1 ?When should you have sex

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1 ?When should you have sex

When you’re trying to get pregnant, sex is about more than just having fun. You want to do everything right in bed to maximize your chances of conceiving

No methods have been proven to produce a pregnancy. Yet a few changes to the timing and frequency of your lovemaking might help increase your odds of success

?When should you have sex

The best time to get pregnant is at the most fertile point in your menstrual cycle. Your ‘fertile window’ includes five days prior to ovulation and the day of ovulation

The two days before you ovulate and the day of ovulation have the highest probability of conceptionTrusted Source. Having sex on those days will give you the greatest odds of conceiving

During ovulation, your ovary releases a mature egg. That egg makes its way down the fallopian tube on its way to your uterus

On this route, the sperm will (hopefully) meet up with and fertilize the egg. Sperm can live for about five days. So if you’re trying to conceive, your goal is to have live sperm in your Fallopian tubes when you ovulate

How do you know you’re ovulating? One way is to count your cycle days

Keep a calendar of your menstrual cycles or use an app to keep track. Each cycle starts on the first day of your period, and ends on the day before your next period starts

Look for the midpoint of your cycle. If you have a 28-day cycle, you’ll generally ovulate around day 14

?Did you know

Not all women ovulate at the midpoint of their cycle. If you’re having trouble getting pregnant and suspect your ovulation may be earlier or later than the midpoint, talk to your doctor about using another method to confirm ovulation

You can also look for signs like these, which indicate ovulation

Change in vaginal discharge. When you ovulate, your mucus will turn clear and thick — about the consistency of an egg white

Rise in basal body temperature (BBT). Your body’s resting temperature will increase slightly after you ovulate. You can measure BBT with a basal body temperature thermometer before you get up in the morning. Note: This will only tell you that you ovulated and cannot predict ovulation. However, if you track your temperature for a few cycles, you can see in hindsight what cycle day you generally ovulate

Drugstores also sell over-the-counter ovulation kits. These tests look for hormone changes in your urine, and can let you know when you’re most likely to be ovulating. Refer to the test kit instructions for more information

?What positions are best

With hundreds of millions of sperm released in each male orgasm, any unprotected sex around the time of ovulation could result in a pregnancy. As long as sperm enter the vagina, you have a chance to conceive

No certain positions during sex have been proven to increase likelihood of conception. Yet certain positions may be better than others for ensuring those little swimmers find their way up to the egg. The missionary (man on top) and doggie-style positions (man behind) allow for deeper penetration — bringing sperm in closer proximity to the cervix

In the standing and woman-on-top positions, gravity works against you. Yet standing up right after sex shouldn’t reduce your odds of a pregnancy. Sperm are pretty good swimmers. Once deposited in the vagina, they can reach the cervix within 15 minutes

Though you don’t need to raise your legs in the air after sex, or even lie flat on your back to help them get there, it can’t hurt. Placing a pillow under your lower back will also keep the sperm swimming in the right direction

How often should you have sex

You might have read that having sex too often reduces sperm quality and quantity. Some research has shown that sperm have better quality when collected after a 2-3 day period of abstinence. Studies have also shown that higher rates of conception are seen in couples who have sex every 1-2 days

Making love once a day or every other day during your fertile window will increase your odds of getting pregnant

Try to have sex more often, but don’t force yourself into a schedule. It could lead to unnecessary stress. Ultimately, the ideal number of times to have sex is what feels comfortable to you

Does a lubricant affect the odds of getting pregnant

Just under two-thirdsTrusted Source of women use a lubricant during sex, but there have been questions about whether these products might affect sperm quality. In lab studies, water-based lubricants like Astroglide and K-Y Brand Jelly reduced sperm movement by 60 to 100 percent

Before you panic and throw out the lube tube, studiesTrusted Source of actual couples trying to conceive have found no negative effect on fertility. In fact, lubricant might aid in your efforts to get pregnant by making sex comfortable enough to have more often

If you’re concerned about lubricant reducing your chances of getting pregnant, try sperm-friendly brands like Pre-Seed

Other tips for getting pregnant

Changing your sex practices isn’t the only way to improve your likelihood of conceiving. Here are a few other things you can do to boost your fertility

Orgasm. For a man, ejaculating is essential to getting his partner pregnant. Though a woman doesn’t have to climax to get pregnant, the movement of her orgasm can help propel sperm closer to their destination

Control your weight. Being too heavy or too thin could lower your fertility

Don’t smoke. Smoking increases the odds of infertility and miscarriage, and reduces sperm motility

Limit caffeine. In large amounts — more than five cups of coffee a day — caffeine can lower fertility

?When should you see a doctor

If you’ve been trying to get pregnant but are having no luck, see your primary care doctor or a fertility specialist

How long should you wait before seeing a doctor? That depends on your age.

Women younger than 35 should try for at least 1 year before seeking medical help

Women 35 or older should see a healthcare provider after 6 months of trying

Make an appointment sooner if you have any of these issues, which could affect fertility

irregular or no periods

endometriosis

pelvic inflammatory disease

a history of miscarriage

hernia surgery or a problem with the testicles (in your male partner)

The doctor will do an evaluation of your health and medical history. Medications, insemination techniques, and surgery can help people with fertility issues conceive

The takeaway

Any type of unprotected sex is good for getting pregnant. But timing your encounters right and having them more often will boost your odds of success

If a pregnancy isn’t happening for you right away, don’t pressure yourself or your partner. Getting pregnant can take a few months — especially if you’re in your 30s or older

But if you’ve been trying for a long time and you’re still anxiously awaiting that baby bump, see a doctor for advice.HEALTHLINE RESOURCEHow Did You Sleep Last Night

We explain the best routines and tips for a better night’s sleep, so you can learn how to get some Zzz’s tonight.GO NOW

Orgasm During Pregnancy: Why It’s Fine (and How It’s Different)

Pregnant woman and male partner in bed together

It can feel like pregnancy changes everything

In some ways, it does. You’re skipping your favorite sushi place and reaching for well-done steak instead. The smallest odors seem to have you rushing to the toilet to throw up, and even sitcoms can leave you in an emotional puddle of tears. You’ve asked your OB everything under the sun, from whether you can have beef jerky to if your belly button will become an outie — and why

But there’s one subject you’re wondering about that you’ve felt a little uncomfortable bringing up: the big O

So is it OK to have an orgasm during pregnancy? (And if you’ve already had one, why did it felt really, really good — better than it ever has before?)

The short answer is yes, in most cases, it’s absolutely fine to have an orgasm while pregnant — in fact, it can also be a great for your emotional and mental well-being

Let’s take a closer look at orgasm safety, sensations in the first, second, and third trimesters, and a big myth about orgasms bringing on labor — debunked

Is it ever not safe to have an orgasm during pregnancy

When it comes to sex during pregnancy, there’s a lot that can cause hesitation: You may not feel “in the mood,” thanks to hormones and morning sickness; your partner may worry about “poking the baby” or otherwise hurting you; and you both may have concerns about orgasms and uterine contractions

Always check with your doctor about whether you, specifically, are OK to have sex. But if your doctor hasn’t told you otherwise, and your pregnancy is low risk, it’s generally completely safe to get it on between the sheets

In fact, when researchers looked at studies involving 1,483 pregnant women, they found that there were no significant differences between those who had sex during their pregnancy and those who didn’t when it came to inducing labor contractions

Researchers also noted that in low risk pregnancies, sex wasn’t associated with “preterm birth, premature rupture of membranes, or low birth weight

However, if you have any of the following, your doctor may indeed tell you to abstain from sexual activity

spotting or bleeding

incompetent cervix (when the cervix is shorter than about 22 millimeters and you’re at higher risk for preterm birth)

vasa previa (when the umbilical cord vessels run too close to the cervix)

placenta previa (when the placenta covers the cervix)

Also, don’t have sex if your water has already broken. Amniotic fluid forms a protective barrier between your baby and the outside world — without it, you’re more at risk for infection

?What is pelvic rest

If your doctor puts you on “pelvic rest” and hasn’t explained what that means, absolutely ask questions. It usually means no vaginal sex because your pregnancy is considered high risk. Since you can achieve orgasm without penetrative sex, it’s worth clarifying what’s off limits

If your pregnancy is high risk for other reasons, like multiples, talk to your OB. One review of studies found that there simply isn’t enough research about sex during high risk pregnancies

What a pregnancy orgasm feels like, by trimester

First trimester

Sex in the first trimester may be great, or it may suffer from many “false starts”: You’re in the mood one minute, and a wave of nausea hits you the next

On the other hand, your body is already becoming more sensitive — your breasts, for example, may be more tender to the touch and therefore more easily stimulated by your partner or yourself. Your libido may increase, too. These things, along with more natural lubrication down there, may result in quicker and more satisfying orgasms

Or, you may just need to wait for the discomfort of first trimester symptoms to pass. And some women’s libido actually decreases. And that’s OK, too. It’s all within the realm of normal

Second trimester

This might be the sweet spot when it comes to reaching your, ahem, sweet spot

With morning sickness (usually) a thing of the past and the discomforts of the third trimester yet to come, sex and orgasm during the second trimester may be the most enjoyable

Here are a few things that you may experience

Your orgasms may be more pleasurable. There are a few reasons for this, with perhaps the main one being increased blood flow during pregnancy. This means your uterus and vaginal area are more engorged, which can mean more sensitivity. This can go either way depending on the person, but for many, it means more pleasure — and easier orgasms

You may feel post-orgasm uterine contractions or cramps. These are perfectly normal and even happen when you’re not pregnant — you just may not feel them unless you are. Don’t worry — these contractions aren’t labor, and they’re not going to bring on labor. Cramps will generally subside with rest

Your stomach may feel very hard. This is another common occurrence during orgasm, pregnant or not. But with your stretched skin and more extended belly, chances are, you’ll notice this sensation more

The release of hormones may be compounded. What we mean is this: Your body is already producing more oxytocin (the “love hormone”) during pregnancy. You’ll release even more when you orgasm. And that’s typically going to feel pretty darn good

Third trimester

Sex in general may be more difficult during the home stretch that is the third trimester. For one thing, your adorable baby bump may feel more like an enormous sack of potatoes: awkward to carry and always in the way. (That’s where creative sex positions come in!)

But also, you may have a harder time reaching the big O. With baby taking up so much room in your uterus, the muscles may not be able to fully contract as they need to in order to climax

No partner necessary

An orgasm is an orgasm, no matter whether it involves two people or just one. So masturbation is completely safe during pregnancy — unless you’ve been told to abstain — and so is using sex toys

Just remember to practice good hygiene and keep any toys you use clean — now is not the time you want to worry about sexually transmitted infections, which can be introduced to your body by a penis, finger, or toy

What about that rumor that orgasm brings on labor

Most of us have heard it. Past your due date and ready to get this show on the road already? Take long walks. Eat spicy food. And have sex

If you believe this myth, it makes sense that you’d hesitate to have an orgasm before your due date for fear of preterm birth. But here’s the thing: This just isn’t true. The rumor persists, but it’s been debunked

In one 2014 study, researchers divided pregnant women into two groups — ones who had sex twice a week and ones who abstained. The women were at term — meaning, baby was ready to make their appearance. But researchers found no statistically significant difference in the two groups when it came to onset of labor

And as we’ve already mentioned, a much larger review of studies similarly found that sex didn’t increase risk of spontaneous labor

(Spoiler alert: There’s no evidence that spicy food brings on labor, either.)

The takeaway

Good news if pregnancy has your hormones raging and your libido through the roof: It’s completely safe to have an orgasm during a low risk pregnancy

If your pregnancy is high risk and it’s not safe for you, your doctor should tell you. Still, it’s worth having that conversation. And if you feel embarrassed about asking, remember: OBs have heard it all. No topic should be off limits

And the old folk wisdom that says that sex brings on labor? It’s just not supported. So whether you’re 8

weeks or 42 weeks, feel free to get busy with your partner — or yourself — and enjoy the O

As long as it’s comfortable, go for it

If you have sex, will your growing baby be able to eavesdrop by the third trimester

Well, sure. But the good news? All sounds are well-muffled, and your baby can’t understand dirty talk in any language

Then again, what if you don’t want anything to do with sex? That’s normal. It could be anything from your hormones to getting used to your new body

“Typically, the second trimester is the golden spot,” says Holly Richmond, a clinical sex therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist. The worst of morning sickness (if you were blessed with any) is over, and you’re just coming into your curves. In the third trimester, a growing belly can start making sex more awkward

But here’s the foundation of everything you’ll learn when it comes to pregnancy sex: All sex is good sex as long as it’s pleasurable and consensual, says Richmond

During pregnancy, you might feel anything from erotic to sensual or far removed from wanting to have sex. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s not possible to be pregnant and sexually active

In fact, learn exactly what it means to have pregnancy sex, from how it feels to how it actually affects the baby

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