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DAY 13 OF YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE

267 days to go...

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What's happening inside

The sperm cell can be seen here inside the fallopian tube. Since sperm can stay active and alive inside you for up to 72 hours, it's possible to get pregnant even if you don't ovulate for two to three days from now.

This is an optimum time to conceive, but try not to think too much about when you might be ovulating and just enjoy sex!

Use the time around ovulation to put some excitement and spontaneity back into your sex life. With all the recommendations and restrictions, not to mention old wives' tales, that supposedly maximize conception rates, it's easy to forget that sex is meant to be enjoyable. If you're hell bent on conceiving, then the fun can get forgotten. You might want to try different positions, times, or places for sex. If you and your partner aren't usually that adventurous, this is a good opportunity to try varying things a little.

Try to have sex every 24-48 hours. If your partner ejaculates regularly, it will encourage the production of quality sperm. The benefits of abstaining have been greatly overstated in the past. It is true that not having sex for up to seven days can boost the number of sperm, but research now shows that abstinence can impair the motility (swimming ability) of sperm, especially if the sperm were already borderline. The longer the period of abstinence, the more marked the effect will be. So have fun and if you conceive that's a bonus!

As A Matter Of Fact

Having an orgasm could boost your chances of conception.

One theory is that the female orgasm is an evolutionary device designed to convey semen into the cervix as the uterus contracts. If the woman climaxes up to a minute before her partner, or she doesn't orgasm, she will retain less semen than if she comes at the same time or after him.

Sexual positions

It seems that how you have sex can help conception. Positions that maximize penetration, such as rear entry, may work best since sperm is then deposited as close to the cervix as possible-languishing too long in vaginal secretions can lead to a sperm's early death. If the man is on top, the woman could try placing a pillow under her buttocks to raise her pelvis and aid the movement of sperm toward the cervix. Woman-on-top positions may lead to leakage of sperm. Avoid using lubricants because they can adversely affect sperm.

It may improve your chances of conception if you lie down for 15-20 minutes after having sex. Lying with your legs in the air will aid gravity further.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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