Sexual intercourse, for the purpose of conception, can leave you with many questions you wouldn’t have otherwise thought about.  These questions are normal, common, and important. 


Let’s dive right into the top 5 questions people have about intercourse when trying to conceive.

1. When are the best days to have sex when trying to conceive? 

Having sex every day of the month will not increase your chances of pregnancy. In fact, there is a small window of time each month that a woman’s body is able – often referred to as the fertile window. The fertile window is about 5 days prior to ovulation, but the highest chances occur when intercourse occurs on the day before ovulation and/or the day of ovulation. This is why it’s important to know how to detect your ovulation, or find out if you have any ovulatory problems.


 Click here to learn more about ovulation detection.


2. How often should I have sex during the fertile window, when trying to conceive?


It’s easy to suddenly question how often you should be having sex. Daily or every other day within your fertile window is perfect. Your fertile window is the few days leading up to ovulation, plus the day of ovulation. 


While there is physically nothing wrong with having sex at different times of the month, those times won’t end in a pregnancy and some couples begin to experience sexual “burnout”. It has been shown that for some couples, trying to have sex every day and/or multiple times a day can cause excessive stress. If daily intercourse is not natural to you and your partner, it can lead to performance anxiety and sexual dysfunction. 


3. Does position matter?

There is no evidence that sexual position makes any difference in chances of pregnancy or fertility. Choose what is best for you and your partner. 


4. How long should I wait to get up after sex?

While there’s no harm in remaining flat after intercourse, there is also no evidence to suggest that it will help. It takes only seconds for sperm to enter the cervical canal. Healthy sperm swim, regardless of the position of your body. There’s no benefit to remaining flat so choose what is comfortable for you. 


5. Should I use a lubricant?

Let’s bust a myth. Using lubricant does not improve chances of conception. However, there are some lubricants that can actually harm your chances. Both water and oil-based lubricants have been found to interfere with sperm motility. There are some “fertility-friendly” lubricants on the market. Visit our Resource Page for a fertility-friendly option. These will not help increase your chances, but rather, it will have minimal interference. 


When in Doubt

Asking questions about sex can feel a bit embarassing for some. Especially if it’s a question they feel they “should” know.  As you enter your fertility journey, there truly are no bad questions. Your doctors have heard them all. So if questions pop up, be sure to contact your doctor. They understand how overwhelming and confusing trying to conceive can actually be and they will guide you in the right direction. 


If you’ve been having difficulty trying to conceive and want to explore treatment options, contact me to schedule a consult.  

Trying to conceive can be a stressful process for many women, especially those who may be experiencing difficulty resulting from infertility. Patients who achieve pregnancy but then experience a pregnancy loss may feel even more frustrated. Recurrent pregnancy loss is defined as having two or more pregnancy losses following a documented gestational sac in the uterus.  Causes of recurrent loss can be related to uterine anomalies, immune issues, chromosomal imbalances in either the male or female partner, hormone issues, and most common, chromosomal imbalances in the embryo. 


Uterine Anomalies:


One of the most common uterine anomalies contributing to recurrent pregnancy loss is called a uterine septum.   A uterine septum results from failure of the uterus to develop normally in a female fetus in utero.  A septum acts like a dividing wall in the middle of the uterine cavity. . The septum itself is composed of fibrous tissue that does not have much blood supply on its own. Therefore, if a fertilized egg implants on the septum, it may not receive adequate nutrients during the pregnancy resulting in the possibility of loss. Most physicians agree that a uterine septum increases the risk of a pregnancy loss and should be removed if found. 


Fibroids, or benign fibrous tissue  of the uterus, are another anomaly responsible for some pregnancy loss or difficulty conceiving. There are different types of fibroids, depending on their location within the uterus. Fibroids located within the uterine cavity where the embryo implants and grows are linked to pregnancy loss.  There is also an increased risk for miscarriage in women with very large fibroids. 


Fortunately, treatment for both uterine septum and fibroids within the uterine cavity is available. Both can be removed surgically through minor, outpatient surgery in a minimally invasive procedure called Hysteroscopy.  Sometimes a larger procedure called a Myomectomy is needed for the removal of larger fibroids. 


Immune issues:  


Immune issues can involve either overactivity or low activity. With overactivity, the body responds by attacking and damaging its own tissues. In low activity cases, the body has difficulty fighting off infections and is, therefore, more vulnerable to disease. Two conditions seen in patients with recurrent pregnancy loss that fall under immune causes are Antiphospholipid syndrome and 


Antiphospholipid syndrome,  is an immune disorder where the body makes antibodies that attack phospholipids. Phospholipids are major components of plasma membranes and the structural component of cells. In antiphospholipid syndrome, blood clots can form within arteries, veins, and other organs. Recurrent pregnancy loss or stillbirth may be an effect of aPL as the clots may affect normal placental function. . 


This disorder is believed to be genetic and rare, found to be present in less than 200,000 cases each year. Medical professionals can prescribe blood-thinning medications to reduce the risk of blood clots.


Inherited thrombophilias is an inherited DNA mutation which results in the body producing too much or too little of a blood-clotting protein. The relationship between inherited thrombophilias and pregnancy loss remains controversial amongst doctors. They have reported evidence suggests treatment with an anticoagulant does not improve pregnancy outcomes. 

Hormone issues:


While there are several examples of hormone disruptions that could affect infertility and pregnancy loss, some examples are abnormal thyroid levels, elevated prolactin, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).


Abnormal thyroid function, both hyperthyroid and hypothyroid, appear to correlate to pregnancy loss. Hyperthyroidism produces too much thyroid hormone and can cause body processes to speed up, as in an elevated heart rate and metabolism.


On the other hand, hypothyroidism is the effect of too little or no thyroid hormone being produced. Most of the time thyroid conditions may be treated with medications. 


Prolactin is a hormone secreted after childbirth which aids in breastmilk production. In some cases, elevated prolactin in a woman before pregnancy may lead to infertility and or pregnancy loss as hormone production affects the estrogen and progesterone levels. However, high levels of prolactin may signal hypothyroidism or pituitary tumors and should be examined further. Sometimes there is no cause for the elevated levels of prolactin, and it may be treated with medication. 


Hypothyroidism is usually managed with medications, and tumors may be removed surgically. Other causes of elevated prolactin may be medications or stress. 


PCOS is common within the United States, with over 200,000 diagnosed cases each year. There is some evidence that women with PCOS have higher rates of pregnancy loss. This may be due to elevated male hormones, and elevated insulin levels. 


One resolution may be maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Some medical professionals might prescribe medications such as Metformin. Diet is another method that can manage PCOS symptoms and may help reduce pregnancy loss.



Insulin resistance is similar to hormone issues listed above. When the body does not respond to insulin, glucose cannot be absorbed from the blood. The result can be prediabetes or diabetes.  There is currently evidence demonstrating that elevated blood glucose can be associated with increase first-trimester loss [R]. 


Within my clinic, I often screen patients with a fasting blood glucose test as well as screenings for insulin levels and HgbA1C. The results will provide a snapshot of what blood glucose has looked like over a 3-month period. 


Diet and lifestyle changes are usually recommended; however, medications such as Metformin may also be prescribed.

Chromosomal imbalances 

Balanced Translocation refers to a condition in which part of the chromosome has broken off and reattached to another location. Depending on the circumstances, a chromosomal translocation may be harmless, or it may cause serious health problems. 


In the case of balanced, or reciprocal, translocation many individuals are unaware they are affected until pregnancy. If an affected person’s cells attempt to divide to create egg or sperm cells, the irregular chromosome would contain extra or missing genetic material. It could lead to pregnancy loss, depending on the gene affected. 


The translocation can be diagnosed through a test called a karyotype; however, there is no treatment. 


Chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo account for the most common cause of first-trimester pregnancy loss. Unfortunately, there is no simple test, such as a blood draw, to determine the cause. Genetic testing after a pregnancy loss can be performed if pregnancy tissue can be collected and sent to the lab.  Pregnancy tissue can be collected in cases where a woman miscarries at home or if the patient has a procedure called a Dilatation and Curettage ( D&C ) .  If available the pregnancy can be tested genetically to confirm the presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes. 


If you’d like support with pregnancy loss, or you are experiencing difficulty conceiving, contact me and we can help you get tested and decide if treatment is right for you. 

Stress. Timed sex. Feelings of inadequacy. Disagreements. Fears. Different coping mechanisms. None of this sounds particularly romantic, right? These are just a few of the obstacles that infertility can add to your relationship with your partner.


What problems may arise? How should you go about addressing them? 


You can come out of your infertility journey with your relationship strengthened – but first, you must be ready to tackle the challenges.



Stress is synonymous with infertility. There are so many unknowns. Often, when a couple is diagnosed with infertility, a baby is something they’ve been trying for and planning on. To first learn that it may not happen – or happen the way envisioned – can be terrifying. Fear and stress go hand-in-hand. 


You and your partner are in this together. You decided you want to have a child. You’ve been trying. You may be committed to sticking together through the hard times, and it’s entirely possible to come out of infertility with a strengthened relationship. To get there, you first have to acknowledge the obstacles, and identify ways to overcome them. This is not easy, even for couples with the strongest bond. 


Sex and Infertility

You may be trying to conceive by timing intercourse at home on your own, or during treatment with your doctor.   Many couples opt to time their cycles so that they are having sex during the woman’s fertile window. A physician can help determine the best timing for intercourse with your partner.  


Scheduling sex can be so unsexy. It can begin feeling like a chore. The stress of having to perform sexually when not in the mood can take a toll on either/both partners.  This can be an ideal time to seek the help of a mental health counselor to navigate through this.


Especially if you start losing your desire for sex,or feel disconnected from your partner.  Know that this is normal and common. It is also something that you can overcome together with good communication.


Disagreements and Fights

When pursuing infertility options, there are a lot of decisions to be made. 


  • Do you feel comfortable with the treatment options presented to you? 
  • Do you have the financial means to support your treatment? 
  • Is it worth taking out a loan for treatment, not having a guarantee it will work? 
  • What part of your journey, if any, should you share with family and friends? 
  • Should you seek outside help for emotional support? 


The list goes on. You may find that you and your partner have different answers, and that adds stress and tension to your already difficult situation.



There is no quick-fix or one-size-fits-all approach to overcoming relationship hurdles. There are, however, things you can do to preserve the strength of your emotional bond with your partner. If you’re trying for a baby, there’s no better time to ensure that you and your partner know and understand each other to the best of your abilities. 


Communication is Key

The best tool is communication. As humans, we all handle our feelings differently. Some love to talk about every detail, some don’t want to talk at all. Sharing feelings regarding infertility can be scary – especially to people who manage stress privately. If that’s the case, get creative. Writing letters can be a great form of communication. It gives each person the ability to say everything they need/want, without interruptions. It also allows for time to process what’s being communicated so a thoughtful response can be given, versus a knee-jerk response, helping to limit arguments


Compromise When Possible

Keeping your relationship cohesive may require some sacrifice and compromise. It can be easy to get lost in your own feelings and forget that this is something you are both going through. Try and remember that even if they don’t show it outwardly, your partner is experiencing hardship, too. It’s imperative to find middle ground on things you don’t agree on. 


Take a Break

Infertility can be all-consuming. Give yourself permission to take a break and talk about other things. Do things together that take your mind off your fertility journey and bring up topics that make you feel connected to  your partner. Watch a comedy together to lighten the mood.  Schedule a fun date day or night doing something that you both enjoy.  Make an effort to spend time doing something that will help shift your focus away from infertility. 


Ask for Help

The emotional toll is something fertility specialists, like Dr. Salem, are very familiar with. Reach out to your physician for mental health resources. They get it. I encourage couples to work with a mental health professional early on in the fertility journey to help navigate the wave of emotions that often come with treatment.


There are also ways to reach support online. Resolve is an organization that provides resources and support related to infertility. There are many individuals openly sharing their journey online. There are also private groups you can join for support as well.


Infertility can be hard on relationships, but if you optimize your communication and accept professional guidance when necessary, you can end your journey feeling closer than ever to the person you love.