October 1, 2014
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Fertility

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Fertility and Your Sex Life

Having sex to get pregnant

Having sex to get pregnant

To get pregnant, we all know that a man's sperm must meet a woman's egg. For 95% of healthy people under 35 years old, this is a relatively easy process and pregnancy can usually result within one year of unprotected sex. For other couples, having sex to get pregnant may not be as easy as they thought, and they may need help through fertility treatments to have a baby.

The advances in fertility treatments are helping many couples conceive, but you should remember that many of these treatments require you to have sex to get pregnant. And the timing of the sex is important - the greatest chance of becoming pregnant occurs when you have sex during the most fertile time of a woman's menstrual cycle, which is during ovulation (when an egg is released from a woman's ovary).

An egg lives for only about 24 hours after it is released, so it is important to have sex during ovulation and the time around ovulation. Many couples have difficulty becoming pregnant because they are not having enough regular sex when the woman is ovulating. Having sex when the woman most fertile can help a couple's chances of becoming pregnant.

The most fertile time for a woman starts about 2 days before the ovulation day and ends about 2 days after the ovulation day. Figure out your most fertile time by keeping track of the average length of your menstrual cycle for a few months. The length of your menstrual cycle is the number of days from the first day of one period to the day before the next period begins.

To predict your ovulation day, count back 14 days from the start of your period. Since each woman is unique and may not have regular cycle lengths, it can be difficult to know the exact day of ovulation. The ovulation day you calculate is the day that ovulation will most likely occur, plus or minus 2 days. So, the most fertile time and the time to have sex is 2 days before the ovulation day and up to 2 days after this day.

This method can give you an idea of when ovulation occurs so that you know when to have sex.

During this fertile time, have sex every other day. Healthy sperm can live up to 5 days in a woman's reproductive tract, so having sex daily is not necessary. In fact, having sex too often can reduce a man's sperm count.

The most important action you can take while trying to get pregnant is to have sex regularly, especially around the time of ovulation. And remember to continue having sex even during non-ovulation times so that your sex life remains healthy and doesn't become mechanical or a scheduled "chore."

For more information on fertility clinics in your area, use our clinic locator.

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