MILAN, Italy — Hopeful fathers-to-be, if your significant other pencils in a conception appointment, don’t miss it! A new study finds women who time their intercourse just right have better odds of conceiving a child.
More specifically, researchers found that couples who find their “fertile window” using urine-testing monitors can increase their chances of having a child by up to 10 percent.
While the study found that urinary ovulation detection can help couples better schedule their love-making sessions, researchers could not find the same benefit in other fertility awareness-based methods (FABM). These include menstrual cycle apps, calendar predictions, and body-worn devices that identify changes in cervical mucus or body temperature.
“This update suggests a benefit of timed intercourse using urinary ovulation detection. However, more evidence is needed on the adverse effects of timed intercourse and its effectiveness in different groups – such as those with unexplained infertility – before clinicians are able to promote this practice,” says Dr. Tatjana Gibbons from the University of Oxford in a media release. “Future studies should also assess the use of FABM for couples trying to conceive.”
Technology is changing the bedroom
Researchers say timed intercourse is becoming much more popular among prospective parents thanks to new health apps, including ovulation detectors. These apps predict the days in a woman’s menstrual cycle where the ovary is most likely to release an egg for insemination.
In the new study, researchers looked at the effectiveness of timed intercourse using ovulation detection methods — including urine ovulation tests measuring fertility hormones, and FABM. Study authors used data from six studies involving 2,374 women trying to have a baby through natural means.
Overall, using urinary ovulation detection to schedule sex increased the rates of pregnancy more than couples who did not time intercourse around this fertile window. Those timing their baby-making attempts using urine tests had a 20 to 28-percent chance of conceiving. Those engaging in spontaneous intercourse only had an 18-percent chance.
Do pregnancy apps really work?
Unfortunately, the study could not find the same evidence when it comes to using FABM. Those results were inconclusive, according to the team. Moreover, data on these apps and devices were only available in two studies, including a total of 160 women.
For couples using ovulation detection, researchers found more evidence that the tests work among couples trying to conceive for less than a year. There was less evidence that pointed to a clear difference in the odds of conceiving among “sub-fertile” couples — partners that have been trying to have children for more than a year.
The team presented their findings the 38th Annual Meeting of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.