It's a bit of a duh idea: If you're trying to conceive, have more sex. Sex while you're ovulating will increase your odds of getting pregnant, but there may be more to it. New studies share exactly what you should be doing.
Research from the famous Kinsey Institute sheds light on how having more sex throughout your cycle affects your ability to conceive: It alters your immune system.
Scientists studied 30 healthy women who were not trying to become pregnant. Half were sexually active, using condoms or IUDs to prevent pregnancy. Half were abstinent. For several menstrual cycles, volunteers provided blood, saliva and other samples for study.
The results revealed distinct differences between the sexually active vs. abstinent women. Before they were able to become pregnant, sexually active women displayed heightened levels of a certain immune cell when their reproductive systems were preparing to release an egg. Later in the cycle when conception was possible, these same women developed higher levels of a different type of immune cell, that helps the body recognize and ignore nonhazardous foreign cells, like a fetus. Abstinent women had no such changes.
So what does this mean for you? If you've got babies on the brain post wedding, don't actually wait until after the wedding to have more frequent sex. Take full advantage of these newly discovered immunological changes, and do it more, more, and more. (Your fiancé will thank you, and he should thank the research scientists at the Kinsey Institute.)
The time to start priming yourself for pregnancy is now: "The more frequently a woman engages in sexual activity, the more often her immune system gets the message that it's time to reproduce," says Kinsey Institute research scientist Tierney Lorenz, as reported in the New York Times.
Allison Moir-Smith is a bridal counselor, cold feet expert, author, and creator of the Happy Bride's Secret Video Toolkit.