If you’re trying to conceive with a male partner (and without IUI or IVF), you may be wondering whether there’s a magic number for just how often you should have intercourse during your fertile window to get pregnant.
Does having more sex increase chances pregnancy?
The general rule is that, yes, more sex is better – but there’s a limit to that.
A fertile window refresher
Your fertile window generally begins anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after the end of a period (depending on the length and consistency of your cycle and any outside influencers like stress or malnutrition), and ends one day after ovulation. For someone with a 28-day cycle, this leaves about two weeks between the end of your fertile window and the start of the next expected period.
Ovia marks your fertile window on your in-app calendar. Although the exact date of ovulation is tough to pinpoint, you can assume that it’s usually the second to last day of your fertile window.
Sex during ovulation
To maximize your chances of getting pregnant, you should be having sex as often as you like during your fertile window, which is the 4-5 days approaching ovulation and the 1 day following it. Sex during the rest of your cycle, including the luteal phase and your period, is highly unlikely to result in pregnancy, but if you’re into it anyway, you should go for it!
The more, the merrier
Every time you have intercourse, new sperm is introduced into your vaginal canal – sperm that could potentially fertilize your egg – so more sex typically creates more chances for conception. Go at it multiple times a day during your fertile window if you’re up for it.
In related news: It’s a myth that frequent ejaculation reduces a man’s sperm count or potency, so don’t be worried that a lot of sex will drain your male partner – although his energy is a different story than his sperm.
How much sex is too much?
You should have sex as often as you want during your fertile window. However, the key word there is “want.” You shouldn’t be having so much sex that it becomes a negative thing. You shouldn’t be in pain, dreading it, or feeling like it’s a chore without any fun involved. If it reaches that point, you may end up having less sex, which could reduce your chances of conceiving.
Be open and honest with your partner about sex while you’re trying to get pregnant, and try not to feel too much pressure. Once you do conceive, remember that one-on-one moments with your partner are soon to be limited, so savor that time alone together while you have it!
- Murcia-Lora, José María; Esparza-Encina, María Luisa. “The Fertile Window and Biomarkers: A Review and Analysis of Normal Ovulation Cycles.” Persona y Bioética. Vol. 15 Issue 2, p133-148. 16p. Web. July-December 2011.
- Stanford JB, Dunson DB. “Effects of sexual intercourse patterns in time to pregnancy studies.” American Journal of Epidemiology. 165(9):1088-95. Web. 5/1/2007.