10 Things You Should Know About Sex and Trying to Conceive
When you are trying to conceive you might have sex on the brain more but not necessarily in a fun way. You probably have a lot of questions about sex now that you are focused on trying to get pregnant.
With all the myths and advice out there we have boiled it down to ten important things you should know about sex for conception.
1. Get to know your body
If you are trying to get pregnant the first thing that is important is getting to know your own body. Get a check up with your doctor, track your menstrual cycle to help understand your fertile window and when to predict ovulation, and let your partner know what you are comfortable with sexually to ensure you feel your best through the whole process.
2. Sex position is up to you
There are plenty of myths out there about the best sexual position for when you are trying to conceive, but there isn’t any evidence to back up one over the other. And if you are having intercourse more often you are probably going to want to switch up positions.
The most important thing is that you and your partner are comfortable and enjoying the position.
3. Timing is important
While there is no best time to have a baby, there are plenty of opinions out there regarding how oftn and what time of day you should have sex. Timing is important, but with the right information it isn’t something that should stress you out. First, each person’s cycle and hormones are different so figuring out your personal fertile window is key. The Mira Tracker helps you get accurate data personalized to your body to figure out when your chances of conceiving are greatest. Once you know when you are most fertile it is recommended to have sex every other day during this window.
4. Decrease stress
This is probably one of the most stressful times of your life so saying “just relax” isn’t going to cut it. However, stress can inhibit your ability to get pregnant so finding ways to decrease stress in your life is important. Consider taking a relaxation training course, getting a massage, working out, meditating, or any other activity that helps ease stress.
5. Consider your lubricant
If you are having sex more often in hopes of conceiving you might need to use a lubricant to make it more comfortable. Choosing a fertility friendly lubricant is important as some water based options have been found to decrease sperm motility. Consider trying a brand such as Pre-Seed or natural oils.
6. Kick the bad habits
When you are trying to conceive it is best to kick the bad habits to not only improve your odds of getting pregnant, but to already be creating a healthy lifestyle for your baby. Stop using tobacco and keep alcohol intake to a minimum. You should also consider minimizing your caffeine intake and check with your doctor about your exercise routine.
7. It isn’t one and done
Knowing when your ovulation window is helps increase your odds of getting pregnant and having sex several days prior to ovulation increases those odds even more. Sperm can live in the female body for up to three days after intercourse so you could get pregnant up to 72 hours after sex. Don’t feel pressured to stick to a set schedule and know that there is this three day window for conception.
8. Keep an eye on the heat down there
It might seem like all of the focus is on the female body, but there are a few things to keep in mind for your man when trying to get pregnant. Heat can cause lower sperm count so avoid a lot of trips to the hot tub, holding a laptop on your lap, or long strenuous exercise such as distance biking. It is also recommended that males avoid tight fitting pants and underwear during this time.
9. Female orgasm is optional
Some women have a hard time orgasming and the added pressure of having sex to get pregnant doesn’t help matters. While ejaculation is needed on the man’s part, female orgasm is not a requirement of conceiving. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to make the experience more enjoyable for both partners and the contractions from orgasm can help move the sperm closer to the egg.
10. Know when to see your doctor
When you are trying to get pregnant faster you might be tempted to see your doctor quickly if you’ve been having sex often and nothing is happening. Rushing to the OB’s office after only a month or so will most likely just add to the stress of trying to conceive. Unless you have a pre-existing condition that might make conceiving difficult, have suffered miscarriages, or are over the age of 35 you should give it time. How much time? Most doctors recommend if you are under 35 to try for a year and if you are 35 or older give it six months. Letting your doctor know that you plan on trying to conceive can help make the process easier. Also, there is no harm in completing some basic tests during the time you are trying to conceive to ensure that there are no major problems affecting your chances. Your doctor can discuss these tests with you.
Trying to conceive can be stressful, but dispelling some of the myths about sex and fertility will hopefully ease the process and make it more enjoyable for both partners. Get to know your own body, have fun, and create a low stress environment to make trying to conceive a good experience.
Banafsheh Kashani, M.D., FACOG is a board-certified OB/GYN and specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Eden Fertility Centers, and has been treating couples and individuals with infertility since 2014. Prior to joining Eden Centers for Advanced Fertility, she was practicing as a top fertility specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Orange County and Reproductive Fertility Center. Dr. Kashani has received numerous awards throughout her years of study and medical training.
Dr. Kashani has conducted extensive research in female reproduction, with a specific focus on the endometrium and implantation. Additionally, Dr. Kashani has authored papers in the areas of fertility preservation, and fertility in women with PCOS and Turners syndrome. She also was part of a large SART-CORS study evaluating the trend in frozen embryo transfers and success rates.
Dr. Kashani is a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In addition, she is a diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and an active member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and Pacific Coast Reproductive Society (PCRS). She is also a member of the Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (SREI).