An Illustration of Fertilization

How to Keep Sperm Inside Your Cervix

Many couples dream of conceiving, but sperm face a series of challenges in order to get to the egg. The most prominent barrier is the cervix. The cervical entrance (os) is very narrow and covered in sticky, thick cervical mucus that makes it nearly impenetrable to sperm.

But within minutes of coitus coagulating semen causes it to release more sperm into the cervical canal.

1. Keep Your Vagina Clean and Dry

The vagina does a lot: it sheds the lining of the uterus during menstruation, it’s penetrated during sex, and it gives birth. All that work means it needs some extra TLC.

That’s why the vulva, which includes your pubic mound and labia (friction glands), deserves a good, daily cleaning with warm water and gentle soap—never shampoo or body wash, because they may disrupt the pH balance of the area.

When washing, always move your hand from front to back to avoid irritation. The genital area also contains normal bacteria, and using a product that contains chemicals or fragrances can throw the balance out of whack, leading to odor, itching, and other discomfort.

After urinating, lie still for 10 to 15 minutes so that gravity can help the semen get where it’s going instead of spilling out. You can prop your pelvis with a pillow to help, or just rest with your legs up against something. Then, take a shower or bath and use an intimate wash with no perfumes or dyes. You can also buy a vaginal wash that’s specifically made for the vulva.

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2. Don’t Smoke

When it comes to getting pregnant, there’s a lot that can go wrong. That’s why it’s important to know what to do to improve your chances of success. Luckily, there are some common-sense tips that can help make your journey to motherhood a little smoother.

For example, it’s a good idea to avoid smoking because it can reduce the amount of cervical mucus your body produces. Mucus is needed to help sperm swim up to the uterus and meet an egg. Additionally, if you’re trying to conceive, it’s important not to lie in bed for too long after having sex. Instead, stay in bed for about 15 minutes after you do the deed to give the sperm a chance to make it up to your cervix.

Also, don’t have sex while sitting or standing up. This is because it will cause you to lose more semen than if you were lying down. The sperm that is released during orgasm needs to be deposited as close to the cervix as possible in order for it to find an egg.

3. Stay Hydrated

Sperm need to reach the egg in order to be fertilized, but this can be difficult when cervical mucus gets thick and sluggish. Staying hydrated can help keep semen flowing through the vagina. This is especially important for women who are trying to conceive because thick cervical mucus can block sperm from getting to the egg, which is essential for pregnancy.

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It’s also important for women who are trying to conceive to have a good night’s rest. This can help with fertility because a good night’s sleep will allow your body to get the rest it needs to regenerate and produce sperm.

One thing that can also help with conception is deep penetration through positions like rear-entry and missionary. However, there is no scientific evidence that any particular coital position increases the chances of pregnancy. In fact, researchers have found that sperm is present in the cervical canal seconds after ejaculation regardless of sexual position.

4. Eat Healthy

Once sperm enter the vagina, they need to travel quickly to reach and fertilize an egg cell. That means the cervical mucus needs to be able to carry them. But using scented tampons or vaginal sprays; using artificial lubricants or vegetable oils (which can change the pH of your vagina, and some can kill sperm); putting saliva in or near your cervix; and douching all degrade the quality and quantity of this mucus.

It’s also important to eat a balanced diet and drink lots of water. Too little water can dry out your cervix, making it harder for sperm to penetrate. Too much can lead to a UTI, which can block the entry of sperm into your uterus.

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Getting the most out of your sexual position can also help. Though it’s not proven that any particular coital position makes conception more likely, it may help to have deep penetration — by positioning the penis in positions like doggy or missionary, which allows the sperm to reach the recesses of the cervix’s front and back walls.

5. Exercise

If you’re trying to get pregnant, you might be wondering if certain sexual positions can help you get more sperm inside your body. The truth is that there’s no scientific evidence that sex positions like missionary or rear-entry can boost your chances of conception. In reality, sperm enter the cervical mucus (which protects the cervix and uterus) on their own through the power of their swimming abilities.

Once sperm enter the cervical mucus, they continue swimming to reach the uterus and fallopian tubes. This is why it’s important to use a lubricant that’s sperm friendly (like vegetable oil, glycerin, or natural cream) during intercourse. It also helps to avoid vaginal sprays, scented tampons, douching, and even showering after sex, since these activities can disrupt the pH balance in the vagina and wash away the cervical mucus that sperm need to swim through.

You can also try lying down after sex and propping your pelvis on a pillow for a few minutes to allow gravity to assist the semen as it pools around the cervix. Just be sure to empty your bladder beforehand so that you don’t risk getting a urinary tract infection.