One of the longest-standing theories of all is that of having too much sex actually getting in the way of conceiving a child, which is supposedly attributed to the man being unable to produce sufficient quantities of high-quality sperm. Technically it isn’t a difficult theory to believe, but does it hold any truth?
It’s something of a cloudy issue, as the answer varies in accordance with the individual in question – as is the case with most issues concerning pregnancy. For example, any couple of a relatively young age – as in younger than 35 years or so – can have sex as often as is physically possible for the pair and chances are there will be no negative effect whatsoever on sperm quality. Essentially, conception is more about timing than anything else – just a single sperm of good health needs to make its way to the eggs, so you either get it right or you don’t…it’s as simple as that.
By contrast however, any man with a low sperm count should exercise more caution, as having sex too often could indeed lower sperm quality even further. In such instances, the general rule of thumb is to have sex once every two or three days at the most, in order to give sperm chance to replenish itself and build sufficient numbers.
The Truth about Stocking up the Sperm
There are plenty of couples that are under the impression it’s a good idea to stockpile sperm within the man, in order to release it at the exact pinpoint moment of ovulation. In reality though this isn’t the case – studies have even shown that the stress and pressure that goes along with this kind of exact timing has the potential to mess up a woman’s ovulation cycle in a big way.
As far as experts are concerned, you should never fall into the trap of putting an exact number on how many times you should or should not attempt conception in a week, month or year. It takes all of the joy and pleasure out of the experience and leads to the kind of mental and physical stress you really should be steering clear of while trying to get pregnant.
Should it become apparent that despite regular sex over a period of six months or so you are still getting nowhere, it’s never a bad idea to speak to a medical professional for further advice, or perhaps to undergo an examination.
How to Improve Your Chances of Conception
1. Do It the Right Way
In a nutshell, the shorter the journey the sperm has to make to reach the egg, the better. As such, it’s a good idea to concentrate on ejaculating as close to the cervix as possible – missionary and doggy-style positions are best-suited to the job. That being said, most positions have the potential to work with a little imagination, though be sure to keep gravity on your sperm’s side.
After sex, remain in bed in a horizontal position for at least 15 minutes or so – after which time any sperm that is going to get where it needs to be will have already done so.
2. Choose Lubricants Wisely
Be careful when selecting lubricants, as the vast majority of products you’ll come across every day have the potential to harm your chances of conception. Examples include Astroglide, KY Jelly, and Touch to name just a few – all of which make it massively more difficult for sperm to get where they need to be. Some doctors suggest peanut oil, others canola oil – pick wisely and research the effects of the lube you buy before using it.
3. Keep a Healthy Diet
The no-brainer of the list – you need to look after your health to increase your chances of conception, while at the same time loading up on what your body needs most. All of the staples you should already be eating are of huge importance – wholegrain cereals, lean protein, vegetables, fruits and plenty of calcium-rich dairy products. In addition, you should also up your intake of folic acid, zinc, vitamin E and vitamin C to increase your chances of conception even further. If either prospective parent cuts corners on their own nutrition or fails to lead a healthy lifestyle in general, the chance of conception plummets dramatically.
4. Avoid Certain Things
Of course there are plenty of things you must also avoid while trying to conceive a child – some of which are more obvious than others.
- For example, you shouldn’t need to be told that if you smoke cigarettes you need to knock the habit on the head right now.
- The same also goes for any recreational drugs and to a large extent alcohol as well. There is no specific ‘medically safe’ amount of alcohol prospective parents can drink, so be sensible and drink none at all.
- It is also suggested that a reduction in caffeine intake is beneficial, so think about limiting coffee to two cups per day as a maximum.
- In addition, be sure that any fish you eat has a low mercury content, as this is another element that can have a marked impact on your chances of conception.
- And finally, pretty much anything that’s processed or loaded with additives should be avoided as much as possible – most fast-foods therefore being out of the question.
5. Do It at the Right Time
When it comes to getting pregnant, it’s fair to say that timing is everything. Due to the relatively short life of the egg, it’s generally advised to have sex one or two days before ovulation and then once again at the time of ovulation. In terms of when ovulation will occur, it is different for every single woman on the face of the Earth, which is why you should try using an online ovulation calculator or perhaps invest in an ovulation testing kit.
There are some relatively clear signs that ovulation is taking place, which include tenderness of the breasts, discomfort in the abdomen, a slightly higher temperature and an increase in vaginal discharge.