Many couples don’t realise how tricky it can be to conceive until they start trying. Not only do hormones and the menstrual cycle play a crucial role, but myriad other factors also make a huge difference: from your age and lifestyle, to your sexual health and whether or not you drink from plastic bottles (!). And of course, many couples only realise they’re infertile after years of trying. So, yeah, fertility is pretty complicated. But a new survey has shed some light on just how much effort is required to conceive a child.
The average couple trying for a baby has sex 78 times before they finally conceive, according to research by parenting website Channel Mum, which asked 1,194 British parents about their experience of conceiving.
This means it takes aspiring parents an average of six months and three days to get pregnant (185 days in total) after deciding to start a family, reported the Mirror. Nevertheless, luck also plays its part – just under a third of couples got pregnant in the first month, while a fifth took between a year and three years.
Half of those surveyed said they had sex more often than normal in a bid to increase their chances, with couples typically having sex 13 times per month.
An eager 10% said they had sex 15-20 times per month, while 5% were even more energetic, claiming to have sex nearly every day (21-25 times per month). Another 5% said they managed to get pregnant despite getting between the sheets just once each month.
For some respondents (18%), all this sex became a chore rather than a pleasure, but half of men and over a third of women said they "loved" having sex more often.
Women were more likely to say they initiated regular sex to conceive, with around 40% saying so, and 13% buying sexy lingerie for the purpose. One in 16 women even booked a holiday or weekend break specifically for sex.
Aside from more frequent sex, half of women also tried to sync sex with their fertile days and 39% altered their diet and took extra vitamins. Others (5%) opted for unusual, unscientific methods, including fertility spells and gender prediction calendars.