Beyond the Egg Timer

An insider's guide to having children in your thirties and forties.

How Hard Should You Try?

Have you ever wondered if you should use ovulation tests or take your temperature every morning? This post will shed some insight on timing sex for conception. Read More

I'm trying really, really

I'm trying really, really hard!! Thank you for validating the things I am doing (temping, checking CM) so that I can feel less crazy and more "deliberate" about these methods. The old figure of 20% chance per cycle is thrown around a lot, and it drives me nuts that no matter what i do, I can't boost my chances better than that. But maybe temping and checking CM do get you to a better than 20% success rate?

Thanks for your comment. Yes,

Thanks for your comment. Yes, that 20% figure IS thrown around a lot and is probably misleading. Yes, temperature charting and CM can increase the chance that you're having sex right before ovulation occurs and therefore increase your chance of getting pregnant. In Wilcox's 1995 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, sex on the day of ovulation or 1-2 days earlier had more than a 30% chance of leading to pregnancy. Sex 3-5 days before ovulation had less than a 20% chance. Earlier than that or after ovulation had basically no chance.
Of course, the flip side of this is that in most cycles chances are you won't get pregnant, despite charting. That doesn't mean that anything is wrong with you or your partner. Good to luck you and let us know how things progress.

Thanks for your reply. My

Thanks for your reply. My copy of Expecting Better arrived yesterday, looking forward to diving in to the first chapters on TTC.
Thanks for creating such an intelligent forum online for reading about these issues. The typical TTC and pregnancy sites can be hard to bear with silly language and dramatic/sensational symptom-spotting posts. I also worry that those sites attract a disproportionate number of people who are having trouble TTC, therefore skewing my perception of where I might fall on that spectrum.

I hope your endeavor/site/book attracts and inspires intelligent, sympathetic but fact-based conversation!

I like your attitude

My husband and I have been trying for three months, and we have both felt a lot of pressure. My friends who are moms recommended all of these fertility tracking methods before we started trying. I have been monitoring my temp, checking my cm and using LH test strips. I have to say, these techniques are all very interesting and I have learned a lot about my fertility. However, we have also felt a lot of pressure to time sex perfectly and this has taken the romance out of the experience for us. In retrospect, I think we could have started out just making love often without protection for a few months before using all the ovulation prediction methods. I like your recommendation to aim to make love three times a week. I think this might work better for us. A wise friend of mine also recommended not using the word "Trying" to conceive and instead calling it "allowing" yourselves to conceive. Sometimes, we just have to get out of our own way.

We LOVE the idea of allowing

We LOVE the idea of allowing yourself to conceive. Sharon may write a whole post about it! Thanks for sharing your insights.

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Sharon I. Praissman is an adult (medical) and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Emma Williams is a public health researcher and writer.

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