Is There Really a “Best Time” to Have Sex When You Want To Make A Baby?
We so often spend most of our early sexual experiences trying not to get pregnant. Then comes this interesting moment when you start using sex for its primal, biological function: procreating. Then it becomes time to figure out exactly how to make that baby!
For some people, it really is as simple as eliminating birth control, having sex regularly, and waiting a month or two for success. For many others, it is not even close to being that easy.
One of the common questions/misconceptions/confusions is when to have sex. What is the best time? The best days? How often should you be having sex? How do you know if you are ovulating? How do you track ovulation?
I want to clear everything up and let you know the best time to have sex when you want to make a baby.
The Formula For Successful Baby-Making Sex
Let’s dive right into the basics. The most common recommendation for the best time to have sex when you want to get pregnant is this:
- Have sex during the two days before ovulation (so the sperm will already be there when the egg is released)
- Have sex on the day you ovulate (so the sperm could meet up with the recently released egg.
So if you have been tracking your ovulation (we will get to that in a minute!) and you think the 15th will be the egg dropping day. Have sex on the 13th, and then have sex again on the 15th.
The key thing to understand is sperm is surprisingly hardy. On average, a man’s sperm will last around 3 days (even up to 5 days) in your body. That means if you have sex a day or two before you ovulate, that released egg has a chance of meeting up with sperm that is still alive and well.
This also gives you some flexibility if you are not entirely 100% sure when you ovulate.
Which brings us to one of the most important aspects of knowing when to have sex: how in the world can a woman know when she is about to ovulate?
How To Know You Are Ovulating
Okay, we know that timing sex has everything to do with ovulation. But most women are not quite sure when they are ovulating. After all, it is easy to tell when you are menstruating, but what ovulation signs can you be on the lookout for?
Here are two basic ways to track your cycle and see when you are ovulating:
- Cervical Mucus: Normally when you are ovulating, cervical mucus with the consistency of a raw egg white will start coming out. When you wipe after going to the bathroom, it may feel slippery. Start looking at the toilet paper each day and paying attention to any changes.
- Basal Body Temperature or (BBT): Your body temperature changes along with your cycle. By taking your temp everyday right when you wake up, you will start to see what your normal waking temperature is. If it increased by about 0.4 degrees (F), you are probably ovulating.
Every woman is different. Every woman experiences ovulation in different ways. Other things that may happen when you are ovulating could be:
- Abdominal Cramping
- Breast Tenderness
The more you are on the lookout for these signs, the better you will understand the flow of your cycle.
Ways To Track Ovulation
The day you ovulate can slightly change from month even in healthy women.
And for women with hormone imbalances or other health issues, it may never feel consistent. The best way to know the right time to have sex is to start tracking your cycle.
Here are three great methods for ovulation tracking:
- Knowing Your Cycle: Start paying close attention to how your body responds to each part of your cycle. If you know what to look for, you may confidently know exactly when you are ovulating without any outside help. You can mark the signs in your calendar.
- Downloading Apps: There are so many great fertility-tracking apps available. They will ask you to enter when you start and finish your period, your daily temperature, the consistency of your cervical mucus, and all sorts of other info on how you are feeling. The algorithms help let you know the days when you are most likely fertile
- Taking An Ovulation Test: Once again, since every woman is different – they may have a hard time noticing these changes in their body. Or in the case of some hormonal balance problems, each cycle may be a bit different. Purchasing ovulation test strips can be a simple alternative
Wondering how that third method – ovulation tests – actually works? One of the most popular brands is Clear Blue. They have a helpful video explaining how they detect your fertile days.
Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Sex?
When you are trying to get pregnant, you may think the more the better. While there is technically nothing wrong with having quite a few sex sessions around ovulation, there can be some negative consequences. You and partner may simply burn out.
It is better to spend all that energy figuring out your ovulation schedule and timing the sex around those days. And remember sperm will live between 3 and 5 days, so there is no need to have sex multiple times on the same day.
If you really want to make sure you are getting in plenty of sex in each month, just stick with every other day.
What About Time Of Day?
Since we are talking about the best time to have sex, you may be wondering if there is a literal time in the day when you have better chances of conceiving.
Short answer: not so much.
While some people think sperm counts can go up a bit in the morning, and other people suggest they may go up a bit in the afternoon, the differences are essentially inconsequential.
Keep in mind we are still talking about millions of sperm in each ejaculation, and only one needs to find an egg. The only true thing that would affect sperm is… well… overall low sperm count.
Finding Your Best Time
As long as you are aware of your ovulation window and make a point to have sex right before ovulation and during ovulation, you should be good to go. Too much worry about the best time to have sex can actually be detrimental. It is best for the mom-to-be and dad-to-be to have lower stress levels.
So try downloading one of the helpful fertility apps that take some of the burden off your shoulders. Then set the mood when the time is right. Taking a de-stressing supplement like Ashwaganda can be helpful as well.
Read Next: 8 Essential Ways to Cope with Infertility