It can be awkward discussing embarrassing sex questions with your doctor so, to save your blushes, here are my answers to the most common questions about sex I get asked from women and couples trying to conceive...
1 Does a woman need to orgasm to conceive?
No, not at all. An estimated 80 per cent of women struggle to orgasm during sex, but there are plenty of women still getting pregnant. I will say that the odds are slightly in your favour if you do manage to orgasm as the muscles involved help to propel sperm towards the egg so it progresses quicker. But as a whole, do not worry that a lack of orgasm is the reason you're failing to get pregnant.
2 Can oral sex improve your chances of falling pregnant?
No, it's important to avoid oral sex during and around ovulation. Saliva contains enzymes and other agents that can damage sperm and hinder their journey towards the egg. If oral sex is something you enjoy as a couple, then by all means keep doing it - but avoid the fertile window.
3 How often do I need to have sex to stand a chance of conceiving?
Three to four times a week is perfect for getting a good supply of sperm during fertile times. When trying to conceive, I ask patients to focus less on when the egg is released, and more on how much sperm is available. Sperm lives for three to four days, so regular sex will ensure there is a constant supply and therefore maximum potential for conception to take place.
4 What is the best sexual position for getting pregnant?
Men in particular worry that they need to be penetrating deeply to improve their chances. Women on the other hand are more interested in whether certain positions will help the sperm stay inside them. The truth is, it doesn't matter one little bit. Any position is good, providing you're relaxed, comfortable and enjoying the moment together.
5 Can you have too much sex to get pregnant?
When trying for a baby, you can never have too much sex. A lot of women worry that, by having too much sex, they are reducing the amount of sperm available or affecting its quality. In fact, the opposite is true. If a man stores up his sperm it will come out in greater quantity, but a lot of it will be dead. Sex also releases a lot of fertility friendly hormones in both men and women, so if you're trying for a family, more is better.
6 Is it OK to use lubricants and gels when trying for a baby?
It's best to avoid using a lubricant if you can, although for some women who suffer with vaginal dryness, this is not possible. If sex is uncomfortable without a vaginal lubricant it's important to make sure that you are using a safe one that is not going to affect the sperm's ability to swim through the cervix to reach the egg.
7 Do you need passion to conceive?
For men, more testosterone is produced in the morning. It has been proven that sperm is healthier when more testosterone is present, so having sex first thing could improve your chances, despite it conflicting with busy schedules and ideals.
8 What is the best fertility gadget to increase my chances of conception?
I'm going to say none. A lot of women swear by ovulation kits, apps and measuring basal body temperature. That's fine, although they should be used alongside an understanding of how your cervical secretions change during your fertile time. Fertility gadgets also present the danger of making you more obsessive and conscious of the fertility process, and therefore adding to your stress levels.
9 Is my partner right to worry about how long he lasts?
Men often have a lot of pent up anxieties surrounding their performance in the bedroom and how this will affect their fertility. How long they last, what size they are, how much sperm they produce.... None of this will make a difference in making a healthy baby.
To find out more about Zita and the work of the Zita West Clinic visit www.zitawest.com