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Q&A: 9 Months and Counting

April C. Sanchez, M.D.


Q We have been trying to get pregnant for 9 months. I have read and read about fertility and ovulation, until my eyes are going to fall out. I have textbook 28 day cycles. When doing the Basal Body Temperature chart, I see the temperature shift on day 14 or 15. We had his sperm count checked and it was fine. We usually have sex every day from day 10 to day 15. Any suggestions?

A The fact that you have 28-day cycles indicates that you probably usually ovulate on about day 14 (counting day 1 as the first day of your period). Intercourse is not necessary daily when trying to conceive. In fact, by the fourth or fifth day, your partner's sperm may be somewhat depleted. Rather, you should be having intercourse approximately every 36-48 hours beginning 3-4 days prior to expected ovulation and continuing until 2 days after ovulation. Although the life span of human sperm and eggs may vary, the average is 24 to 48 hours for the sperm and 12-24 hours for the egg. Also, when trying to conceive, you should avoid the use of artificial lubricants such as K-Y Jelly, as these can have a spermicidal effect. If lubrication is necessary, it is better to use a little vegetable oil.

Keep in mind that in each ovulatory cycle, normal couples have only about a 25% chance of becoming pregnant. After 1 year, 85% of couples will become pregnant and after 2 years the figure is 93%. With this in mind, it is reasonable to consult your doctor for an infertility evaluation after trying unsuccessfully to conceive for at least a year. The male factor accounts for nearly 40% of infertility in America. Another 20% of infertility is caused from an ovulatory problem. Other causes of infertility include tubal damage, endometriosis, and problems with the cervical mucus. These factors can be evaluated through various tests performed by your doctor.

I wish you the best of luck as you continue to try to conceive.

April C. Sanchez, M.D.

Click here to Ask Dr. Sanchez your pregnancy questions.

Dr Sanchez lives with her husband and two boys ages 6 and 2 in Mandeville, Louisinana. She is a Board Certified OBGYN with a dregree from Louisiana State University Medical School. She completed her residency through the Tulane University Medical School Residency Program. She also received a Surgical Excellence Award.

Total Woman Care

She is now practicing Obstetrics and Gynecology at Total Woman Care, in Manderville, Louisiana. The Total Woman Care website, ( is an "Advanced" Obstetrics and Gynecology Practice that cares and provides for the needs of women with total Compassion, Empathy, and Understanding. Dedicated to Provide Obstetrics and Gynecology Related Information for the Women of West St Tammany Parish.

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