What’s the Ideal Frequency of Intercourse if Trying to Conceive?

By ASTROGLIDE Team Sexual Health

The topic of how often to have intercourse while trying to become pregnant has been debated for many years in the fertility world. Several schools of thought have addressed this question in the past, yet many myths still circulate among couples trying to get pregnant.

Is There a Sweet Spot for Conception?

There is official guidance for couples trying to conceive and want to know how often they should have intercourse to increase their chances of pregnancy. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends that the timing of intercourse for couples trying to conceive would be to have sex once every other day around the time of ovulation.

Should TTC Men “Save” Their Sperm?

Despite the ASRM’s recommendation, there are many myths that deal with the frequency of intercourse to conceive. For example, many couples believe that “saving up” sperm (by avoiding intercourse or orgasm) will increase the amount of sperm released during orgasm, thus increasing their chances of conception – but this is a myth. Research has shown that year-after-year, sperm, which has not been ejaculated within five days, have a poorer quality of motility and morphology, meaning that the movement and the quality of the sperm are not as good as that of “younger” sperm. The research has shown that in regard to the timing of intercourse, ejaculating every other day can lead to higher quality sperm in terms of its look and appearance, as well as how well it swims.


What About Studies That Say More Sex Means More Fertility?

A TTC couple kisses near the window.

Another belief frequently held by couples trying to conceive is that the more sex they have, the better their chances are of conception. While that frequent intercourse may help some, the added stress of performance anxiety is not the best for sexual activity. Likewise, having sex more than once a day isn’t necessarily more effective, as ejaculate released during the second round of sex may have less sperm (and have lower quality sperm), thus decreasing the chance of conceiving.

While the media has recently been reporting on a study that claims that having sex twice in one hour can increase your chances of conceiving, it’s worth mentioning that this research around intercourse patterns is a tad controversial. This study is the first of its kind, meaning that more research must be done before we can say for sure whether this is good advice to increase the probability of conception. If the desire to have sex again is still there for a couple trying to conceive, there appears to be no downside in having sex again within the hour – but not for scientific purposes or to help directly with conceiving.

Do Sex Positions Matter When Trying to Conceive?

In addition to frequency, patients also commonly ask about the best position for intercourse to achieve conception. Currently, research shows that there is no “optimal” sex position that will lead to a higher probability of conception. This includes techniques such as holding a women’s legs up in the air or putting a pillow under her to elevate her legs. None of these techniques have been shown to increase the odds of women becoming pregnant.

Keeping TTC Sex Pleasurable

The regularity of intercourse should take into consideration each individual partner and their personal capabilities. If you and your partner want to have sex every day during ovulation, or even twice in an hour, then go for it. Just realize that there’s no guarantee it will improve your odds of fertilization. However, for infertile couples that have been trying for long periods of time, intercourse might feel more like a chore than anything else – and in those cases, there shouldn’t be any additional pressure on trying to “perform” multiple times with frequent intercourse.

Instead, try your best to relax and enjoy the process, and use a sperm-friendly lubricant when necessary. And remember, different intercourse patterns work for different couples when it comes to successful fertilization.


Images are for illustrative purposes only.