Abstinence before TTC






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It is often said that you should abstain from intercourse if before you are trying to conceive. The thought is that if you abstain from sex for a few days you will build up your sperm count and that this will give you a better chance of conceiving quickly. However, this method can become a bit tricky if you are trying to conceive one gender over another.

1. Controversy

First, you must understand that there are several different ideas in regards to abstaining before TTC. Many believe that abstaining will make your sperm counts be as high as they can possibly be. However, others believe that you should have sex more frequently, even every other day, when you are trying to conceive in order to make sure that you have a better chance to conceive.


These people believe that you will also receive a better quality of sperm if you have intercourse more regularly. It is difficult to say which method is correct and there may be truth behind both methods. It is probably best to stick to a happy medium while you are trying to get pregnant. Below you will see a few different ways to try for a certain gender.

2. If you want a girl

If you are looking to have a little girl, timing is everything. This is a circumstance when it is very important to know when you will be ovulating and time your intercourse before you ovulate. Have sex a couple of days before you begin to ovulate and stop when ovulation actually occurs.


There are a couple of ways to track your ovulation; a basal thermometer and ovulation kits. While an ovulation predictor kit can be quite easy to use, it also does not tell you that you have ovulated until after ovulation has already taken place. By choosing a basal thermometer, you will be able to better predict when you are ovulating and will be able to plan intercourse in order to try to have a little girl.

3. If you want a boy

If you are looking to become pregnant with a boy instead of a girl, it is also important that you know your ovulation cycle well. However, instead of having sex before you ovulate, you will need to have intercourse when you begin ovulating and continue to have intercourse for a couple of days after your egg is released.


The goal is to conceive as close to ovulation as possible when you are looking to have a boy instead of a girl. The idea is that male sperm swims much faster than female sperm and will therefore reach the egg sooner. However, female sperm can live in the body longer than male sperm so you will need male sperm to be present and reach the egg first if you want to have a boy.

4. Putting it all together

There is still very little research on the benefit of abstaining from intercourse while you are trying to conceive. However, if you are looking to have one gender over the other, it is important to time your intercourse around the time that you ovulate, as detailed above.


If you believe that abstaining is important when you are trying to conceive, it is important that you know your ovulation cycle well and have intercourse during the time that you are the most fertile. The goal is to have sperm present when the egg is released so that it can be fertilized quickly and efficiently.

5. Conclusion

One of the most important parts of the conception process is understanding when you ovulate. This may be more difficult to determine if you do not ovulate regularly, but you should be able to determine and the exact time frame if you monitor your body correctly.


It is best that you have sex every other day during the time that you are ovulating. It is not necessary to have intercourse more often than this, though, because sperm can actually live in the body for 48 hours. It is also possible to get pregnant from pre-ovulation and post-post ovulation, but you have to make sure that you time intercourse carefully in these instances.

Although it is still debated as to whether you should abstain from sex before you are trying to conceive, it may be necessary if you are trying to conceive one gender over another. Just remember that if you are hoping for a boy or a girl, that no method will guarantee the success of becoming pregnant with one or the other.

Abstinence before TTC, 1.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

Larissa Belanger, RN

Ms. Belanger has 20 years of experience in women's healthcare and nursing, including labor and delivery, postpartum and antenatal. She is passionate toward improving both maternal and fetal outcomes of high-risk obstetrics patients.