Men may be more fertile early in the day, and morning sex may be the missing piece of the puzzle for some couples trying to get pregnant. While this is only so in a handful of cases, doctors caution, it remains a good reason for future moms and dads to wake up early.
“There could be potential situations where fertility cycles or conception cycles would be more likely occur during sex in the morning, in a very small subset of patients,” Dr. Daniel Kort, an OB/GYN and reproductive endocrinologist at Neway Fertility, told Fatherly.
There are a number of less tangible reasons why morning sex might help some couples conceive. On a basic level, mixing up what time you have sex can increase the novelty and make them more likely to try again and again. It helps that most people are more well-rested in the morning than in the evening. More scientifically speaking, studies suggest most men’s sex hormones are at their highest first thing in the morning, Kort says.
One fascinating advantage of morning sex is that it may help couples get pregnant even when the woman involved has a relatively short ovulation window. Sperm generally fertilizes an egg within 72 hours of sex, taking advantage of a broad ovulation window. But when that window is shorter than 72 hours, trying to conceive in the morning has the chance of catching the tail end of a window that might otherwise close before bedtime.
“In those cases, it could potentially benefit those men having sex in the morning, just from a timing perspective to time it around the time of ovulation,” Kort explains. “Certain women will ovulate closer in the morning and, for them, it might help.”
Still, despite the rise of highly accurate ovulation and sperm viability tests, it is not currently possible for doctors to take a look at a sperm count and a menstrual cycle and declare morning sex the cure to a couple’s infertility. Instead, doctors like Kort are likely to simply recommend that couples vary the time of day that they have sex, as a simple and non-invasive way to increase their odds of catching a smaller ovulation window.
When it comes to this particular “fertility treatment”, couples seldom complain. “You don’t want couples to sort of bow down to the process,” Kort says. “So creating an alternative plan has to potential for some couples to make it more exciting.”