Your fertility Questions – How often should we be “getting busy?”
Posted Jun 13 2012 11:05pm
"My biggest quesiton is – if you have an irregular period, and are unsure of when you ovulate, how often should you be getting busy – and starting on which day of your cycle? My doctor said to start on day 9 – and go every second day until day 30ish."
This isn't as straight forward as – "do it x amount of times over x amount days." Firstly – if you experience irregular periods, it is most important to look at the bigger picture. Very commonly, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or Poly Cystic Ovaries (PCO) may be a culprit of irregular periods. But before you rush off to get yourself tested, hear this; it actually isn't essential to know exactly 'why' when it comes to making a baby. In fact, sometimes the 'label' can set about doubts within. It's all about the 'potential' to conceive and maximising your fertility.
Know this – Irregular menstruation doesn't mean you can't conceive, BUT the number of opportunities that present may be less, when ovulation is all about the place.
Regulating the menstrual cycle isn't too difficult. This something we tackle in the clinic to maximise a woman's fertility. You see, if you have a 60 day cycle – you're getting 50% less of a chance, than a woman with a 28-30 day cycle.
From here – regardless of whether the cycle is regular or not, we must teach women to best read the fertile signs. This can differ from woman to woman, but there are is one key factor right across the board.
Know this – the LAST day you see fertile cervical mucus is ovulation.
A woman (especially relevant to PCO/S) may 'attempt' to ovulate several times in a month. There are many factors that will influence or 'suspend' ovulation (excessive exercise, use of medications, lack of food, stress). What this means, is she might be gearing toward ovulation, but due to one of these factors (exercise, stress etc), it doesn't follow through. The body stops, almost like it's shocked and then, a few days later, it simply tries again. Essentially, a woman will keep on attempting until she actually follows through with the event.
Remember – The last time you see fertile mucus will be ovulation. Not the peak day, not the first day – the last day. (Stay tuned for an 'ovulation tutorial' over the next few weeks).
This effectively means a women may not be sure of ovulation until after the event has occurred.
This brings me to the answer of 'How often?" I'm a huge advocate for 'regular sex.' Sex right through out the month, for the purpose of being healthy, rather than to make a baby. You see – timing is everything but timing correctly can be hard and we so often get it wrong when we are possibly focusing on the wrong part of the cycle. So rather than 'schedule' sex, just have loads of it. It does wonderful things for exercising the reproductive organs (a marathon runner doesn't just train once a month, your reproductive organs are not dissimilar), increasing blood flow to the area and getting the hormones pumping. It helps keep progesterone up should you be pregnant. You see – it's vital at every stage of the cycle, not just at ovulation. Sex post ovulation is just as important for conception, as that during ovulation.
Know this – regular sex means 3-4 times per week, right throughout the cycle (outside of menstruation).
Some women ovulate early, others ovulate late. When you are having regular sex, it doesn't really matter when you ovulate – so long as you ovulate, you give yourself a great chance of conception. If you are one of those women who have irregular cycles or perhaps you ovulate later in the cycle than you realise, by confining sex to what you think is your 'fertile window' you might be missing the boat all together. Oh and one more thing – if the cycle has a rough pattern, sometimes a day or so early and others a day or so late – this isn't irregular, this is considered normal. In any case, the same principles apply.