Sex more likely during fertile phase

Women are significantly more likely to have sex during the fertile part of their monthly cycle, suggests new research.

“If you’re a couple trying to get pregnant, that’s great news. There’s a hidden biological process working in your favour,” says Allen Wilcox, a reproductive epidemiologist at the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Durham, North Carolina, and lead researcher of the study.

“If you are not trying to pregnant the news is not so good,” he told New Scientist . The work indicates that having unprotected sex once is more likely to result in pregnancy than previously thought.

The underlying reason for the coincidence of intercourse and heightened fertility is not clear. Previous research suggests women feel sexier in the days before ovulation, which may increase their own libido or make them more attractive to their partners. And men have been found to be more attentive to their female partners around ovulation.

However, those studies did not determine whether these loving feelings actually resulted in more sex. And Wilcox’s group have some evidence that sex may actually act as a trigger for ovulation, and not the other way around. “But that would need to be confirmed in a larger study,” he says.