When and How Often to Have Sex to Get Pregnant

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Verywell / Jessica Olah

If you want to get pregnant faster, you may be concerned about when you should have sex, how often you have sex, and whether there are factors that can increase or decrease your chances of getting pregnant each month.

It’s important to know that you can get pregnant at any time during your menstrual cycle, even if you’re already menstruating.This is one of the reasons that birth control methods like the “rhythm method” are not very reliable at preventing pregnancy.

Although having unprotected sex doesn’t always result in pregnancy, you can get pregnant if you only have sex once. In general, fertility declines with age, and teenagers are more likely to get pregnant with just one or a few times of sex than older women.If you’re having a hard time getting pregnant, there are a few things to know that can help you maximize your chances.

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When are you most likely to get pregnant?

If you have sex often enough and if you don’t urgently want to get pregnant, then strategizing sex timing may not be necessary. But knowing the best time to have sex can help if you want to get pregnant early.

Fertile window

You have one week per month when sex is most likely to lead to pregnancy. This is considered your fertile window and it starts two to three days before you ovulate. The best chance of getting pregnant is on the days just before ovulation.

Ovulation and fertilization

Ovulation usually occurs around day 12 to day 14 of a 28-day cycle, but it varies from woman to woman based on the length of the cycle and can even vary from cycle to cycle. You may have a better chance of conceiving as early as day 8 and 9 if you have a shorter cycle, or as late as day 19 and 20 with a longer cycle, for example.

An ovulated egg can only be fertilized for 12 to 24 hours after being released from the ovary, but with the help of cervical mucus, sperm can live up to five days in a woman’s reproductive tract. Since it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint exactly when you ovulate, having sex before you ovulate (rather than after) can help increase your chances of conceiving by getting your sperm ready and waiting for the egg.

Is day 14 your most fertile day?

You may have heard that day 14 of your cycle is when you ovulate. As a result, many women have sex on days 11, 12, and 13 thinking that this will give them the best chance of conceiving. But many women don’t ovulate on day 14. Normal ovulation can occur as early as day 10 and as late as day 20. If you have irregular cycles, ovulation may occur. out later.

Cervical mucus

Research says that the best day to have sex is the day you notice your most fertile cervical mucus.Fertile cervical mucus is a vaginal discharge that resembles raw egg whites. This type of discharge is healthy and normal, and it usually shows up in the days before ovulation. Once you know what to look for, it’s easy to spot.

If you have discharge that has a pungent odor or is itchy, you may have an infection. You should see your doctor.

Cervical mucus improves sperm motility (move) and helps them survive.The more sperm that survive and travel to the fallopian tube, where your egg is released, the more likely it is to fertilize.


Feeling relaxed and stress-free can increase your chances of getting pregnant, but, as with most other “rules,” this isn’t necessarily the case. Have you ever noticed that your sex drive is stronger at certain times of the month? This is not random. The same hormones that rise just before ovulation also boost your sex drive.

Sexual pleasure can increase your chances of getting pregnant, but that doesn’t mean you need to be concerned that each time it’s sex is the hottest lovemaking ever. The theory that a woman’s orgasm can increase conception rates may be wishful thinking.

This theory ignores the physiological fact that female arousal creates the vagina, which actually lifts the cervical-uterine area away from the ejaculated semen.That said, having an orgasm doesn’t necessitate pregnancy. You can have terrible sex and still conceive.

Ovulation tracking

You can track ovulation based on a calendar, and some tools use physiological changes such as basal body temperature, cervical mucus, or hormone levels to track ovulation signs. Here are some methods you can consider.

Use ovulation predictor tests

Ovulation prediction tests work like pregnancy tests, except they tell you when you’re likely to ovulate. They come in the form of test strips or test strips that react with your urine. To use, you can urinate into a cup and then dip the test strip in the collected urine. You will get your results based on color change or digital reading.

At-home ovulation tests detect luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. LH rises just before you ovulate, so when the test results come back positive, this indicates your body is trying to trigger ovulation from your ovaries and perhaps this is the optimal time for you to get pregnant. pregnant.

Body temperature chart

basal body temperature chart Ask to take your temperature every morning before you wake up. Your basal body temperature is your body temperature at complete rest, and your hormone levels affect this temperature.

The hormone progesterone raises your body temperature. Progesterone goes up after ovulation, so when your basal body temperature rises and stays high for at least a few days, this means you may be ovulating just before you observe your ovulation. increase.

Monitor cervical mucus

When you check your cervical mucus, you’re monitoring your vaginal discharge. Your vaginal discharge changes throughout the cycle and takes on distinct characteristics when you’re about to ovulate as it becomes more stretchy and mucus-like. When it resembles raw egg whites, you’re probably at your most fertile time of the month.

Using a saliva test

The salivary fermentation test is an at-home test that uses a microscope to examine a sample of saliva. A fermentation test can be helpful for some women and difficult to interpret for others. A fermenting pattern, which appears like frost under the microscope, can also be a sign of ovulation.

Use fertility apps

There are many online and smartphone apps that track ovulation. More accurate results require you to enter your basal body temperature or change your cervical mucus, but even a simple app can help you determine which days are most fertile if you’re on your period. yours regularly. You need to enter when you get your period so the app will learn your cycle and let you know when you’re most likely to ovulate.

Sexual frequency

How often you should have sex depends on your own personal preference as a couple, and whether there are any male infertility issues, such as sperm count problems. coincide.

Experts recommend that you should not have sex more than once a day. It may seem like having more sex increases your chances of getting pregnant, but in fact, having sex too often can reduce healthy sperm counts.

Have sex all month

While some women feel empowered when it comes to tracking ovulation, others just feel anxious and overwhelmed by it all. Whichever ovulation tracking method you choose — checking your temperature every morning, using an ovulation detection strip, testing your saliva for fermentation, testing your cervical mucus, or all of the above — Paying attention to your cycle and signs of ovulation can be mentally exhausting.

If having sex at the time of ovulation causes anxiety, you may just be relying on regular timed sex. In these cases, experts recommend having sex weekly, every other day. Under this schedule, you’re bound to have sex at least once during your fertile period, even if you’re not tracking your cycle.

Try to have sex at least three to four times a week, throughout your cycle. It is theorized that semen may be useful to a developing embryo. This means that having sex after ovulation and after you have actually conceived can help your pregnancy “stick”. Another good reason to have more sex.

Sex during conception

If you’re happy to take the time to track and detect ovulation, then you can be sure to have sex during your most fertile time.

If your sperm count is normal or healthy, it’s best to have sex every day and:

  • Have fertile cervical mucus
  • Have a positive ovulation detection test
  • Positive salivary fermentation test

If you chart your basal body temperature, you can get an approximate date of when you ovulate each month—but only after the fact. In this case, you should have sex for three days before you are expected to ovulate and possibly on the day you are expected to ovulate.

However, you should still have sex throughout your cycle, just to keep sperm quality at its peak. You should also make time to enjoy sex without the burden of having a baby.

Coping with low sperm count

If sperm count is normal or at a lower level, the general recommendation is to have sex every other day during conception.

For example, if on Monday you get your first positive ovulation predictor test result, or you see fertile cervical mucus, you should have sex on Monday, skip Tuesday, and then again. on Wednesday, skipping Thursday and again on Friday. The mid-day interval will help replenish the sperm supply, which can increase the chances of pregnancy.

Other opinions

Some fertility treatment studies have shown a slight increase in pregnancy rates when women lie on their backs after IVF.However, this does not generalize to sex.

One thing you should pay attention to is the lubricant you use if you use any. Make sure you choose a sperm-friendly lubricant as many common lubricants can damage sperm.

A very good word

When you want to get pregnant, it’s easy to complicate things. It’s true that you’re more likely to conceive faster if you have sex during your childbearing years, but it’s also true that if you and your partner are healthy and have regular sex all month, eventually. You can also get pregnant.

There is a lot of pressure online in fertility groups to use as many ovulation tracking methods as possible. Tracking your cycle can be helpful, productive, and even enjoyable, but it can also be stressful. Do what’s best for you and your partner. If you don’t get pregnant after trying for a year (or after six months, if you’re over 35), see your doctor.

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