Fertility FAQ’s: Your Questions Answered – Part 2

*Disclaimer: Before reading this post, please refer to this disclaimer clarified on my previous FAQ post here. Thank you.

Q: What about lubrication? I get kind of dry, even during my fertile window. We used a typical OTC (over-the-counter) lube. Was that wise? What would you suggest?

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A: So, you are using commercial lubes during lovemaking? If so, this could be the cause of your conception woes? If not, and if you are not using anything, that could also be the cause of your trouble conceiving. The best lube when you’re trying to conceive is that which comes from your own body. The vagina is naturally very acidic. Sperm, on the other hand, thrive in alkaline conditions. This means that the vagina is normally not conducive to sperm. The support and accommodate sperm, the conditions in the vagina change during ovulation. Vaginal discharge during this time is very alkaline and has the consistency of an egg white. This allows sperm to travel through the cervix. To increase changes of conception, it’s important to use either natural lubrication or a lube that has a pH supportive of sperm. What this effectively means is increasing foreplay when lovemaking. It will help sperm thrive and move them to their destination.

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If, for some reason, you can’t seem to make enough natural lube, you may want to consider purchasing a lube that supports sperm. Most commercial lubes have a pH that’s too high. This means they’re too acidic. Avoid them at all costs. These include: KY Jelly, Vaseline and baby oil. Canola oil and pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil have been shown to be fairly sperm-friendly. However, I’d honestly avoid them too, as they lie in a “grey area.”

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In my opinion, the only real sperm friendly lubes on the market I would personally suggest are Conceive Plus and Pre-Seed. With these, you don’t have to worry about sperm dying before they “hit-the-jackpot.” In many of the fertility forums I scoured, many…many women had success with conceiving using these. Plus, my husband and I did, too! We used both of these lubes after my trigger shot in our fertile window.

Q: I’ve been told that it’s too late to have sex the day after I ovulate. Is this true? I’ve heard other discussions on this matter.

A: Great question, and the answer (at least what I’ve learned and research I’ve read) seems to not be fully clear. However, I think timing IS important when you’re trying to conceive. There seems to be a huge misconception that you should wait until the date of ovulation to have sex. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogposts, it’s best (in my opinion) to start “trying” a few days earlier in order to have the maximum number of sperm waiting for the egg once it’s released. This is what my hubby and I did. We had sex 3 full days before the date I ovulated, then the day of ovulation, then the day after, too.

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Some say that making low on the day after ovulation may be “too little too late.” Although expert opinion is divided on this issue, sperm may arrive after the egg has already started disintegrating. This is down to the fact that it will be several hours before sperm gets to the fallopian tubes after ejaculation. It is unlikely that you could conceive in such a situation, though in some cases it could happen. Some doctors believe that if this were to happen, the egg would be likely past it’s prime and the chances of a miscarriage increases. Now, if you have an IUI done, and it happens to occur after you ovulate, the injection is done right at the base of the fallopian tubes so that the sperm has less distance to swim. The chances the sperm meet the egg while it’s still viable increases with an IUI over intercourse.

Some doctors are of the opinion that it’s okay to continue having sex after ovulation, as the sperm can catch up with the released egg before it disintegrates. However, other doctors feel that is unsafe due to the reason I mentioned above (chances of unviable egg and miscarriage). Since there seems to be no real statistical evidence supporting either case, you should feel free to draw your own conclusion.

Personally, I would suggest making love every day for at least 3 days before you ovulate (you can track your cycle with a BBT, CM and other methods I mentioned in previous posts). I would ALSO suggest you have sex the day of ovulation and even the day after, too. It will simply increase your chances for conception within that very limited window you have each month.

Q: Is it really true that I should elevate my hips after having sex in order for the sperm a better chance of swimming to the egg?

A: Although I’m certainly not a doctor and I don’t really know what’s fact vs fiction, from the multiple articles, forum posts, blogs and podcasts I’ve listened to, it seems that it can only help if you elevate your hips. It’s also just seems to be a common sense “physics” strategy, too. Even if it is a myth, when you are trying to get pregnant, why not try everything you can that may increase your chances?

Gravity is your friend. Remember that as you try out different positions. It can help the sperm move much faster in your bid to conceive. You will want a position that facilitates deep penetration and contact with the cervix while at the same time reducing the chances of leakage.

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I read somewhere that entry from the rear (doggy-style) has been known for quite some time to be one of the best positions for conception. The side-by-side position and man-on-top/missionary position are also great alternatives.

To avoid leakage, you will need to exercise patience. Instead of withdrawing immediately after making love, keep your partner’s penis inside for as long as possible after he ejaculates. This helps block the entrance to the cervix, keeping the semen locked in and concentrated in the cervix for as long as possible. Thereby, giving the sperm a chance of swimming up into the Fallopian tubes.

Try to elevate your hips for awhile after lovemaking. For my hubby and I, we turned it into a really beautiful intimate act. I used a pillow for support by placing it under my bottom. I then brought my knees to my chest.

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My husband then slipped his hands under my legs to help me keep my legs to my chest. We did this for about 10 minutes together, as we just talked and laughed and kissed. This helps the sperm move in the right direction with the help of gravity. If you get an IUI at a fertility clinic, the doctor may also encourage/suggest you lift or boost your legs up right after.

*Next: Fertility FAQ’s: Your Questions Answered – Part 3

I hope these Q&A posts are helping you. Please let me know if you are learning anything. Also, feel free comment below with any questions you want me to take a stab at answering!! I’ll do my best…but if I am uninformed or uncertain…I’ll do some research to find the best answers I can!

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