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Is it best to have sex just at time of ovulation or lots around that time?

(29 Posts)
Conundrumish Wed 16-Sep-09 21:33:23

Does anyone know what the current thinking on this is? With our last attempt at conception we tried to 'save' the sperm until ovulation was here, but is it best to just have sex a lot of the time around then?

JohnnyTwoHats Wed 16-Sep-09 21:40:41

Well I have heard one of our consultant gynaecologists 'sex talks' enough while working in clinic.
He maintains that you should have sex every other day, throughout your cycle.
He also says that although you may ovulate on average 14 days before your period, that's just it, it is an average and it might be on day 6 one month, day 20 another.

Most ob gyn that i know also laugh like drains when women ask them about those ovulation test strips.

JohnnyTwoHats Wed 16-Sep-09 21:44:25

Sperm 'goes off' if its stored too so its best to have sex every other day to keep it fresh, but not every day because it needs time to recover sperm count.

Also, if you are indulging in other stuff at the same time, eg blow jobs etc, make sure the first ejaculation is the one that goes inside you, as the subsequent ones will be lower in sperm.

Conundrumish Wed 16-Sep-09 21:56:08

Great - thanks, just what I needed to know. Now where is DH? grin

AcrylicAfternoons Wed 16-Sep-09 22:20:22

Yep agree with above. My consultant said to shag 3-4 times a week throughout your cycle. They consider anything less than this sub-optimium for baby making.

randomtask Thu 17-Sep-09 09:58:25

I found this out yesterday whilst reading about conception (came off pill a few days ago) and DH pretended to be disappointed. grin I pointed out that as parents already (I have an 8 year old DSS) how would we have the energy!!

Lulubee Thu 17-Sep-09 10:09:20

Really? The OV strips are a waste of time? Why is that?

randomtask Thu 17-Sep-09 10:14:08

I'm not an expert but according to the books I've been reading, by the time you've ovulated (and your stick says go) you've already missed a few days of opportunity.

Of course this does not mean that when I've tried the 'lots of sex' thing and that doesn't work, I won't be resorting to the sticks....

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 17-Sep-09 10:21:09

My friend was told to have sex ever other day to every 3 days throughout the cycle as lots of sex can increase sperm count. Also, means that you will use the 'saturation' method of ensuring there will always be sperm trying to get to the egg and thus not missing an opportunity to get to their destination if your ovulation day changes/swimmers are faster/slower that time.

lovechoc Sat 19-Sep-09 11:53:36

that's all very well, but who has the energy to have sex every other day, honestly??

Conundrumish Sun 20-Sep-09 22:27:42

I'm glad you said that lovechoc grin. By the time we have got three children in bed, I need a glass of wine and vast amounts of chocolate, not sex blush.

Meita Tue 22-Sep-09 12:27:03

I once read of a "conception plan" which went like this (assuming you have a 28 day cycle; if your cycle is shorter or longer, you'd need to adapt the plan accordingly):

- Start having sex every other night from CD8.
- Start using an ovulation predictor kit on CD10.
- Once you get a positive on your OPK, have sex that night and every day of the subsequent two days.

Assuming that you ovulate on CD14, this could mean:
Sex on CD8, 10
positive OPK on CD12 and CD13
Sex on CD12, 13, 14, (15)

So you'd have had sex 5-6 times, and you'd have optimal chances for conception, and even if the OPK doesn't work (they don't always) or you had ovulated earlier or later than usually, you wouldn't have missed a chance.

Anyone who is finding it hard to find the energy to have sex 3 times a week for the whole month might find this plan interesting. Good luck!

btw recent research (published 2009, so many "specialists" might not know of it yet) has demonstrated that daily sex actually IMPROVES sperm quality; and large scale statistics clearly demonstrate that the chances to conceive rise with every time you have sex inside your fertile window. It's better to have sex two nights in a row if you know you are fertile, compared to "saving" the good sperm for the day of ovulation...
oh and another btw: doctors of all kinds USUALLY (there are exceptions of course) don't take women who chart their basal temps and observe their CM seriously. But that simply doesn't mean that it doesn't work. Yeah if you had sex every other night all month long, that might increase your chances, but hey, who's seriously going to do that for 6 months or so? Pragmatically speaking, ANYTHING which helps you know "when" is helpful. And once you have a clear and sustained temperature rise, you can take a break - once per week or so (to keep the sperm fit) will be more than enough!

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 22-Sep-09 13:53:26

I think such conception plans like this (these are usually from the US) are not without problems of their own; it all puts too much pressure on the couple. The spectre of timed intercourse rears its ugly head and that in itself can cause harm to a relationship.

Ovulation is not an exact science either and a woman can ovulate earlier, later or not at all in any given cycle, These plans do not take these factors into account. I also think it such a plan was shown to a gynae it would be dismissed as counterproductive.

Meita Tue 22-Sep-09 14:23:11

attila, I totally agree about the timed-intercourse problematic.

But I do maintain that "having to have sex 3 times a week for the whole cycle" can equally amount to pressure, and in many cases simply not be pragmatic.

I again fully agree that ovulation is not an exact science and ovulation can be early, late or not at all.

And yet, ovulation can be securely established (after the fact) in most cases thanks to basal temperatures, and this does allow for taking a break. Rather than forcing yourself to have sex all the time "because the gynae said so". Also, this particular plan actually does take into account that ovulation might occur earlier or later.

Whether a plan like this works for any given couple is really an individual question. For some people, it might be best and easiest to have sex all the time. For others, it might be best to have sex when they feel like it. Again others might be happy with such a plan as described above. Gynaes putting it off as counterproductive do not take into account that things are different for different couples.

It just bugs me that doctors tell people that if they don't have sex all the time they are reducing their chances to conceive. Do they simply not trust women to understand what's happening? Or to accurately chart ther BBT? Because, a) most women can establish by charting BBT that ovulation has happened, and b) once this is the case, having sex all the time does NOT increase your chances. (you can still do it for fun though wink)

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 22-Sep-09 14:46:29

Hi Meita

Many gynaes do dismiss BBT charts as these can be unreliable as well (this is particularly so if irregular periods are a factor). A person can have a temp rise in the second half of their cycle when an egg has not been shed so charting as a method is not totally infallible. If a woman wants to chart then this is her choice but such people need to be aware of the potential pitfalls of doing so. I would never suggest a woman charts her temp if her cycle is irregular in nature.

Meita Tue 22-Sep-09 15:55:23

If there were a totally infallible way to get pg (or to know your fertile days) then I'd hope the knowledge were widespread. As you said yourself, Attila, this cycle and conception business is not an exact science. Gynaes dismiss BBT as unreliable, but do they have a reliable alternative to offer?

What should we conclude from this?
- That we need to have sex every other or every three days, all the time, without breaks, because otherwise we might be reducing our chances to conceive?
- Or that we can make do with the best instruments we do have, knowing they are not perfect, but at least they will allow us a chance without having to wear ourselves out?

I know this is not for everyone, for both reasons you mentioned - the pressure of timed intercourse, and the fact that it just doesn't work for everyone.
But for some people it might actually help to relieve pressure, ease minds (you don't have to feel bad for not having sex all the time when you are TTC), and even save money (especially when you have irregular cycles - you then have a pretty good idea if you are overdue or just ovulated late - less unnecessary pg tests).

At the end of the day, everyone has to decide for themselves what works and feels right.

Flibbertyjibbet Tue 22-Sep-09 16:11:53

I have often heard that an egg only lasts 12-24 hours and sperm several days.

It can take hours or a full day for sperm to travel up to meet the egg.

So if you have sex on the day of, or after ovulation, you have missed that month.

My doctor told me to have sex every day or every other day from the end of my period up till ovulation. that way as the sperm can last a few days, there will always be a supply lurking in wait to leap on the egg as soon as it is released from the ovary.

I have always thought those ovulation kits and strips to be a waste of money as they tell you when you are ovulating which is too late to have the most effective sex.

They are good for charting though so you would know what days to have sex in advance of iyswim.

I have a lot of the egg white stuff which comes several days before the ovulation pains... its generally accepted that ewcm is the best time to have sex in order to get pregnant, so it confirms what my doc said about having sex BEFORE ovulation.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 22-Sep-09 16:15:09

Hi Meita

If a woman has consistently irregular cycles she is less likely to ovulate regularly, if at all (this was certainly my experience). In these specific circs charting is not adviseable to do although I can see why some choose to do so (the feeling of trying to do something etc).

Re your comment:-
"At the end of the day, everyone has to decide for themselves what works and feels right"

I would agree fully with your last sentence.

FertilityFairy Tue 22-Sep-09 19:44:05

Hi Pinkpanettone

I work in the field and this is what I think based on several years experience of working with couples who are TTC. Get to know your cervical fluid. Assuming that you have 2/3 days where you see egg white cervical fluid (more if you are lucky) have sex on every day that you see it. The most important day to have sex is that last day of cervical fluid (which of course is difficult to tell in advance, but you might notice a pattern if you make a note of it for a couple of months). Most pregnancies result from sex which took place 1-2 days BEFORE ovulation. Unless your partner has a reduced sperm count there is no reason to think he should not be able to ejaculate safely every day during your fertile phase. You don't need to store it up. In fact he needs to make sure he ejaculates every 3 days throughout your cycle (he can DIY!) to keep his sperm fresh and young. There is no need for BBT charts necessarily but they can be helpful in diagnosing some fertility problems if it's taking a while to conceive. Even women with irregular cycles can use this cervical fluid method because it's not about what day of your cycle you are on or what your temperature is - it's about have you seen fertile cervical fluid today? If so, go to bed! And when you get there you are more likely to have success with the missionary position or a rear entry position. Lube is banned. Good luck!

nymphadora Tue 22-Sep-09 19:53:31

I have never noticed cervical fluid come can someone enlighten me. TMI welcome grin

FertilityFairy Tue 22-Sep-09 20:32:49

Hiya nymphadora - I won't try and give a detailed explanation here because you can find it easily on the www. What I would say is that the best time to notice it is after you have opened your bowels so if you have ever noticed clear stretchy stuff after a poo that's what it is! A great website to show you amazing photos of it is Having said all that some women don't produce much of it or any at all and if you don't getting pregnant is going to be more difficult though not impossible. Another great resource is Toni Weschler's book Taking Charge of Your Fertility - she is the cervical fluid goddess!

Conundrumish Tue 22-Sep-09 23:44:50

Thanks all for your halpful replies. FertilityFairy - 'lube is banned' - does that include pre-seed?

FertilityFairy Wed 23-Sep-09 22:34:01

Hi again - sorry reply took so long. No pre-seed is fine. It's the only lube on the market that I am aware of that is conception friendly. All the others make life v difficult for sperm.

Conundrumish Thu 24-Sep-09 09:33:03

Thanks Fertilityfairy (& phew - used it last time)

mewbilly Thu 24-Sep-09 18:02:38

Hi, on the subject of preseed - can I just ask is it best to use it when TTC regardless of whether you need lube or not?
Am TTC #2 and have been looking into it but not quite sure whether to use it or not as I don't usually use lube but am willing to use anything that will help the process along!

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