One of the most common questions I’ve had from friends trying to get pregnant for the first time is how often they need to have sex, with many believing that they have to have sex every single day to get pregnant. The reality is, having sex every single day (whilst it may be enjoyable!) could also put quite a lot of unnecessary pressure on you and your partner. If you are trying to get conceive, here’s what you need to know about when and how often to have sex.
When should we have sex?
The best time to have sex in order to successfully conceive is around the time you are ovulating. This is the period of your menstrual cycle where your eggs are released and having sex during this time gives your body the best odds of your partner’s sperm successfully meeting one of your eggs and going on to be fertilised.
Calculating your ‘ovulation window’ or the dates when you are likely to ovulate is not an exact science and therefore you may want to ensure you have sex around the estimated dates (i.e just before, during and just after your predicted ovulation period) in order to improve your chances.
There are many scientific ways you can use to can track your ovulation dates including:
- Tracking your periods using an app or journal
- Taking ovulation tests / strips (that look out for hormone levels in your urine)
- Basal temperature tracking – to identify any changes in body temperature that may suggest your body is about to ovulate.
Isn’t having sex every day the best way to get pregnant?
Some couples may decide that tracking ovulation dates is too stressful or it may be quite difficult to identity trends if your periods are irregular. In these circumstances, some couples decide to have sex every single day in the home that this ‘scattergun’ style approach will guarantee a positive result – however this isn’t always the case!
Having sex every single day can actually be quite stressful, particularly if you don’t naturally have a high libido. This approach could also put intense amounts of pressure on you and your partner to ‘perform’ or be successful – so much so that sex becomes more of a military exercise than an affectionate, intimate affair.
Stress levels actually can actually have a negative impact on your ability to conceive. Have sex too frequently, and it could actually reduce the amount of healthy sperm that is being released, particularly if your partner has fertility issues such as a low sperm count.
How often should we have sex?
Instead of tracking and measuring for your ovulation window, you may decide to simply have sex ‘regularly’ instead. Whilst you may personally be able to identify some of the physical signs of ovulation, removing the pressure of tracking and simply having sex every other day or so, can take away some of the pressure and help you at least enjoy your baby making process! It also allows you to maintain the spontaneity of your regular sex life, helping you both feel more calm and relaxed in the process.
How long it takes to conceive will vary from one couple to the next; so be patient. Not everyone is lucky enough to conceive first time. Try to enjoy the experience, as your opportunities for uninterrupted time with your partner is likely to greatly diminish once a baby arrives!