How Often Should Couples Have Sex To Get Pregnant?

2018.05.11 60

How often should you have sex when trying to conceive? And when should you have sex if you want to get pregnant? These are common questions couples have when they decide they want to have a baby. While getting pregnant isn't as easy as you may have been told as a teenager (sex education classes tend to teach teens that you'll conceive just by looking at a boy), it's also not that complicated either.

 Timing sex to get pregnant is the focus of most couples who are trying to conceive. If you don't have sex during your fertile window, you can't get pregnant. (Your fertile window is the two to three days before you ovulate.) However, if you have sex often enough, timing sex for ovulation may not be necessary. How it's gonna work out your case, read on HappyMom.Life

When Is the Best Time to Have Sex to Get Pregnant?

The best time to get pregnant is the two to three days right before ovulation. On average, this occurs sometime around days 12 and 13 of your cycle, but it varies from woman to woman. It's possible to have your most fertile window as early as day 8 and 9, or as late as days 19 and 20. While the three days before you ovulate are your most fertile, you're also able to get pregnant if you have sex up to five days before you ovulate. This is because sperm can live up to five days in the female reproductive tract.

The egg that ovulates is only able to be fertilized for 12 to 24 hours after it's released from the ovary. But if you've had sex within the past five days, some sperm should be already waiting and ready to fertilize the egg. You've got one week every month when sex can lead to pregnancy. Your high school sex ed teacher lied to you. Sex doesn't lead to pregnancy every time.

How Can You Know the Best Time to Get Pregnant?

Thankfully, your ovulation day doesn't need to remain a mystery. There are many methods of ovulation detection available, but here are the four most popular.

  • Ovulation predictor tests: These work a lot like pregnancy tests, except they tell you when you're ovulating (and not when you're pregnant.) They come as test sticks (like a pregnancy test) and test strips (where you need to pee into a cup and then dip the test strip into the collected urine.) There are also digital ovulation predictor tests. At-home ovulation tests detect the hormone LH in your urine. LH surges just before you ovulate, so when the test reads positive, this indicates your body is attempting to trigger the egg to be released from the ovary. When LH is surging, this is the best time to get pregnant.

  •  Basal body temperature charting: This requires taking your temperature every morning before you get up in the morning. Your basal body temperature is your body's temperature at complete rest. Your hormone levels affect your body temperature.In particular, the hormone progesterone raises your body temperature. Progesterone increases after ovulation, so when your basal body temperature rises and remains high for at least a few days, you know that you ovulated the day before the rise.

  • Tracking your cervical mucus: Your vaginal discharge changes when you're approaching ovulation. It becomes stretchy and more mucus like. When it resembles raw egg whites, you're very, very fertile!

  • Fertility calendar apps: There are many online and smartphone apps that track your cycles. The more accurate ones require you to input your basal body temperature or cervical mucus changes, but even a simple app can help you pinpoint your most fertile days (if your periods are regular.)

All you need to do is tell the app when you get your period. Over a few months, the app will learn your cycle, and tell you when you're most likely to be ovulating. Have sex during the indicated days, and as long as everything is healthy fertility wise, you're likely to conceive within a few months.

Should You Have Sex Every Day?

Some couples will pull out all the stops and try to have sex every day. They just don't want the chance of missing ovulation. While this works for some, if it takes you longer than a month or two to get pregnant, this sex regimen can get tiresome quickly. Plus, it's not necessary.

There are two methods for timing sex for pregnancy: there's the "spread the wealth" method, and the "ready, aim, fire" approach. How often you should have sex depends on which method you prefer to use, and whether or not there are any male factor infertility issues, such as sperm count problems.

Does How You Have Sex Matter?

With all this discussion on when and how often to have sex to get pregnant, you may also be wondering if how you have sex matters. Does sexual pleasure matter? Studies have found that sexual pleasure can improve sperm counts, and there is a theory that female orgasm might help boost the odds of conception. That said, it's not required to get pregnant. You can have terrible sex and still conceive.

One thing you should pay attention to is the lubricant you use (if you use any). Be sure to choose a sperm-friendly lube, because many of the regular lubricants can damage sperm. (Not enough to prevent pregnancy, but enough that you wouldn't want to use them if you were trying to conceive.)

Photo Credit: Pinterest

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