Monday, October 05, 2009

I want to have a baby ! When should I have sex ?

I got this email today.

The doctor advised me to have intercourse on the ovulation day itself and not before that i.e. no intercourse from day 11 to 14. My ovulation happens on 15th day. i find that a little odd because the fertile window post ovulation is really small 12-48 hrs and I thought it is better to have them saved up inside the uterus in advance. What do you think ? Thank you

Many women - and their doctors- are still confused as to when to time "baby-making sex".

For women who insist on having a schedule, we suggest they calculate their " fertile days " by using our free fertility calculator at !

For those who want even more precision, we suggest they use OPKs ( ovulation prediction kits).

In the past, doctors would advise women to have sex 2-3 days before and after ovulation. Since the egg remains alive for only about 24 hours after ovulation, this does not make any sense. It's far better to have sex before ovulation, when the cervical mucus is more fertile.

One common question is - How often should we have sex before ovulation, during the fertile period. Is it better to abstain prior to this and "save up the sperm" ? Or should we plan to do it daily ? Won't this reduce the sperm count in subsequent ejaculates and reduce their fertility ?

I personally believe that over rigorous scheduling of sex has a harmful effect. It just adds to stress levels ( and often husbands will find it difficult to "perform" when wives insist of having sex on a particular day, causing the entire cycle to go down the tube and creating fights ), making it even harder to cope with infertility.

I recommend that patients throw out their OPKs and calculators, and have sex frequently. You cannot "store up sperm" - and as long as the sperm are going inside the vagina on a frequent basis, they will find their own way toward the egg ! Obsessing can actually have a harmful effect on your fertility !

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