Do You Have to Have Sex Every Day When You're Trying to Get Pregnant?

by Ann Douglas

You have to have sex every day if you want to get pregnant.

This is one of those situations in life where you can get too much
of a good thing. 

Committing yourself and your partner to a daily regime of baby-making sex can make sex feel like yet another item on your "to do" list. 

Not only can that be hard on your sex life: it's biological overkill.

"If your partner has a normal sperm count, having sex every second day is plenty," explains Margaret Lightheart, MD, associate clinical professor in obstetrics and gynecology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. "If you have sex more often than that, you actually start depleting the numbers of sperm."

Given that sperm are capable of surviving for up to five days in the female reproductive tract, having sex every other day during your fertile period (day 9 or 10 if you have a "classic" 28 day cycle) reduces the need to stress about the exact timing of ovulation. The focus shifts, instead, to ensuring that there's always a steady supply of sperm on hand to fertilize the egg, whenever that 12 to 24 hour fertile window should occur.

This is not to say that you can't have sex every day, if you're so inspired. It's not as if the fertility police are going to show up in your bedroom and ticket you breaking the baby-making rules. You want to balance your desire to maximize your fertility with your need to stay connected with your partner as you journey towards parenthood. Let equal parts of common sense and passion be your guide.

Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting, including The Mother of All Pregnancy Books.