A nationwide survey has shown that despite a lot of discussion of sex in media and private conversations, the average British couple only has sex once a week. This figure is down from around 6 times a month in 1990 to 4 times per month in 2000 for cohabiting couples, but seems to be holding steady.
Unfortunately for couples trying to conceive, the ideal number of times to have sex when trying for a baby is 3-4 times per week. Fewer times during ovulation will decrease the chances of success, but more will have a negative effect on sperm quality.
How Long Does it Take to Get Pregnant?
The average amount of time it takes to get pregnant for fertile couples is 6 months. Only 30% of women become pregnant within 3 months, whereas 40% take 6 months. 10% of women need to wait 12 months and another 10% take 24 months. Research from 3,000 women shows that couples have sex an average of 104 times before getting pregnant.
When Should I See a Specialist?
In some instances, couples overestimate how easy it is to conceive and go to see fertility specialists too soon – this is particularly an issue for couples who don’t have sex enough over the ovulation period. If you have been trying to conceive for a year, and have been having sex 3-4 times per week during ovulation, it’s important to see a specialist to check whether there are any underlying issues preventing conception.
Before trying to get pregnant, it’s important that both partners check they are STD-free. It is also very helpful to cut down on cigarettes and alcohol, as well as improving diet to improve overall health and fertility when trying to conceive.
If there are any underlying issues, such as PCOS, couples should go to see a doctor when they decide to conceive to receive additional support and consider necessary treatments straight away.