How often should you have sex to get pregnant?

woman lying on bed

How Often Should You Have Sex to Get Pregnant?

When you’re ready to conceive, you want to maximize your chances each cycle. Some couples wonder if they should be having sex every day, while others worry less frequent sex might jeopardize their efforts. So what’s the optimal pattern for the best fertility odds? Here’s a look at the research and recommendations.

Why Frequency Matters

More frequent sex does help increase opportunities for sperm and egg to meet. But you also want sperm count and quality to be optimized every time. That’s why striking the right balance is key. Too much or too little sex can be counterproductive.

Here are some guiding principles on frequency:

  • Sperm needs time to regenerate for peak fertility – at least 24-48 hours between ejaculations.
  • Too much sex can deplete sperm counts.
  • Ovulation day and the preceding days require well-timed, quality sperm.
  • Having sex again too long after ovulation provides no benefit.
  • Stress and pressure around sex daily can also lower fertility.

With these factors in mind, what frequency maximizes your odds while keeping sex relaxed and enjoyable?

Recommended Frequency From Experts

Most doctors and fertility experts agree that having sex every 2-3 days is an effective schedule for couples with healthy fertility trying to conceive naturally.

Having sex once per day is fine and likely still provides sufficient sperm. But there’s rarely a need to have sex multiple times in a day – the additional encounters likely won’t improve your chances much more.

And there’s no evidence that abstaining for several days makes pregnancy more likely to happen your next time, especially for men with adequate sperm concentration.

How Often to Time It With Ovulation

Your most fertile window spans about 6 days each cycle:

  • Ovulation day
  • 5 days prior to ovulation
  • 12-24 hours after ovulation

So you want to maximize frequency of sex during your pre-ovulation week and ovulation itself. Having sex once on each of the 3 days before ovulation, as well as the day of ovulation, provides the optimal chances. Additional times per week help, too.

Before and after the fertile period, every 2-3 days is sufficient. Don’t exhaust yourselves trying too often the rest of the cycle!

Listen to Your Doctor’s Guidance

Always talk to your OBGYN about what’s right for your unique case. If you have fertility obstacles like diminished ovarian reserve or low sperm count, they may advise more or less frequent sex. Be open about your patterns so they can adjust guidance accordingly.

For the healthiest sperm, it’s best for the male partner to avoid ejaculation for 2-5 days leading up to your most fertile days. Plan your pattern strategically.

Potential Signs of Excessive Frequency

Having sex excessively frequently, like multiple times for several days in a row, can sometimes manifest in the following ways:

  • Soreness and pain for the woman
  • Semen volume depletions for the man
  • Increased frustration and stress
  • Lack of sleep or constant fatigue

These signs suggest it’s wise to take a day or two break and get back into the every 2-3 day pattern during the fertile window.

The Takeaway

For most couples hoping to conceive naturally, aiming to have sex every 2-3 days, and daily during your 3-5 day fertility window surrounding ovulation, provides optimal chances while keeping intimacy enjoyable and sperm quality high. But don’t worry if life’s demands interfere once in a while – just pick back up when you can. Patience, support for each other, and focusing on overall health goes a long way.

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