Your biggest babymaking sex questions answered

Should I have sex every day while ovulating?

Your biggest babymaking sex questions answered

When you’re trying to conceive, you can read a lot of different opinions and advice online about how and when to have sex. It’s confusing! We decided to get our facts straight and asked Dr. Shannon M. Clark, a double board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, for her best tips to try while babymaking:

Should I have sex every day while ovulating?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that having sex all the time will increase your chance of becoming pregnant. The key is to have sex every other day during your ovulatory period. This is because it typically takes 48 hours for a man’s sperm count to regenerate.


What sex position will work best to conceive?

There is no one position that is definitively better than the others. However, it is believed that the typical missionary position may have a slight advantage over other positions.

In addition, any maneuvers that allow gravity to work in your favor may help. For example, placing a pillow under your hips for several minutes after intercourse and lying flat may help. Overall, having sex in positions that allow gravity to assist in getting sperm to where they need to be are the most beneficial.

Join Motherly

Is it okay to use lubricant during sex while we’re trying to conceive?

Sperm-friendly lubricants (avoid water-based lube and instead use those that are hydroxyethyl cellulose-base) without spermicide. Avoiding douching after intercourse is recommended.

Also, it is commonly thought that a woman must have an orgasm in order to enable sperm to enter the cervix and reach the egg. While this may in fact occur, it does not necessarily improve a woman’s chances of conceiving.

During ovulation, the thickened cervical mucus does a good job of enabling the sperm to get to where they need to be.

How does the timing of ovulation work?

A woman’s menstrual cycle typically lasts between 28 to 32 days. Women with a regular menstrual cycle can find out their fertile days with the use of an online ovulation calculator or fertility chart. She can put the start dates of her previous 2-3 menstrual cycles into an online calculator to see when ovulation should occur.

The first day of a woman’s period is taken as the starting point of the menstrual cycle–and if the cycle is a 28-day cycle–the 14th day after a period is estimated to be her ovulation time. In this case, days 12 to the 16th (from the day of last period) are the most fertile days for the woman. Having sex on days 10 to day 18 may increase the chances of conception.

Ovulation in general can occur between day 10 and day 19 of the menstrual cycle, or 12 to 16 days before the next period is due. This depends on each individual woman’s cycle. More specifically, ovulation typically occurs at day 14-15 of the menstrual cycle; approximately 10-12 hours after the LH (luteinizing hormone) peak occurs and 24-36 hours after peak estradiol levels are obtained. The LH concentration should remain elevated for 14-27 hours to allow for full maturation of the oocyte.

Bottom line—when is the absolute best time to have sex during ovulation?

The chances of pregnancy are maximized during the five days before ovulation through to the day of ovulation. These six days are the ‘fertile window’ in a woman’s cycle, and reflect the lifespan of sperm (5 days) and the lifespan of the released oocyte (24 hours).

The likelihood of actually becoming pregnant is dramatically increased if you have intercourse in the three days leading up to and including ovulation.

In summary, if a couple is trying to conceive they should start having sex two days before the expected start date of ovulation and then every other day. The reason for adding a day or two surrounding the predicted ovulation time period is that some women ovulate earlier and some later than expected.

Shannon M. Clark, MD is a double board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist focusing on the care of women with either maternal or fetal complications of pregnancy. Dr. Clark is also an Associate Professor at UTMB-Galveston and the founder of Babies After 35.

In This Article

    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective set

    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


    Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

    Thank you for understanding. ❤️

    In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

    Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

    Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.


    I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

    Keep reading Show less

    100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

    From Adelia to Ziggy.

    Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

    Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

    Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.

    Keep reading Show less
    Learn + Play