Many people are surprised to learn that the moment you are having sex with your partner is not the time you actually get pregnant. Conceiving naturally requires careful timing to sync with a woman’s cycle. It also calls upon the super-staying-power of sperm to weather the ride inside the female reproductive tract.
So, what does it take to get pregnant naturally?
First of all, sperm and egg have to meet. How does this happen?
Every month, a woman releases an egg (usually just one), on just one day. This event is called ovulation. The egg can be fertilised during a 24 hour window. If no sperm are available, willing or able, the egg resigns to her fate and dissolves.
Sperm must be there at the crucial moment, like paparazzi gathered around the red carpet, ready to be captivated by the egg’s glowing charm.
This requires premeditation. Luckily sperm have evolved to be up to the challenge. Sperm do not die instantly. They can survive and thrive in the female body for up to five days after ejaculation. Having regular sex in the week leading up to ovulation is your best strategy for getting pregnant. This will ensure that upon the egg’s release a crowd of diligent sperm is waiting ready to pounce, romance and fertilise in the fallopian tube.
From there, the brand new embryo travels to the womb, where it implants five days after egg and sperm were united.
You don’t have to worry about the exact timing of ovulation – and it’s not always exactly the same every month. But knowing approximately when it occurs can help ensure you plan sex in the lead up.
For the average woman, ovulation occurs 12 to 14 days before her expected menstrual period. If you have a clockwork 28 day cycle, ovulation occurs around day 14.
The perfect baby-making schedule is to have sex every second day (twice during the week and once on the weekend) starting from a week after your period starts. For most women, their period has finished by this stage. This frequency is enough to optimise your chance of natural conception.
Smooth Love is your perfect Lovers formulation to use during this time. We advise selecting Lovers’ water-based formulation, as it is scientifically designed to be sperm-friendly and assist your best conception sex. For Lovers creator Dr Raelia Lew, who is also a gynaecologist and fertility expert, including a superior conception-friendly formulation in the range was a must.
If your cycles are irregular and you have truly no idea when you are ovulating, don’t wait, see a fertility specialist. If you have tried to conceive unsuccessfully for six months and you are aged over 35, you should also seek specialist help.
Every month, a healthy young person has a one in five chance of successful natural conception. If there are no underlying issues, 80 per cent of those couples will be pregnant after six months. After a year of trying, 90 per cent will be pregnant. If you have been trying for longer than a year, both you and your partner should undergo a comprehensive fertility check-up to detect any underlying issues and help you to navigate through them.
For more information on sex for conception, listen to episodes one and two of “The Old Fashioned Way” at Knocked Up Podcast. Visit Women’s Health Melbourne for further information about the full range of fertility treatments available.