Timed intercourse is one of the simplest treatment options for infertility and can be a starting point for many couples trying to conceive. Timed intercourse is simply a process of determining when you are ovulating and making sure intercourse occurs as close to that time as possible.


This can be useful when your ovulation is either not regular or difficult to monitor at home, or when couples have scheduling difficulties because of work and daily responsibilities. We can monitor your egg development and your uterine lining and optimize the time with about 48 hours of notice for the best time to conceive. Best of all, it’s free!


In order for timed intercourse to be an effective treatment option, the recruitment of a follicle usually containing an egg to be ovulated, must occur first. The first part of a timed intercourse treatment cycle will center around this step. Some patients will naturally develop the follicle while others may require oral or injectable medications to stimulate egg development. Once an appropriate size follicle is identified through ultrasound, the patient may trigger ovulation naturally or with an injectable medication. Triggering ovulation can be very beneficial in patients with slow or delayed ovulation, while in those who are regularly ovulating it has been shown to reduce success rates. We only do what’s right for your specific situation.


The second part of the treatment will address fertilization of the ovulated egg. This will occur with the strategic timing of intercourse. We either use 18-24 hours after a natural LH ovulation surge, or 36 hours after a trigger shot is administered for timed intercourse, in the privacy of your own home. Often times the male partner will be asked to abstain from ejaculation for two to three days prior to the timed intercourse. This allows the semen to build up an appropriate amount of sperm. Following the timed intercourse, you may be instructed to take daily supplemental progesterone—usually in the form of a capsule or gel inserted into your vagina twice or three times daily — to support the endometrial lining of the uterus and implantation of the embryo.


There are virtually no risks to timed intercourse with a natural cycle. If you are using medications to increase your egg production there is a small risk of having twins and higher-order multiples are very rare.