What’s the best time to conceive?
NHS recommendations are that, if you’re trying to get pregnant, you should be having sex every other day throughout your cycle. However, the really crucial time for doing the deed is in the two days before ovulation (usually days 12 to 14); by doing so you’ll ensure there are plenty of sperm hanging about waiting to pounce on the egg.
Here’s a quick recap of how it all works, for anyone who was staring out of the window during biology GCSE:
The NHS advice to have sex every other day throughout your cycle should ensure a good chance of egg meeting sperm, no matter which day you ovulate, but the really crucial time is the five-day period leading up to ovulation, and the day of ovulation itself. If you know when you ovulate, therefore, you can concentrate your efforts a little bit on that period of time. Sperm live for up to seven days inside the female body, so chances are the one that does the business was there before ovulation occurred.
If you’re thinking it might be more sensible to have sex every day to maximize your chances of conceiving, think again: when it comes to conception-sex, it turns out there is such a thing as overdoing it. While you want to create a more-or-less permanent sperm presence, with plenty of the little fellers hanging around your fallopian tubes with intent, you don’t want to end up with either you or your partner completely (and, in fact, literally) knackered on ovulation day.
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