How often should you have sex if you’re trying to get pregnant? Though my fertility doctor recommended sex every second day when we were trying to get pregnant, new research says that daily sex is better for fertility. If you’re a couple hoping to conceive a child, you might have to get more romantic!
“All that we knew was that intercourse on the day of ovulation offered the highest chance of pregnancy, but we did not know what was the best advice for the period leading up to ovulation or egg retrieval for IVF,” says Dr David Greening, an obstetrician and gynaecologist with sub specialist training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility in Australia. “I thought that frequent ejaculation might be a physiological mechanism to improve sperm DNA damage, while maintaining semen levels within the normal, fertile range.”
Below are Dr Greening’s reasons that couples who are trying to get pregnant might be more successful if they have sex every day. Remember that having sex on the day of ovulation is extremely important — it offers the highest chance of getting pregnant!
If you don’t know when you’re ovulating, it might be time to invest in a Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test.
And, here’s what the research says about sex frequency to improve fertility levels…
How Often Should We Have Sex If We’re Trying to Get Pregnant?
Some fertility books and doctors say to have sex every second or third day, to allow sperm a chance to regenerate and grow. Other fertility doctors and books say daily sex is better, because it increases the sperm and thus increases the chances of a successful pregnancy.
This new research is interesting because it supports the second theory (have sex every day if you’re trying to get pregnant) in a different way. These fertility researchers found that daily sex (or ejaculating daily) for seven days improved men’s sperm quality by reducing the amount of DNA damage.
Dr Greening said the reason why sperm quality improved with frequent ejaculation may be because the sperm had a shorter exposure in the testicular ducts and epididymis to reactive oxygen species (very small molecules, high levels of which can damage cells. This leads to reduced fertility in males).
Until now there has been no research-based consensus amongst fertility specialists regarding how often couples should have sex when they’re trying to get pregnant — whether they’re undergoing fertility treatments or not. This study shows that frequent sex (daily) decreased semen volume and sperm concentrations, but improved sperm motility.
So if you’re trying to get pregnant, you should have sex often! The men in this study ejaculated or had sex every day, and did nothing else to improve their fertility levels.
“Further research is required to see whether the improvement in these men’s sperm quality translates into better pregnancy rates, but other, previous studies have shown the relationship between sperm DNA damage and pregnancy rates,” he said. In other words, unhealthy sperm or sperm DNA damage decreases your chances of getting pregnant and increases your chances of an unsuccessful pregnancy.
“The optimal number of days of ejaculation might be more or less than seven days, but a week appears manageable and favorable,” said Dr Greening. “It seems safe to conclude that couples with relatively normal semen parameters should have sex daily for up to a week before the ovulation date. In the context of assisted reproduction, this simple treatment may assist in improving sperm quality and ultimately achieving a pregnancy.”
If you don’t know when you’re ovulating, you need to invest in an ovulation test.
He adds that these sperm research results may mean that men play a greater role in infertility than previously suspected. I thought men were playing a big role already — I’ve often read that male infertility causes up to 33% of problems getting pregnant.
Dr Greening concludes that frequent sex (or ejaculation) is important for improving sperm quality, especially as men age and during assisted reproduction cycles. It’s also important to remember that there are different reasons for not getting pregnant – no matter how often you have sex. That is, if you’re not producing sperm at all, it may not matter how often you have sex. If you’re not ovulating, then you’re not producing eggs.
If you’re trying to get pregnant but can’t, you need to talk to your doctor. Both partners should get tested as soon as possible!
To learn more about sperm, read one of my most popular articles: 5 Foods That Increase Sperm Count, Production, and Motility.
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Source: “Daily Sex Helps Reduce Sperm DNA Damage And Improve Fertility” from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Amsterdam.