Step up sex before ovulation. As soon as you pick up a hormonal surge, have sex that day, plus the next two days. Pregnancy rates peak two days before ovulation, says Clarice Weinberg, Ph.D., chief of biostatistics at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Some experts speculate that's when cervical mucus is at its optimum for helping sperm travel to the egg and break down its shell-like coating.
Sperm can live inside the uterus for 24 to 48 hours, which means there will be plenty on hand to greet the egg once ovulation starts.
Another reason to have sex before you ovulate, as opposed to the day it happens: An egg survives for only 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, so if you begin to ovulate in the morning and wait until nighttime to have sex, the egg may lose its viability by the time the sperm gets to it. In addition, says Dr. Zarmakoupis, cervical mucus starts to become thick and impenetrable right after ovulation, rendering it "hostile" to the passage of sperm.
Enjoy yourself. "The most important thing to remember is to keep sex fun," says Felicia Stewart, M.D., coauthor of Understanding Your Body: Every Woman's Guide to Gynecology and Health. When it becomes a chore, it's easy to view sex as just one more item on your to-do list.
Give it time. Barring fertility problems and other conditions or habits that can interfere with conception, half of all couples get pregnant within six months, says Dr. Stewart, and 85 percent do so within a year.
Marisa Fox writes about health for national magazines.