You Can't Get Pregnant If You Stand Up... Or Can You?

I wanted to share this anecdotal story from one of my readers concerning birth control myths. Olivia wrote:

I have to tell you a funny anecdote about my conception of my daughter in July, 2011. I was trying desperately to get pregnant. It took me so long I thought that I was infertile. We tried and tried, but nothing was happening.

Then this evening in July...the night I got pregnant, I did something much different after sex than I used to do. That night, instead of getting up after making love and going to the bathroom to clean up and pee, that night I laid in bed, rolled over and went right to sleep.

About a month later, I found out I was pregnant and I truly believe that I got pregnant because I didn't get out of bed to go to the bathroom. I didn't stand up, therefore the sperm was able to get to the egg in a better fashion. Doesn't that sound like a myth to you... but for me....It worked!!

I wanted to spend a moment clarifying the facts in Olivia's statement as well as the myths claiming that your sexual position can prevent you from getting pregnant. A recommendation when trying to get pregnant is for a woman to stay lying down for about 30 minutes, after sex, with a pillow under her bottom to elevate the pelvis. This allows for gravity to help "pull" the sperm down towards the egg. By Olivia not getting up to after having sex, this allowed the sperm to more easily and quickly reach their destination. When you stand up after sex, gravity may help to pull some of the sperm away from the egg.

Simply being in an upright position is not enough to prevent pregnancy. Sperm can swim against gravity. They are also quick. By the time a woman stands up, millions of sperm will have already made great progress toward the egg.

The moral to Olivia's story: remaining in a horizontal position after sex may aid in becoming pregnant, yet this does not then imply that being in a vertical (upright) position will prevent a pregnancy. A woman can become pregnant regardless of sexual position and immediate "bathroom runs" after sex.

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  • Photo Reprinted with Permission from DELC