A lot of advice on when to conceive focuses on timing sex around your ovulation dates. However, one of the best ways to increase your chances of conceiving is to have regular sex throughout your cycle. This will mean there is always sperm waiting to meet the egg when it is released.
If sperm are not ejaculated frequently, but held back in a man's tubes for more than about three days, the quality greatly deteriorates.
You do not have to have sex every day, or on a particular day of the cycle. Sperm can survive and remain fertile for an average of two to three days (potentially up to seven days), and the egg can be fertilised for up to 24 hours after ovulation.
The danger of waiting until close to ovulation is that the sperm will not have time to get there before the egg disintegrates.
So although you can use an ovulation calculator to work out when to have sex, the best conception tip is to continue to have sex regularly in between the times suggested by the conception calculator as well as during them.
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- Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, Infertility – common causes of female and male infertility, London HFEA, 2013. Also available at: http://www.hfea.gov.uk/infertility.html (accessed 12 May 2014)
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Fertility: assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems, clinical guideline 156, London NICE, 2013
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ℹLast reviewed on April 1st, 2014. Next review date April 1st, 2017.