Here's how many times you should have sex in order to conceive

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This new study has calculated the number of attempts you need if you're trying for a child ... and it's much, much more than you think.

If you're trying for a baby, how many times do you think you need to have sex? 10? 20?

A whopping 78 times, according to a new study.

Community parenting website Channel Mum surveyed 1,194 parents to find out just how much sexytime was necessary to conceive. On average, couples needed to have sex 13 times across a period of six months before success.

Lucky number 13

"Far from being an unlucky number, 13 seems to be the lucky number couples need each month to fall pregnant," Channel Mum founder Siobhan Freegard said.

Most of us probably imagined a much lower number, thanks to TV dramas that show the heroine discovering she's pregnant after just one night with her partner. These unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration if you're trying to conceive.

In reality, you're not alone. A tiny 5% of those surveyed got pregnant after having sex once.

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Moreover, only a third got pregnant in the first month of trying. And 20% of moms took at least a year!

Fertility is a messy business, influenced by innumerable factors like your stress levels and how much second-hand smoke you're exposed to. Take comfort if you haven't conceived after trying for five to six months — this study suggests this is perfectly normal.

How to stack the odds

Here are some of the most important insights the study surfaced for those who are trying for a child. To help stack the odds in your favor, we've added our own key takeaways.

1. Quantity counts

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A whopping 50% of couples surveyed had sex more often than usual while trying to conceive. If you're used to initiating fun time whenever the mood strikes, you might need to make a more regular effort. Scheduling sex may actually be a great method, unromantic though it sounds.

And ladies, it's up to you to take the lead! The survey showed that it was the women who were more likely to initiate regular sex, with around 40% doing so.

2. Spice it up

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Just a third of the mommies surveyed said they loved stacking the odds with extra sexytime. On the other hand, 18% confessed to finding these additional attempts a chore.

The last thing you want to do is kill the spark in your marriage while trying for a child!

For some romantic ideas, take your cue from the ladies surveyed. One in 16 moms revealed that they scheduled a vacation for baby-making purposes — almost like a second honeymoon! A further 13% said that they invested in sexy lingerie to get their husbands in the mood.

3. Know your body clock

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The study found that 50% of women tried to sync sex with their fertile days, while 5% turned to more unusual methods like gender prediction calendars.

Frequent sex might not always cut it — for most days of the month, your chances of getting pregnant are practically zero. Each woman has a unique fertile window in her menstrual cycle, lasting five days before ovulation through to the day of ovulation. There are online ovulation calculators to help you work out your fertile window!

4. Be supportive of each other

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A startling 43% of the couples surveyed confided that they felt under pressure in case they didn't fall pregnant.

The road to having a child is not just physically but emotionally tough. As would-be parents, your hopes and desires are on the line, and it can be crushing to see a negative pregnancy test result month after month.

Don't forget to check in with your loved one on he or she is doing as you walk this difficult road together.

5. Stick to missionary position

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The million-dollar question: which sex position should you use? By far the most popular sexual position for the couples surveyed was missionary, followed by doggy style.

This popularity is backed up by science — experts say that the missionary position is optimal for conception. Ladies, you may even want to place a comfy pillow beneath your hips to promote the sperm's swimming upward.

READ: Having sex twice in an hour triples men’s fertility!

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Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore