How often should you have sex when trying to conceive? Well, the majority of couples who are trying to conceive are just not having enough sex. Fact! And the ones that are, often are just not getting the timing right.

Q: How often should you have sex when trying to conceive?

How often should you have sex when trying to conceive

Courtsey of Richard Foster

A: Couples who are trying to conceive often fall in to the trap of only having sex around the time they think the woman may be fertile. However if you are ‘saving’ sex for only around the fertile time you run the risk of missing ovulation completely but also by the time you have sex, the sperm waiting to be released will have a higher percentage of abnormal, less motile or dead sperm. If ejaculation is infrequent the chances are greater that the likelihood of conception at ovulation, will be reduced. Therefore it is recommended that a couple should have sex every 2-3 days throughout the cycle.

Q: I’m fertile on day 14 of my cycle, right?

A: Not necessarily correct. Many couples believe that a woman is fertile in the middle of her cycle or around day 14. Whilst this might be the case if a woman has a regular 28-day cycle, in actuality very few women do. Observing and monitoring your basal body temperature and your cervical secretions is the only way to know for sure when you are fertile.

Q: How long am I actually fertile for?

A: This is an interesting question. Once ovulation occurs, an egg can only be fertilised for 12 hours to a maximum of 24 hours. It makes you wonder how any one ever gets pregnant! However the good news is that sperm can survive in the female genital tract for approximately 5 days and sometimes up to 7. Research shows that no pregnancies occur from sex that happens the day after ovulation. Therefore all successful conceptions are on the day of ovulation or during the days leading up to ovulation. So, it can be said that your fertile window lasts for around 8 days in your cycle.

Q: It seems like a waste of time to have sex if I’m not fertile. What should we do?

A: You are not alone, many couples feel just like that too. Sex becomes ‘baby making sex’ and the intimacy that you once enjoyed has somehow become lost along the way. Anxiety and tension starts to creep in and spontaneous sex for pleasure and enjoyment becomes planned and structured. From a biological point of view, as discussed earlier, having sex regularly is very important. However it is even more important for your relationship. If sex has become all about making a baby you may start to feel the strain on your relationship. However be reassured that with a little extra effort and taking the opportunity to discuss how you feel with your partner, will soon get you back to enjoying intimacy with your partner and remembering why you fell in love in the first place.


Q: Can I get pregnant during my period?

A: Although uncommon, if you have a very short cycle, then yes it is possible to ovulate during your period. What is more likely however, is that because sperm can live in the female genital tract for a number of days, pregnancy can occur from sex that takes place during a period.

I hope that’s answered your questions on how often should you have sex when trying to conceive? If you have anymore – leave me a comment.

How often should you have sex when trying to conceive?