So, since pretty much the beginning of pregnancy being a thing — basically, since forever — there have been old wives' tales about post-sex practices that could increase a woman's chances of becoming pregnant. Since getting preggo is the opposite of what you probably want after sex, the bigger question is, are there things you could be unknowingly doing after sex to increase your risk of pregnancy?
Up until very recently, there's been some misinformation floating around on post-sex practices that can supposedly increase your risk of becoming pregnant. But the truth is that there isn't much that can be done after sex to affect whether or not a woman becomes pregnant. The biggest deciding factor when it comes to having an increased risk of pregnancy is having unprotected sex.
That being said, a quick Google search on the topic will turn up a bunch of seemingly legit sounding things a woman could supposedly do post-hump that make becoming pregnant more likely.
In order to better understand these practices and what the concrete risks actually are, here's the low-down on three things you might be doing after sex that could increase your risk of pregnancy, along with the reasons science says they actually don't.
Lying On Your Back For A Few Minutes After Sex
Doesn't everyone like to rest on their backs (aka nap) for at least a couple minutes after a horizontal tango? Totally. But it's also a long touted belief that lying on your back increases the chances of sperm reaching an egg.
However, thankfully, that theory has recently been proven false. Smaller studies that seemed to validate the belief that lying still after sex could "help" sperm reach an egg have been officially debunked by the largest study of its kind. Researchers based in Helsinki, Finland, artificially inseminated almost 500 women and had half of them lay on their backs for 15 minutes directly after, while the remaining half got up and moved around immediately after. Contrary to popular belief, 32.2 percent women who stayed in bed for a few minutes conceived, while women 40.3 percent who engaged in movement immediately after became pregnant.
So it looks like falling asleep on your back after sex has pretty much no effect on the likelihood of you getting pregnant. But if you're still super stressed about it, then a quick jumping jack or two should do the trick.
Holding Your Pee After Sex
There have long been whispers that not peeing after sex could increase the chances of sperm reaching an egg.
According to Planned Parenthood, though, holding your pee in after sex does not increase your risk of pregnancy.
Planned Parenthood explicitly states:
Going to the bathroom after sex does absolutely nothing to lower your chances of getting pregnant. Even if urine had the ability to kill sperm, peeing wouldn’t have any effect on the sperm that have already entered the vagina, because urine comes out your urethral opening. It’s a different set of plumbing, basically.
As it turns out, if anything, fighting the urge to pee after sex could actually increase the likelihood of you developing a UTI or another vaginal infection.
Propping Your Feet Up To Tilt Your Pelvis During Sex
I can't even tell you how many fertility sites encourage ladies who are trying to get knocked up to contort themselves in all kinds of crazy "pelvis tilting" positions to get pregnant.
Thankfully, for all my yogi ladies out there who might have wondered if hanging out in "the plow" position or doing a handstand post-bang can increase the chances of a bun baking in your oven, the answer is — you guessed it — nope.
According to the Fertility Center at the University of Southern California, there is no evidence that lying flat on your back or being upside down (or trying to tilt your pelvis in any direction) has anything to do with increasing your chances of getting pregnant. This is because once sperm is released into the vagina, it reached "the cervical canal within seconds of intercourse" and is believed to enter the fallopian tubes by the two-minute mark.
At this point, there is no evidence that anything you do after the fact will affect whether or not you become pregnant. It's important to remember that the only thing that can guarantee you don't get pregnant is abstinence, and the only proven way to decrease your likelihood of getting pregnant is practicing safe sex.
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