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When's the best time to get pregnant? Use our interactive ovulation calculator to work out when you're most fertile and most likely to conceive.

How long does it take for a man to produce more sperm?

(25 Posts)
Amberc Thu 08-Oct-09 08:57:36


TTC without success at the moment so have bought a fertility monitor. It says that I am at peak fertility today but my partner and I had sex two days ago. Will his body have produced more sperm by now? My doctor said it takes 48 hours so have sex every three days but other websites say have sex every other day - confused and don't want to waste my peak fertility day!

Divvy Thu 08-Oct-09 09:00:27

24 hours I think, do it today! And tomorrow! Every other day or every day if his sperm count is ok.

Good luck

Amberc Thu 08-Oct-09 09:25:58

And how long does sperm live in a woman's body? Again I have heard lots of conflicting answers 48 hours says one, 5 days says another!

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 08-Oct-09 09:28:09


Would ask how long you have been ttc for and how old you are.

Your doc is right; sex every two to three days throughout the cycle is fine.

Would also rethink using the fertility monitor as this can put pressure on you in its own right. Usage of these is also not without problems; they can give misleading results.

Ovulation is not an exact science and a woman can ovulate earlier, later or not at all in any given cycle.

Amberc Thu 08-Oct-09 09:33:41

Hi Attila, I am nearly 37 and have been trying for 8 months (alrady have one DC aged 15 months). The reason I got the monitor is because I have wildly irregular periods. I tried monitoring cervical mucous but never seemed to get the egg white that I was looking for. Clearly with irregular peiods the BBT methos will not work either. I have had my hormones checked and all OK so I figured I wasn't having sex at the correct times.

Divvy Thu 08-Oct-09 10:33:15

I found that every 2-3 days wasnt enough for us to catch the egg, and did a big every day for 4 days leading up to O and for 2 days after.

goingtohaveagoodnightssleep Thu 08-Oct-09 11:01:10

Amber I tried every other day for a few days before and after ov.

abdnhiker Thu 08-Oct-09 11:15:50

We always went for the every day method for our two and my periods are also irregular so we ended up having daily sex for 10+ days each time we did actually concieve. I'd say unless you're concerned with sperm counts, every day should be fine, and every other day would be ideal. Fingers crossed for you!

And sperm might live for 5 days but I think the health and swimming ability of the sperm would decrease with time...

neenz Thu 08-Oct-09 12:11:06

We did it every day leading up to OV to conceive the DTs, I think every day is fine.

Don't BBT methods work when you have an irregular cycle? I thought monitoring your temps was a sure way of knowing when and if you OV. Am I wrong?

pureeandpearls Thu 08-Oct-09 12:11:31

The book I had (Taking Charge of Your Fertility- can't remember who by) said every other day to get best quality sperm and because sperm survives several days (icky thought but anyway)every other day is OK......although a friend of mine did it every day for an entire month and it worked first cycle but her husband could barely speak to her, so not sure that's the way to go.

Amberc Thu 08-Oct-09 13:51:26

Right ho thanks all - will go for every other day as I don't think my other half as the energy for every day! The BBT method won't work for irregular cycles as you are using the info you gather to predict when you ovulate as your temp gos up after you ovulate not before and then it's too late.

spongebrainmaternitypants Thu 08-Oct-09 14:26:56

We did every other day too, and every day when we were feeling particularly energetic! But this was when we were childless - god knows if we could manage that now!

I would second the advice to ditch the monitoring.

Good luck smile.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 08-Oct-09 14:34:25

Hi Amber,

Its not just about having sex "at the right time". Conception does not work like that at all. Timing of intercourse is a route you DO NOT want to go down as it can put pressure on the relationship, please don't do this!!. Would suggest you make love when you both feel like it and forget all about ovulation time as you'll likely get the date wrong. With irregular periods anyway you are less likely to be ovulating regularly, if at all.

You should actually consider asking for a referral to a gynae at a subfertility unit; they generally like to see women over the age of 35 after six months of ttc without success.

OPK monitors are particularly useless as well when it comes to irregular periods. These measure LH. These kits also work on two mileading principles namely that there is only one rise in LH every month and that such a rise is followed by ovulation. Both are not true. Also if PCO is present you can get multiple positive results and the test is misleading. Many women with PCO also have higher than average levels of LH. I would urge you to stop using this forthwith and seek further help and tests from a gynae. Do not take NO for an answer from the GP.

My guess as well for what its worth is that something was missed on your hormone tests. When were your hormone levels tested exactly?. What levels were tested and on what days?. That is important too. Any result over six months should be discounted.

They should be checking to see if a condition called polycystic ovaries is behind the irregularity of periods (it is a common cause of such problems). Your LH and FSH levels should be compared against each other on day 2. If the GP did not do that originally then the test result is meaningless. Another possible reason is thyroid imbalance; again this should be checked for via blood tests.

ABetaDad Thu 08-Oct-09 14:43:44

Amberc - it takes a man about 2.5 months to produce a new sperm cell from new but of course he has sperms cells at diferent stages of development in his testes all the time as it is a continuous process.

However, I think you are talking about how long you should leave between ejaculations - which is a different thing.

The IVF clinic told me that 2 days was the best way to produce an optimally fresh sperm sample both in terms of volume and count. A man can of course ejaculate much more often than that but the volume and sperm count falls with more frequent ejaculation.

It is not necessary to have sex every day as sperm live for several days inside the woman and it can be conterproductive to do it every day for months on end (even if just around ovulation) because it can be very emotionally draining. Definitely ditch the monitor and just spread regular sex across the whole month so it seems more natural and spontaneous. If my own experience is anything to go by, your DH will enjoy that much more and you will get less stressed.

Good luck. Despite failed IVF we had two children naturally when we stopped TTC.

DuelingFANGo Thu 08-Oct-09 14:52:06

...though as an aside not everyone who stops TTC will suddenly get pregnant. It happens, yes, but stopping doesn't always = relaxing and doesn't always = pregnancy.

Only saying this because it's dangerously close to telling someone to 'just relax' and there's nothing worse when you've been TTC for a long time.

neenz Thu 08-Oct-09 15:39:49

Amber, yeah I can see why BBT is no good when you are trying to predict ovulation!

What I do is take my temps each day and have sex at least every other day during the middle of my cycle, until I see a rise in my temps, then I relax and wait...

Very interesting post Atilla, thanks for that info.

Amberc Fri 09-Oct-09 11:11:54

I don't think it would be possible for me to stop trying as it would always be in the back of my mind but maybe yes I do need to stop stressing over it.

Atilla I do have a thyroid problem which is being treated and i do blame this for my irregular periods. For the last two cycles however I have been at a 'normal' level and using the monitor I have had the LH surge on the same day which I can only say is a good thing. The doctor tested me for oestregen and something else but I can't remember what (sorry that's crap I know) and I had a blood test on day 4 and 21. She said the results of this meant I was ovulating and that my luteal phase was long enough to support a fertilised egg. She said she would refer me to a specialist after I had been trying for one year.

Abetadad - thanks for your post - that is exactly what I wanted to know as lots of people tell me that we should be having daily sex but I think that is counterproductive as on the day that counts sperm count may well be low aafter frequent ejaculations.

This is all great advice - many thanks and fingers crossed for a positive result.

neenz Fri 09-Oct-09 13:17:24

Good luck Amber! So when was your fertile day then?

babyboom1979 Fri 09-Oct-09 13:53:54


I would have to disagree with those who say to ditch the monitor. I have irregular cycles and managed to concieve twice in three months with it's help (the first time was a chemical pregnancy) after seven months of nothing.

Regarding sperm, latest research is that daily sex is actually best. While sperm counts may be slightly lower, the quality of the sperm is optimal and fertilisation more likely to occur. Read a very recent article from the Times below:

My husband had serious sperm issues (very poor morpphology) so healthy living and daily sex for at least seven days before ovulation was what did the trick for us.

I wish you the best of luck

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 09-Oct-09 14:05:00

GPs don't always know everything there is to know about thyroid problems. You should be seeing an endocrine specialist, I feel your GP should refer you (bearing in mind as well it can take several months to actually see them). If you have been ttc for eight months then a referral request could and should be made now rather than leaving it another four before the referral request is made.

Your GP should have tested the levels of LH and FSH on day 3 (this is a standard blood test). Also such tests should be repeated; one blood test is not sufficient in itself to confirm ovulation is happening on a regular basis.

I would not be using the monitor in your circs but realise that is entirely your choice. I would certainly stop using the monitor if you are getting multiple positive results (please bear in mind that you can have more than one LH surge throughout the month and not all surges are followed by ovulation).

babyboom1979 Fri 09-Oct-09 14:07:31


Just re-read your original post and realised that your doctor had mentioned having sex every 3 days?! Of course one can fall pregnant this way but a man produces hundreds of thousands of sperm every minute of every day. I would certainly not worry about your husband's sperm count and I would certainly not be having sex every three days if you are having trouble conceiving.

We saw a top fertility specialist and andrologist who said the more frequent the sex, the better. If you can't manage every day on your "high" days, then try every other day. But definitely have sex both days you have a "peak" reading. It will catch eventually!

earplugs Fri 09-Oct-09 16:40:22

Aplogies for gate crashing, but what is the advice if a man has a low sperm count? Is it best to avoid frequent sex and save for ov time?

babyboom1979 Fri 09-Oct-09 16:58:43

Just realised the link I pasted didn't work here it is again!

Earplugs -- If partner has a sperm count issue, then every 2-3 days is more appropriate. However, leaving too long between ejaculations isn't advisable. I quote the article below:

"Longer periods of abstinence, however, achieve little because while the quantity of sperm might increase, its quality declines. As sperm is produced, it is stored in the epididymis at the top of the testicle, but the longer it sits there the more damage it accumulates from exposure to free radicals."

So best to have regular sex at 2-3 day intervals.

ABetaDad Fri 09-Oct-09 18:19:06

babyboom - yes that echoes what they said at the IVF clinic. When I had to produce samples either for semen analysis or for IVF itself they gave very strict written instructions to ejaculate 2 days before, then abstain, then produce the sample.

The whole idea was to produce the maximum number of motile, well formed sperm. I recall the specialist saying they had done experiments and observations over several years to establish the optimal period which they had found was 2 days.

This US website link also confirms what I was told.

"Some studies reveal that delaying ejaculation may increase the total concentration of sperm and perhaps the volume of semen. However, the percentage of normal sperm and the percentage of motile sperm decrease with infrequent ejaculation. Overall, the study concludes that ejaculation three to four times per week will ensure the optimum number of good motile sperm."

ABetaDad Fri 09-Oct-09 18:21:42

Amberc - not sure how long you have been TTC but if it is over a year then persuading your DH to have a semen analysis done might be worthwile.

Not saying there is any eveidence of anything to worry about from what you have said but it is a quick and easy test and one issue you can cross off the list.

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