How often is too often or not often enough

One of the questions asked by so many, both experts and lay people alike, is how often are you having sex and when.  Believe me, we’ve tried everything!  Week of ovulation only, all month, every day, every second day, every second day all month,  three days before ovulation, three days after ovulation, and various combinations of all of the above.  I’ve lain with a pillow under my hips and with my legs in the air.  We’ve tried in the morning, at lunchtime, and at night.  I’ve read countless articles on what’s best (believe it or not the internet can actually be your friend) and everyone seems to have a different opinion.  I have friends who have gotten pregnant without trying and friends who have gotten pregnant while trying not to.  So, I can only deduce from all of this and from our own personal experience, that it really doesn’t matter.  If you’re supposed to get pregnant, you will.  Lying with your legs above your head for half an hour is not only bloody uncomfortable, it won’t make a spot of difference.

They say that once you have a baby everyone has an opinion of parenting rights and wrongs.  I can assure you that for those of us who struggle to conceive, it actually starts well before pregnancy and birth.  For a wee while I kept our attempts to procreate a secret from all but a select few (there are still many who don’t know – including half of my family).  However, once the word began to get out nearly everyone I spoke to had different bits of advice for me, far more than just the timing and positions listed above!

As already mentioned we started with charting temperatures as this seemed an easy way to begin and was well suited to the “pre-trying” phase.  Although this doesn’t show your ovulation until after the fact (and too late to “try”), after a few months you begin to build a picture of what your cycle looks like and when you generally ovulate.  Turns out I ovulate quite late in the piece around day 17, though my body ever so nicely had a stint at popping its egg around day 14 just as I thought we had it sussed.

Around month 3 we decided to get some notice pre-ovulation and picked up ovulation predictor kits.  These came in the form of mid-stream test strips (yep, the ones you pee on) and proved a nightmare for me – mostly because one of the optimal test times is during work hours and they’re really not the most convenient thing to be wandering off to the work loos with.   The other optimal time is in the evening.  You’d think that this would be easier but alas no, it seems our somewhat hectic life can be a little unpredictable and I could never guarantee I was going to be in an appropriate place to test at the same time each night (another thing that makes these tests frustrating).  Still, I wouldn’t say no to giving them another go at some stage and I’m sure others will find these a lot easier to fit into their lives.  Perhaps I’m just too disorganised.

Around month 6 we were recommended the Maybe Baby saliva test kit.  We debated this one for a while as they’re not cheap and surely we were timing things right by now weren’t we.  We’d researched.  We knew how long my cycles were and when I ovulated, and it wasn’t rocket science!  But, there’s always the little nagging thought at the back of your mind that says “well, maybe you haven’t got it quite right”….so we surrendered and bought the test via the internet.  Four days later it arrived complete with a pregnancy test kit just to remind you how incredibly inept you are at being able to conceive – thanks online store.  A whole month I used it.  Smearing my spit on the microscope each morning, waiting for it to dry, then looking for the speckly or ferning pattern through the lens.  It had worked miracles for the friends of our recommendee….turns out I’m one of the small percentage of women the test doesn’t work for (subsequent investigation would show my oestrogen may be slightly lower than most women’s) so that was the end of that.  Bye bye $89.95 and back to charting temperatures we go.

I think we can safely say we have tried a fair selection of the vices on the market and have it as sussed as we’re going to have it.  Some of you might be thinking we need to not focus so much on getting pregnant, the things to try to get us there, and to just “stop stressing about it”…I’m sure you’re right but trust me, we’ve already tried that too.


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