How Often Should We Have Sex to Get Pregnant?

Couple getting intimate in bed

When you take the plunge to start trying to conceive, you may wonder about how often should we have sex to get pregnant. From worrying about having too much to not enough, sex can become more of a fear than fun during the conception process.

Finding the Right Balance

Tossing the birth control can be exciting for couples as they start the baby making journey. Most couples without conception problems can expect to get pregnant within a year of starting.

However, if it takes longer than three to four months, some couples may start to worry about their sex lives. They question whether they are having too much sex (Is there such a thing? your husband may joke) or too little (We better have it every night, just to be sure! you tell yourself).

Have Frequent Sex During Fertile Times

Timing, not frequency, is what matters most when it comes to getting pregnant. Most women (but not all) are fertile around mid-cycle. If you have sex before your fertile window, it does not matter if you have it every night. Additionally, if you miss that window of opportunity, you could have sex three times a day and it would not make a difference. Having the most sex during your most fertile times is what will increase the chances of conceiving.

To figure out when your most fertile days of the month are, based on when you ovulate, you can do a number of things:

Women who have read Taking Charge of Your Fertility may also be familiar with checking basal body temperatures, checking cervical mucus, and keeping a personal fertility calendar.

Sex without Stress

Of course, monitoring fertility closely is not for everyone. If you are comfortable with taking a more relaxed approach to getting pregnant or are just starting to try, you might just want to have lots of sex, concentrated when you think you may be fertile (around mid-month for most women). More frequent sex in general simply ups your chances, especially if your menstrual cycles are not consistent enough to be tracked.

When to Limit Sex for Baby Making

Few doctors will encourage less sex while you are trying to conceive. But in a couple of cases, they might suggest using back-up methods or cutting down on sex.

Low sperm count is a male fertility issue that can affect chances of conception. If this is the case with your partner, your doctor might recommend limiting sex to every other day. Speak with your healthcare provider to get tested. Ask his/her advice before imposing a rigid sex schedule upon yourselves if you suspect low sperm count.

Another time that you may be told to limit sex is when you are being monitored for female fertility problems. Your doctor may want time for various drugs to begin working properly before you get pregnant, or he/she may want you to stay pregnancy-free in order to undergo a surgical treatment or other option that carries risks for a developing fetus.

How Often Should We Have Sex to Get Pregnant: Don't Forget the Romance

Even though the first few months of non-stop sex can be a second honeymoon, it can become a chore all too quickly. If you are no longer interested in having sex, you probably will not have as much, even if it is your fertile time--decreasing your odds of conceiving.

To keep yourself and your partner excited and interested, work to keep things romantic. Here are some tips for igniting some sexual sparks back into an over-sexed relationship:

  • Plan a "date" night. Get dressed up, go to the theater, and out to dinner. If you already have children, let them spend the night at a friend's house.
  • Light candles and buy some sensual massage oil. Give each other full body massages.
  • Save some money and plan a short weekend getaway. Even if you only go two hours away from home, taking the time to reconnect on an emotional and intellectual level will help you connect physically.
  • Incorporate new ideas into your normal bedroom routine. Use a feather duster to tickle your partner or buy some sexy lingerie to entice his senses.

Even if you are not up to having sex throughout the entire month, you do need to have frequent sex during your fertile times. Keep the pressure off during the rest of the month so that you can focus on having fun and making a baby together when the time is right. How often should we have sex to get pregnant is a question that really depends more on timing the encounters with your body's cycles than it does on the number of times you have intercourse throughout the month.

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How Often Should We Have Sex to Get Pregnant?