Infertility Education - Embarrassing Questions

Q. Is too much sex bad for my chances of getting pregnant. When and how often should we be having sex during our fertile period?

A. Generally intercourse is recommended around cycle day 9 or 10 and continuing every-other-day for the next week. With a normal sperm count, having intercourse every 24 hours is not a problem, but with lower sperm counts, this might be too frequent. A frequency of more than once every 24 hours might decrease the number of mature sperm that are present and could lower the chances for success.

Q. Can my wife/partner help with sample collection?

A. Yes. When a semen specimen is being produced for either analysis or to use in intrauterine insemination and sperm washing, a wife/partner could help with the collection. Vegetable oil is the only lubricant that can be used. A sterile-condom kit has to be used for sample collection with intercourse. The kit is available for purchase from the office and instruction for use are included.

Q. Is one position more effective in conception than another?

A. No.

There does not appear to be any one position that is more favorable for conception than another.

Q. Can my husband be sterile even if he always gets an erection?

A. Yes.

An erection is necessary for an ejaculate to be produced and be normal, but just because an erection occurs and semen is produced, this does not mean that a sperm count and semen analysis will be normal.

Q. Can prolonged use of tampons negatively affect my chances for getting pregnant?

A. There seems to be no association between infection rate or fertility problems with tampon use. However, to prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome tampons should be changed frequently.

Q. Could the abortion I had when I was younger be the reason we are not conceiving?

A. There has been no correlation between abortion and subsequent infertility. However, infection associated with an abortion my lead to tubal damage, which can affect conception.

Q. Should my husband stay "in" for a period of time after we have had sex?

A. Once ejaculation has occurred, it is not necessary for the penis to remain in the vagina for any length of time. Sperm can swim very quickly through the vagina and the cervical mucus into the uterus.

Q. Do I need to lie down for a while after sex?

A. It is commonly recommended to rest for a period of time after intercourse. Sperm swim very quickly and this period of rest along with elevation of the hips and legs is not necessary.

Q. If I do not have orgasm, can I still get pregnant?

A. Yes

An orgasm is not essential for sperm to travel up into the uterus or for fertilization or for implantation to occur.

Q. Can a venereal disease I contracted when I was younger be the cause of my infertility?

A. Infections can lead to tubal damage and can sometimes lead to infertility. Your physician will discuss treatment options with you during your office visit.

Q. Did I produce enough sample?

A. The normal volume of semen produced is between 1.5 milliliters and 5 milliliters which is between a third of a teaspoon to a teaspoonful. In this case it is a matter of quality (semen count, motility and morphology) that is more important than quantity.

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