Updated on November 3, 2015
Increasing the Odds of Conception: SMEP
I’ve talked before about how timing is everything when it comes to trying to conceive (TTC), and it’s a big one for sure. Knowing when (or if) you’re ovulating is key, and with that figured out you are better able to get the baby dancing (BD) timing just right too. Maybe you’ve been trying for a while, or maybe you’re just thinking about trying soon, either way there is a method of timing sex that can optimize your odds of success. In the world of TTC there are no guarantees (wouldn’t it be great if there were?), but perhaps this method will bring you success. It’s called SMEP and I’m going to explain what it is and how it works!
SMEP stands for Sperm Meets Egg Plan. It’s essentially a method of timing sex that gets the sperm where they need to be to meet the egg right when it drops. In theory, having sex often during your cycle should do the same thing, but not necessarily. If you end up ovulating late in your cycle, you and your partner may be beyond exhausted before ovulation even occurs. SMEP, on the other hand, encourages more targeted BDing right around your most fertile window thereby increasing the odds of conception. A nice benefit to SMEP is that you don’t need to be charting and taking your temperature every day to do it! A definite bonus for those who find the whole charting thing to be too clinical. What you do need to try SMEP is a bunch of OPKs. Here’s how it works.
Step one: Start BDing every other day on cycle day 8 (day 1 of your cycle is the first day of your period).
Step two: Start using OPKs once per day on cycle day 10. If you tend to have shorter cycles, you’ll start the OPKs earlier, and if you have longer cycles you’ll start the OPKs later. Check the instructions that came with your OPKs as it will usually outline the ideal cycle day to start OPKs depending on the length of your cycle. (Remember that you are still BDing every other day).
Step three: When you get a positive OPK you are going to ramp up the BDing. Starting the day of the positive OPK you are going to BD that day and the following two days, take one day off, then BD one last time the following day.
Step four: Stop BDing.
Just so it’s clear, I’ll outline an example. Let’s say you get a positive OPK on cycle day 13. You’re going to have sex that day (cycle day 13), again on cycle day 14, and again on cycle day 15. Cycle day 16 is a day off, and then you’ll BD one last time on cycle day 17.
What happens if you don’t get a positive OPK? That can happen for a number of reasons, but if this happens to you just continue BDing every other day until your period starts or you reach cycle day 35.
If you haven’t used OPKs before, there are a couple of things you want to keep in mind. Unlike a pregnancy test where any second line is a positive, you may see a second line all the time on your OPKs. OPKs are only positive when the test line is as dark or darker than the control line. You don’t want to use OPKs on your first pee of the day (FMU=first morning urine), rather it’s best to test between 10am and 7pm. You want to make sure you haven’t gone pee for at least three hours before testing with an OPK and you should limit your fluid intake during those three hours. This will ensure the most accurate results on your OPKs.
When should you take an at home pregnancy test? You can always wait until your period is late and then test, but if you can’t wait, you can start testing 15 days after the day of the positive OPK. Of course if you are charting you can test around 11-12 days past ovulation.
Good luck and happy baby dancing!
Have you tried SMEP? Did it work for you?