If you and your partner have been trying and trying (and trying) to get pregnant, I’ve got what’s going to sound like a strange recommendation: Stop having sex. Yes, you heard me correctly: no more sex – at least not for procreation. (I actually do want you to have sex, but only for pleasure, as in, remember when it used to be fun?) Instead of making yourself miserable and ruining your sex life as a whole, you can change up what you’re doing and still get pregnant. It’s true – I did it twice.
Here’s the deal: If you’re trying to get pregnant, stop going about it coitally. Variations on the home “turkey-baster” method can be surprisingly effective, and you make it a lot easier on yourself and your man if he just hands you a syringe of sperm at the right time. And, as an added bonus, you can keep your love life for when you’re actually in the mood.
I found this out in a strange way: by helping a lesbian couple have two boys – without having sex. Both times we did it at home; both times I went upstairs to do my business, then I’d hand over the full syringe (here’s the exact process, if you’d like to know), the two moms took it into the bedroom, and one applied it for the other. Although the biological mom was 34 and 37 for the two attempts, in both cases she got pregnant right away. Granted, sperm and eggs vary in strength and viability, and there’s a lot of luck involved. But done properly, making a baby doesn’t have to require either sex or medical intervention.
If you’re going to try this at home, here are a few tips to increase your chances:
- Try at the best times: You’ve probably read up on this, but in case you haven’t, here’s a fertility calculator and some methods of assessing your fertility. My baby mama and I also tried the saliva fertility tester, but, like the woman on this Berkeley parents’ thread, we weren’t sure how indicative it was, as we ended up conceiving despite bad “ferns.”
- Gather the sperm but don’t get in a panic: Not that you’re likely to dilly-dally, but you also don’t have to sprint to the bedroom. Sperm in a syringe will live for hours before they dry up (for our second child, it sat around for a half hour before being used). Interestingly, however, once sperm enters the cervix, their lifespan increases to 3 to 5 days (and they can swim 3mm per minute).
- Deliver it the right way When applying the sperm in the vagina, the goal is to slowly coat the surface of the cervix. From there, the sperm should make their way inside the cervix and eventually into the fallopian tubes where fertilization occurs. Here are some step-by-step instructions.
- Try to orgasm: Here’s where intimacy comes into play. Research shows that having an orgasm during insemination increases the chance for fertilization. The convulsing of the cervix causes it to dip down and collect more sperm, helping it get where it needs to go. Having the orgasm with your partner can also help turn what could be a clinical experience into a bonding one.