Questions you may not have wanted to ask your mother or doctor.
Can having sex too often decrease our chances for success and how often should we have sex in the middle of my cycle?
To maximize a couple's chances, intercourse is recommended beginning around day of cycle 9 or 10 and continuing in a pattern of every-other-day for at least the next week. If a semen analysis is normal, having intercourse every 24 hours is also not a problem, but with lower sperm counts, this may actually be too frequent. Having intercourse more frequently than every 24 hours may actually decrease the number of mature sperm that are present. Therefore, more than every 24 hours is not recommended and possibly could lower the chances for success.
For a semen analysis, can the woman help with collection and in what ways?
When a man is producing a semen specimen for either analysis or to use or intrauterine insemination and sperm washing, a wife could help with the collection. She could be present to help the man achieve an erection and also by direct stimulation. No lubricants can be utilized. Also, a semen collection device may be preferred by some couples. This is a special condom that can collect the sperm. Intercourse could take place with the condom is worn by the male partner. The specimen can be collected in the condom and then placed in a sterile container and brought into the office.
Is there any one position that is more effective than another?
There does not appear to be any one position that is more favorable for conception than any other.
How could my husband be sterile? He can always get an erection so this does not seem possible.
It is possible to achieve an erection without having a normal ejaculate or normal sperm count. The production of semen from the testicle and prostate is a separate process. An erection is necessary for an ejaculate to be produced and be normal, but just because an erection occurs and semen is produced, this does not mean that a sperm count and semen analysis is necessarily normal.
Does douching affect fertility?
It is not recommended to douche after intercourse. At other times of the menstrual cycle, douching is allowed but is not medically necessary. It would be fine and is totally the woman's preference.
I have worn tampons forever. Can that negatively affect my chances for getting pregnant?
There is no data to show us that tampon use decreases success for pregnancy. It is still recommended that regular changing of a tampon occur in order to prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome, but there have been no associated infection rate or fertility problems with tampon use.
When I was younger, I had an abortion (my husband does not know). Could this be the reason we have not conceived?
Abortion has not been shown to lower a woman's success rate for pregnancy in the future. However, if an infection occurred around that time, as with any other procedures, there may be tubal damage and abnormalities. If no symptoms of fever, prolonged bleeding, or pain occurred after the procedure, this is extremely unlikely.
Should my husband stay "in" for a period of time after we have had sex?
This should not be necessary. Once ejaculation has occurred, it is not necessary for the penis to remain in the vagina for any length of time. Sperm swim very quickly through the vagina and the cervical mucous into the uterus.
Do I need to lie down for awhile after sex?
Many people recommend resting for a period of time after intercourse, however, as stated previously, sperm swim very quickly and this period of rest is not thought to be absolutely necessary. Elevation of the hips, legs, etc. is also not necessary.
If I do not have orgasm, can I still get pregnant?
Absolutely. Orgasm is not essential for either sperm to travel up into the uterus or for fertilization to subsequently occur.
I have read about changes in cervical mucous at ovulation time. How is the best way to check mine?
A woman may notice cervical mucous changes just from wiping herself at midcycle around the time of ovulation. A woman may also insert a finger into the vagina and be able to detect some cervical mucous that is closer to the cervix. In most cases, if mucous is very favorable, some is produced and noticed on either her pants or a panty liner. Favorable mucous is very clear and abundant and stretches very easily at midcycle.
I contracted a venereal disease when I was a teen. Could this be the cause of my infertility?
Certain venereal diseases are associated with fallopian tube damage, most notably chlamydia and gonorrhea. Other sexually transmitted diseases are not. These include herpes, human papilloma virus, and trichomonas. It is important for your physician to take a careful history to determine if any sexually transmitted diseases are present, however. At times, a chlamydial infection may be very silent and symptoms may not occur. Also, certain sexually transmitted diseases could be carried "together". Therefore, if a viral sexually transmitted disease such as HPV or herpes has occurred, it is important to report this history to your doctor, but those particular viruses are not associated with fallopian tube damage.