More Sex is Not better to Get Pregnant by! Chinese Counting?

A new study looking at conception rates depending upon when you have sex during the week around ovulation has been recently published. And so often when research like this comes out, I think by the title: "duh" did we need a scientific study to prove this? Like you are cleaner if you bathe more than people who never bathe, really? Did we need to prove that. So when I read the title, about conception probability based on the menstrual cycle, I thought, "duh" you get pregnant if you nail the ovulation date (only some pun intended). And we know that sperm live for about 48-72 hours and that eggs only live for about 24 hours, and it has been shown that having sex on the earlier side is probably better. But then there was another fascinating aspect to the new study reported in the September issue of Fertility and Sterility, and performed at the Sichuan Reproductive Health Institute, more sex was NO MORE likely to occur even if you have sex more frequently! Interesting. They followed over 850 women over several cycles and then their chance of getting pregnant at month 1 month 3 and month 6. The interesting issue was that more sex did NOT increase the chance a woman got pregnant. The pregnancy rate for women only having sex once had a higher odds probability of getting pregnant than if they did have sex 2-4 times, though finally having sex 5 times during that conception cycle did beat (barely) the probability of conception but it wasn't statistically significant. You are just as likely to get pregnant with less sex. (Providing you do have sex at least once!). It was the quality, not the quantity: and the best day to get pregnant is day minus one of the ovulation date. This was a bit different than the numbers seen in the North Carolina Early Pregnancy Study and the British studies they compared themselves to. In those studies actually earlier sex had a lot of success. They used urinary LH to figure out the exact day  of ovulation, so the study was very well done, and may have been a more accurate study let alone population differences as the explanation of conception probabilities. . And in their study about 80% of women who got pregnant did so with in the first three months. And over a 4th of all pregnancies in their group occurred in couple that only had sex the once. Maybe too much sex affects that sperm quantity so much the chances of success do go down. It seems like that "duh" answer is more sex is better. But in this case it wasn't. If you are still suspicious I guess we have to get out the fine print of the paper and make sure their statistics weren't just reckoning with their Chinese counting rods. But as I hear it, that 2000 year old mathematical system was quite cleaver and pretty much right on! So if you had an oops and are looking at taking Plan B, or you are trying madly for that baby, these statistics might sway the discussion as to what to do, and when to do it!


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