Sex and your Fertile Window
If you want to get pregnant, you might be wondering when the best time to have sex is, and how often you should have it to achieve a pregnancy.
Your fertile window can be generally thought as a 6 day period, with the last day being ovulation. Pregnancy chances increase when you have increased sex during this period, and it may result in pregnancy when it happens at least 2 days before ovulation.
It’s important for you to know when you ovulate – and you may want to begin to think about finding this specific day before you start trying. First of all, you shouldn’t be relying on your period-tracking app to tell you when you ovulate. Instead, you should be paying attention to signs your body is sending you.
A study has shown that tracking your cervical fluid changes across your cycle, can predict ovulation as well or better than basal body temperature and LH strips.
What you’re basically looking for is egg white cervical fluid, that will give you a tip that ovulation is set to occur. Cervical mucus will increase 5-6 days before ovulation and will reach its peak 2-3 days before ovulation.
Sperm and Sex
If a man has normal sperm quality, daily sex won’t impact sperm concentration and motility will reman normal. A study also indicated that men with a low sperm count, sperm concentration and motility may be highest with daily ejaculation.
If you were to space out sex, and your partner is ejaculating every other day, this wouldn’t negatively impact his sperm parameters. However, if he’s ejaculating every 5 days, sperm parameters at this point may be affected. By 10 days without ejaculating, sperm parameters begin to deteriorate.
The bottom line is, as long as sperm parameters are normal (and you probably wouldn’t find this out until after getting tested by a fertility clinic), having sex every 2-3 days in your fertile window can be beneficial.
One study showed that having sex daily, led to a higher chance of becoming pregnant in the menstrual cycle. That said, planning sex for fertility purposes may be emotionally taxing, so select an interval that works best for you and your mental health.
It’s important to note that even if you’re having sex daily in your fertile window, this may not lead to a pregnancy – and it may have you worrying about infertility. Keep in mind that 84% of couples get pregnant within 1 year of trying, while 92% get pregnant within 2 years of trying.
The 2 week wait time can be incredibly stressful. If you can’t talk to your partner or friends about this, there are certainly people you can talk to about to help you get you through this journey.
Furthermore, support also exists in helping improve your chances at pregnancy.
Optimizing natural fertility: a committee opinion. (2013). Fertility and Sterility, 100(3), pp.631-637.
Thurston, L., Abbara, A., & Dhillo, W. (2019). Investigation and management of subfertility. Journal Of Clinical Pathology, 72(9), 579-587. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205579