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The best time to have intercourse for conception is the so-called "fertile window." The fertile window is defined as the days of the menstrual cycle during which intercourse is most likely to result in pregnancy. Your fertile days are the 4-5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation, while the most fertile days are the 2 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. Increasing amounts of estrogen in the cervical mucus and reproductive tract of a women approaching ovulation generally allows the sperm to live for up to 6 days. Sexual intercourse on the day after established ovulation is unlikely to improve your chances getting pregnant, and the chance of getting pregnant by intercourse after ovulation is nearly zero.
Studies have shown that even in women with regular cycles, "timing" intercourse to get pregnant does not significantly improve your chances of pregnancy. Previously, couples trying to conceive (TTC) were told to have sex once every other day during their fertile days.
Source: "Timing of Sexual Intercourse in Relation to Ovulation -- Effects on the Probability of Conception, Survival of the Pregnancy, and Sex of the Baby" was published in The New England Journal of Medicine (December 7, 1995 -- Vol.
If you wait to have intercourse until the temperature goes up or the ovulation predictor kit (OPK) becomes positive, you are probably not improving your chances because you may have already ovulated.
However, recent studies have shown that for the average couple trying to conceive, making love 2-3 times a week, every week, is the best way to ensure that intercourse is ocurring before and during ovulation.
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Your most fertile days are the 1-2 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. Calculate your Fertility Window HERE.
You may improve your chances further by by having sex once a day (as long as his sperm are OK) during the fertile 4-5 days prior to and including ovulation day.
In those instances where the man does not have enough sperm (oligospermia), the recommendation of once every other day still holds true.
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