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Trying-to-conceive tips: Top questions about sex and TTC

Trying-to-conceive tips: Top questions about sex and TTC

Nothing in this article is or should be construed as medical advice; for any medical questions, consult your healthcare professional.

When you’re trying to get pregnant, having lots (and lots!) of sex just comes with the territory. While this is obviously a natural (and hopefully fun) process, you might have some questions that you are embarrassed to ask your ob-gyn. Don’t fret! We’ve got answers to your most blush-inducing questions about doing the deed and trying to conceive.

Is having sex every day bad when TTC?

Not only is it OK to have sex every day when trying to conceive (TTC), it could be beneficial! The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends having sex every day or every other day during your fertile window, which is five days before you ovulate and the day of ovulation.1

But if sex ever starts feeling like a chore — or you’re simply not in the mood — that’s OK, too. When TTC, the key is to have sex at least every other day throughout your fertile window.1 Outside of that window, when and how often you have sex won’t affect your chances of getting pregnant.1 The tricky part is knowing when your fertile window is. Ovulation tests such as the Clearblue® Advanced Digital Ovulation Test can help you identify your most fertile days.

How long should you wait to pee after sex when TTC?

Pee when you need to pee — it won’t make a difference when TTC. You’ve probably heard that you should pee after sex to help prevent urinary tract infections (UTI). And you should! Peeing after sex can help expunge germs.2 Rest assured, though, peeing after sex won’t affect your chances of getting pregnant because urine comes out of the urethra — not the vagina — which is completely separate.2

How long should I lie on my back when TTC?

When TTC you can lie on your back after having sex as long as you want to or not at all. Do whatever feels right. The truth is that it doesn’t really matter. The internet, family members and friends may give you advice on how long to lie on your back (this advice typically ranges from 10 to 20 minutes) and how to do so (many say it’s also helpful to put your feet in the air). Some people even suggest standing on your head! Here’s the deal: Sperm are fast little swimmers. According to The Human Body, “The swimming speed of human sperm in fluid is approximately 5mm/min., so in theory, sperm could swim through the cervical canal in a matter of minutes or hours. In reality, some sperm have been found in the upper reaches of the uterine tubes within minutes of coitus.”3 Additionally, a 2016 study in European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology looked at the effect of bed rest for a short spell compared to no bed rest after intrauterine insemination and found no difference in pregnancy rates.4

Does sex during the TWW (two-week wait) affect implantation?

There have been studies with mixed results on whether or not having sex during the TWW affects implantation. A 2014 study in Fertility and Sterility of 564 women’s 1,332 cycles looked at whether or not sex around the time of implantation, in addition to sex during the fertile window, affected implantation.5 It concluded: “Cycles in which couples had 2 or more days with intercourse during the implantation window were significantly less likely to result in a positive pregnancy test compared to cycles in which couples didn’t have intercourse in this window.”5 However, a 2020 study in Human Reproduction showed no association between sex during the implantation window and a positive pregnancy test.6 Additionally, ACOG states that having sex whenever you want to, even if it’s every day, is fine.1

What is the best sex position when TTC?

Variety is the spice of life! While some people claim that the missionary position is ideal for getting pregnant, there isn’t any evidence to back up this claim. Here’s the bottom line: If you have sex and you are in your fertile window, there is a possibility that you can get pregnant. According to the 2022 committee opinion from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Practice Committee of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, there is no evidence that sex position affects your chances of pregnancy, adding that even seconds after ejaculation, sperm have been identified in the cervical canal, regardless of sex position.7

Is it OK to use lubrication when TTC?

Before you use store-bought lubrication to have sex when TTC, check the label. Many lubricants can slow down or even kill sperm. According to Mayo Clinic, you should search for a lubricant that is based in hydroxyethylcellulose.8 Why? It’s most similar to your own vaginal mucus and it doesn’t hinder or kill sperm.8

Does a female orgasm hurt or help when TTC?

You may have heard that a female orgasm can help push along sperm to where they need to be, but according to the 2022 committee opinion from ASRM and the Practice Committee of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, there is no known correlation between a female having an orgasm and getting pregnant.7 (But we’d be glad to tell your partner it makes a huge difference!)

When TTC, is it OK to masturbate?

Some people believe that masturbation, for both men and women, can cause infertility, but this is a myth. Masturbation doesn’t cause infertility, a lowered libido or, for men, a decreased sperm count.9 Masturbation actually has many health benefits for everyone that may, in a roundabout way, help you when TTC! According to Cleveland Clinic, masturbating can amplify your sex life, lessen stress, and stave off anxiety and depression.9

Whatever questions you have, don’t be shy about talking to your ob-gyn. Sex is normal, and anything you may be wondering about has likely been discussed many times before with your doctor. Armed with knowledge, you can worry less and focus more on romance and fun when in bed.

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  1. Witt B. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Trying to get pregnant? Here’s when to have sex. Updated August 2023. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://www.acog.org/womens-health/experts-and-stories/the-latest/trying-to-get-pregnant-heres-when-to-have-sex
  2. Zanotti S. The Cleveland Clinic. Is peeing after sex important? Updated January 31, 2022. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/peeing-after-sex/
  3. Carlson B M. The Human Body. Sperm transport. Updated 2019. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/sperm-transport
  4. European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. A short period of bed rest after intrauterine insemination makes no difference to pregnancy rates. Updated July 5, 2016. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160705085728.htm
  5. Steiner A Z, Pritchard D A, Young S L, Herring A H. Peri-implantation intercourse lowers fecundability. Fertil Steril. 2014;102(1):178-182. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074557/
  6. Stanford J B, Hansen J L, Willis S K, Hu N, Thomas A. Peri-implantation intercourse does not lower fecundability. Hum Reprod. 2020;35(9):2107-2112. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deaa156. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32756956/
  7. Fertility and Sterility. Optimizing natural fertility: a committee opinion. Updated January 2022. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://www.asrm.org/globalassets/_asrm/practice-guidance/practice-guidelines/pdf/optimizing_natural_fertility.pdf
  8. Mayo Clinic Health System. Trying to get pregnant? Select a lubricant most helpful for sperm. Updated November 17, 2022. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/trying-to-get-pregnant-select-a-lubricant-that-is-most-helpful-for-sperm
  9. Cleveland Clinic. Masturbation. Updated October 25, 2022. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/24332-masturbation