Intercourse Timing: The first thing we ask our patients presenting with the inability to conceive is when are they having intercourse? Lots of people think that they can get pregnant at any point in their menstrual cycle, this is not true. Conception can only occur around ovulation. Ovulation is when an egg is released from the ovary and travels through the fallopian tubes to the uterus. There is a 6-day interval during a cycle in which you are fertile, the five days before ovulation and the 1 day after ovulation. An egg can survive for 24 hours after ovulation and sperm can last on average 3 days (up to 5 days) in a woman’s body. It is ideal to have intercourse every day of your fertile period or at least every 2 days. If a couple doesn’t want to have timed intercourse around ovulation, we recommend intercourse q2-3 days to catch this fertile phase. Look out for tomorrow’s post on how to determine when you are ovulating. What did advice did you get from your doctor about intercourse timing?
How can you tell when you are ovulating? 1) if you have a regular period (ie your period comes every 28 days on the dot- from the first day of your period to the next first day of your period), you can determine when you will be ovulating by subtracting 14 from the number of days between your periods. For example, if your period comes every 28 days, then you ovulate on day 14 of your cycle and you can plan intercourse around that. Like I said in my previous post, it is ideal to have intercourse every day or even every other day 6 days before you ovulate until 1 day after you ovulate. 2) You can also use your cervical mucous as an indicator for ovulation. Before ovulation your cervical mucous becomes thin and slippery and just after ovulation your mucous becomes more scant and thicker. Therefore, when your mucous becomes noticeable and slippery you should start having intercourse. 3) Your body temperature changes around ovulation. During ovulation your body temperature increases by 0.5-1 °F. But remember to increase your chances of conception you want to have intercourse prior to your increased temperature, and on the day of your increase in temperature. 4) There are commercial ovulation kits that look for a hormone called LH that increases around ovulation. You should start using these kits on day 7 of your cycle and you want to track negatives until you see a positive, which would mean you are ovulating. Unfortunately, none of these methods are foolproof. What did you find to be helpful for tracking your ovulation?
Myths and Facts about conception: there are a lot of misinformation out there about how to conceive, today I want to discuss which pieces of information your friends give you are myths and which are facts. 1) the position you are in during intercourse does NOT matter 2)remaining supine after intercourse for the woman—does NOT matter 3)lubricants will inhibit conception- TRUE, but there are lubricants like Pre-Seed that can be used that will not inhibit conception 4) smoking can be detrimental to conception- TRUE, smoking in women and possibly in the male partner can cause subfertility 5) intense exercise can decrease fertility- TRUE, but only if this type of exercise brings a woman’s BMI to below 25, then we recommend a limit of intense exercise to less than 5 hours per week. Male fertility has not been found to be affected by exercise 6) you need to become vegetarian to increase your fertility- MYTH, there is no strong evidence that any diet increases fertility 7) stress can decrease fertility- TRUE, there are many observational studies that show this to be true 8) drinking your morning java will decrease your fertility- MYTH, less than 200mg of coffee per day does not decrease female fertility. What myths were you told about conception?