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How Often Should I Have Intercourse?

(Contribution from Carolyn Givens, M.D.)

One of the common questions that fertility patients ask is: “How often should they have intercourse?” Some patients intuitively take a “more is more” point of view and want to have intercourse daily. But that isn’t necessarily the case. My colleague at Pacific Fertility Center - San Francisco, Carolyn Givens, M.D., was kind enough to share her insight on this topic:

There may be no exact right answer for everyone. Indeed, there might be a slight decrease in sperm concentration on the second or third straight day of ejaculation. However, for most men, there are still millions of active sperm present on the second or third day. As such, it may be better to have more sperm available in the reproductive tract during the window of fertilization for the egg.
My bias is to have intercourse as frequently as possible when you know you are soon to be, or in the process of, ovulating. The best method to detect when this is occurring is to use an ovulation predictor kit such as Ovu-Quick or Clear Blue Easy. When the kit detects the surge, have intercourse on that day and the next day. Beyond that, it is probably too late. If you don’t want to get that technical, subtract 16 days from your usual cycle length and start having intercourse daily from that day of the cycle for the next 3-4 days. For example, if your usual cycle length is 30 days, begin having intercourse on about day 14 and continue to day 16 or 17.
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About the Author

Dr. Herbert is a fertility expert and an innovator in the field.