Natural Fertility: Frequency of Sexual Intercourse

by | September 10th, 2013
  

As couples start the path to pregnancy many wonder how often they should be having sex.

Every day? Every hour? Only during the full moon? The answer lies somewhere in the middle, and will differ a bit for each couple.

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First, let’s discuss a common belief. Many people believe that if a man ejaculates every day that his sperm count and quality will significantly decrease. A recent large-scale study showed, however, that men with normal sperm quality don’t lose their sperm concentration or motility with daily ejaculation.

It might seem hard to believe but this is true even for men with low sperm concentration (a condition called oligozoospermia.) In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that daily ejaculation even enhances sperm motility and concentration among these men.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that men must ejaculate daily to keep up good sperm quality and quantity. Studies show that taking a two-day break has no negative effects on sperm quality or quantity. Taking a five-day or longer break, however, may reduce motility and sperm concentration.

While there is evidence to suggest that couples that have sex every day have a slight advantage over couples that have sex every other day, it’s only a small difference. Couples that only have sex once a week, however, do have a much lower pregnancy success rate.

So, what does this mean about how frequently couples should be having intercourse to maximize their chances to conceive?

Dr. James Douglas says, “In general, there’s no such thing as too much sex and the more sex, the better…to a point. As many couples know, several aspects of the pregnancy path can be stressful, including intercourse. This is especially true for couples that are struggling with infertility.”

Setting high expectations for how often you must be having sex in order to conceive can add one more thing to be stressed about – and doesn’t necessarily make for the greatest sex or relationship. Keeping in mind the benefits of daily or every-other-day intercourse, the best schedule is the one that each individual couple is comfortable with and that doesn’t add too much pressure to their fertility journey.

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant and need a little help, call Dr. Douglas at IVF Plano to schedule an appointment for a basic fertility evaluation.

ASRM Guide Optimizing Natural Fertility

[1] Levitas E, Lunenfeld E, Weiss N, Friger M, Har-Vardi I, Koifman A, et al. Relationship between the duration of sexual abstinence and semen quality: analysis of 9,489 semen samples. Fertil Steril 2005;83:1680--6.

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