Half contain an X chromosome while the other half contain a Y chromosome. Whether you have sex just before you ovulate or just afterwards, will not change the ratio of X and Y chromosomes. This means that whenever you have sex the likelihood of your child being either a girl or a boy baby is about 50%.
How can I get pregnant with twins?
If you like the thought of giving birth to two babies at once, you may be wondering how to have twins. Unfortunately whether you conceive twins is beyond your control. According to Dr Joe Kosterich, twins are conceived when a woman releases two eggs during ovulation and both are fertilised (for non-identical twins) or if a single egg is fertilised by two sperm (for identical twins). Unfortunately you can’t control how many eggs are released during ovulation or how many sperm penetrate a single egg when it is released. However, twins tend to run in families, so if other members of your family have given birth to twins, you have a better chance.
More information on the 2nd week of pregnancy
|For more information on the second week of pregnancy, see 2 weeks pregnant.
|For more information about the changes that occur when pregnant, see Changes to mum and baby this week.
|For more information about preparing your body for pregnancy with healthy eating and exercise, see How to get pregnant and preconception health information this week.
|For more information about how to improve the chances of getting your partner pregnant, see Men’s health and how to improve male fertility this week.
|For more information about the key points on the second week of pregnancy, see Key points this week.