Are you trying to conceive? Have you tried sex? Just saying…

The idea that you have to try to conceive is a myth and a burden. Precise timing of intercourse at the time of ovulation is not only unnecessary, it is completely unhelpful, and may even be harmful by causing couples enormous amounts of stress. The medical definition for trying to conceive is not using protection. From a physician’s point of view, once you stop your contraception, whether it be the birth control pill, condoms, the IUD etc., you are officially “trying to conceive”.

Why is this? It is because the fertile window, the opportunity to conceive, is open much wider than people realize. Sperm can live in the female reproductive tract for days, perhaps even longer than a week. This is the reason the Rhythm Method is so poor at preventing pregnancy. There are very few times during the cycle that you can have sex without risking pregnancy.

So…what does this mean for couples who are trying to conceive?

1). Have sex when you feel like it, not when you feel like you have to. Studies have shown that when couples do not over think timing they tend to have sex more often during fertile times.

2). Throw out the basal body thermometer, and the urine ovulation predictor kits, and any other device designed to track ovulation. These things are expensive, will not improve your chances for success and will just drive you and your partner crazy.

3). After no contraception for a year (or 6 months if you are 35 years old or older), if you are still not pregnant, do NOT try harder. See your doctor for an evaluation and advice.

4). Don’t stress. You are not alone. Infertility affects millions each year, and is a very treatable condition, with options and choices. Get some information and advice.

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