FERTILITY5050: men want romance

In our third blog about the results of FERTILITY5050, we’re exploring opinions on sex and conception. What sexual practices do people consider more important when trying for a baby?

Here’s what we asked.

“When having sex in order to conceive, which of these are important?”

As a data analyst, I’m no expert on the biologically correct answers – feel free to look here if you’d like to know more about that. But I’ve been informed that regular sex is by far the most important way to improve your chances to get pregnant. To me, this says that conception is often a numbers game: each time you have sex you give yourself a chance, and these chances add up.

Surprising results

However, regular sex was not top of our respondents’ list, with fewer than one in five selecting it.


The most surprising aspect of this data is that only around half of participants thought male ejaculation was important. We suspect there are respondents not bothering to select an answer which is ‘too obvious’. We may also have given too many options, although the options were shown as a 3x5 grid to keep them all on the screen at the same time. Because of this we’re wary of talking about specific percentages, since it may be that some respondents considered it important but choose higher ranking options instead.

Mars needs women

What’s more interesting is the difference between men and women. When it comes to sex for conception, men are more likely to cite factors we might associate with romantic sex. Three of the biggest differences are foreplay, music and pillow talk: not exactly the aspects of sex society normally thinks of as masculine.


These differences seem to be even more exaggerated for those without children who are currently trying to conceive:


While the sample size is getting a little low for our liking (95 respondents), we think this result does illustrate an important point. Men may be more likely to think of sex when conceiving as – at least partly – romantic sex, with women more likely to take a focused or practical view.

Men who have been trying for longer seem even more likely to view the romantic side as important:


Since regular sex is by far the best thing you can do to improve your chances of conception, it seems to us that men and women should be talking about the different expectations they have for it.

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