Have Sex Every Other Day to Conceive

We’ve all heard the advice that you should have sex every other day to increase your chances of getting pregnant. But scheduling sex can make it feel more like a chore than a pleasure.

And that’s not good for your relationship or for your odds of conceiving. Try these tips to put the romance back into your lovemaking:


In a normal menstrual cycle, an egg (also called an ovum) is released from one of the ovaries into the fallopian tube. This happens about midway through the follicular phase, when you’re most likely to get pregnant. If the egg is fertilized by sperm, it attaches to the uterine lining, and pregnancy begins. If the egg isn’t fertilized, the lining will disappear (menstruation), and you start again the next month.

Many women who want to get pregnant keep track of ovulation and their fertile window. This isn’t just because ovulation can happen only once in a cycle, but also because it causes hormones to change. These changes can result in increased sex drive, so you may have an improved chance of getting pregnant at this time.

You can calculate your fertile window by checking your cervical mucus. This is a type of vaginal discharge that changes throughout the menstrual cycle. It becomes clear, thin, and stretchy, almost like raw egg whites, just before ovulation. This is when sperm are most likely to reach an egg and fertilize it, explains the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

The study used in this article looked at the 129 cycles in which conception was detected, and calculated that a woman is most fertile on the six days leading up to and including the day of ovulation. But it’s important to note that sperm can survive for up to five days after the egg is released, so you could potentially get pregnant even if sex doesn’t happen during this window.

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The Fertile Window

When you’re trying to conceive, your chances of pregnancy are highest in the days leading up to and during ovulation. This period is called the fertile window.

A surge of luteinizing hormone triggers an egg to release from one of your ovaries and travel down the fallopian tubes. The egg is then able to be fertilized by healthy sperm. Fertility is greatest during the day before and the day of ovulation, but it’s possible to get pregnant on other days too — the egg stays alive for about 24 hours and sperm can survive for five days in the reproductive tract.

You can determine the exact date of your ovulation by counting back 14 days from the start of your last menstrual period. Online ovulation calculators and over-the-counter ovulation and fertility kits can also help you figure out the best time to have sex each cycle.

However, researchers have found that the most fertile days of a woman’s cycle aren’t necessarily those right before or during ovulation. A study of 192 cycles showed that over 80% of pregnancies were conceived on the day of or within the five days before ovulation, but intercourse can occur on any day of the cycle. The more times you have sex during the fertile window, though, the better your chance of conceiving.

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Keeping It Spicy

Sex is supposed to be sensual and exciting. But the scheduling, fertility tracking and other efforts that go into TTC can rob it of its spontaneity and make it seem like a tedious chore rather than a primal urge. In fact, some couples start to lose interest in sex altogether, which can hurt their chances of getting pregnant.

If you’re in a sex rut, try mixing things up. Engage in foreplay to crank up your oxytocin levels (the bonding hormone) and spark that baby-making desire. You could try sex toys, new positions or a surprise touch — just be careful with saliva and lubricants since they can interfere with sperm quality.

Talking about sex can be awkward, but it’s okay to bring it up in the right context and on a day when you both feel sexy. If you’re uncomfortable having the conversation, try giving each other advance warning that it’s coming. Or, text each other funny jokes about sex to lighten the mood.

It’s also helpful to remember that sex isn’t just for babies. Keeping open communication about sexual play can take your intimacy to the next level and keep you both feeling sexy and connected throughout your TTC journey. Just be careful not to confuse sexual play with sex for pregnancy, which can reduce your chances of conceiving by raising stress levels in both you and your partner.

Tracking Your Hormones

In addition to helping you understand your fertility, tracking your hormones can also give you valuable insights into your overall health. For instance, if you have a very irregular cycle (with cycles that are shorter or longer than normal), this may indicate a hormonal imbalance that can lead to other health issues (1). Tracking your sex hormones can help you pinpoint where in your cycle this is happening, so you can seek medical attention sooner rather than later.

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Using the Clearblue Connected Ovulation Tracker, you can easily identify your most fertile period each month. This will give you the confidence to either avoid sex or use protection, like condoms, for up to 16 days each month, until your ovulation window has passed.

You’ll know you are ovulating when your ovulation tracker indicates that your estrogen levels are starting to rise, followed by a surge in the luteinizing hormone (LH) 24-36 hours before ovulation. LH is the trigger that causes your body to shed the uterine lining, signalling that an egg has been released. A rise in progesterone follows shortly afterwards, which helps your body prepare for pregnancy.

Keep a diary of your symptoms, including mood changes and physical sensations, such as abdominal pain or bloating, to get a complete picture. Remember that everyone’s menstrual cycles are different, and your individual hormonal patterns are unique to you.

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