Timing Intercourse to Get Pregnant
Remember learning about the birds-and-the-bees? It seemed so simple. That story made it sound like whenever you wanted to get pregnant – you have intercourse – and voila! A baby would be born.
Alas, it’s not that simple after all. Along with the birds-and-the-bees comes your own menstrual cycle – which can be plus-or-minus a few days from the typical, 28-day standard. Then, there’s the matter of ovulation – which typically occurs on day 14, but can happen sooner or later, depending on your personal menstrual cycle.
And, the plot thickens…
Tips for Timing Intercourse so You Get Pregnant at Home
If you’re trying to get pregnant, we recommend starting with, 7 Preconception Tips, which covers the basics. Also, schedule an appointment with your OB and let her know you’re ready to conceive. She’ll review your chart and ask questions, verifying you don’t have any symptoms indicating an infertility factor.
Once you’ve done all that, it’s time to have sex at the right times for you in order to increase your chances of conception.
Start charting your cycle
In the “old days,” we had women mark calendars for a few months – charting their periods – to learn about their cycle. Now, smartphone apps make it easier than ever. Visit your app store of choice and search “Fertility Apps”for an array of free options. Glow is one of our favorites; it’s free and we appreciate that it encourages men become more active in their own fertility health.
In addition to helping you track your period to determine the average length of your fertility cycle, fertility apps also identify your most fertile window.
Ovulation is only a small part of the equation
It’s true that you need to ovulate to get pregnant. However, that’s only a small part of the equation. It’s also true that the female egg only “lives” for about 12- to 24-hours before being reabsorbed into the body. Compare that with the fact that sperm can live an average of 72-hours (and some live much longer than that), and you can see that having sex on the day you ovulate seriously limits the amount of sperm available for your egg.
Instead, we recommend having sex a few days before you’re scheduled to ovulate. If your partner has a healthy libido and seems to be virile, have intercourse daily from the few days before you ovulate, through the day that you ovulate and a day or two afterwards. If he’s been diagnosed with a low sperm count, we recommend having sex every-other-day, so you optimize the amount of sperm waiting to meet the egg.
Try this for three to six months
If you’re 35-years or younger, try timing intercourse at home for at least three to six months. Timing intercourse at home should be paired with a healthy diet and lifestyle, which further increases your chances of conceiving. After six months, begin investing in a home ovulation predictor kit (OPK). These over-the-counter kits are incredibly accurate at pinpointing your fertile window. If a full year goes by without a single pregnancy, seek a referral to a fertility specialist to begin ruling out infertility factors.
If you’re 36-years or older, we recommend using an OPK from the start so you don’t waste precious time. After the six-month mark, contact a fertility specialist to optimize your chances of getting pregnant while you’re still fertile.
Are you struggling to conceive at home – despite your accurate timing? Schedule an appointment with us here at RRC and we’ll uncover the reason why.
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RRC has over 200 years of combined experience. As a leading reproductive health, infertility, and in-vitro fertilization (or IVF) center based in Kansas City, we're proud to have the highest level of expertise available to our patients.