A study ends the myth of raising legs after intercourse to get pregnant

Posture: Lying on her back, with her legs elevated when you ejaculate does not help her get pregnant.

The most thorough study on the subject to date says that sperm do not fall off when she gets out of bed, so this posture is unlikely to do any good.

We have seen it in film and television, but the myth comes from far behind: It has been passed down from generation to generation to form part of the collective imagination. The idea is that, in this position, the semen does not come out of the vagina and we give the spermatozoa time to reach the ovum.

That same theory is applied in fertility consultations around the world after artificial inseminations. There are even small studies that support that 15 minutes of rest improves Intra-Uterine Insemination (a fertility treatment that involves injecting sperm directly into a woman’s uterus) success rates, there by leading to pregnancy. Now a trial with 479 women and nearly 2,000 cycles of Intra-Uterine Insemination has shown that there are no grounds for immobilization of patients.

Joukje van Rijswijk and her colleagues at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam randomly assigned one of two options to these women: either rest for 15 minutes or immediately get out of bed and move freely after Intra-Uterine Insemination. Physicians found a success rate of 32% for immobilized women, while 40% of the patients who moved immediately became pregnant.

“In our view, immobilization after Intra-Uterine Insemination does not have a positive effect on pregnancy rates,” says van Rijswijk.

“There is no reason why patients should remain immobilized after treatment.” However, the research does not draw conclusions about the natural conception because it has focused on the artificial one.

The myth could arise from our poor understanding of the female anatomy: The uterus and vagina are not directly aligned, as we saw in the frontal diagrams in school; are almost perpendicular.


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