What Is The Sperm Meets Egg Plan Or SMEP And How Does It Work?
You may have been hearing the term the 'sperm meets egg plan' or SMEP in the TTC communities and you may not quite understand what that means. Because isn't TTC, in general, a sperm meets egg plan? You could say, yes, technically it is. However, the SMEP boils down to a science.
You only have a 25 percent chance per cycle to get pregnant, even when intercourse has been perfectly timed. This method helps increase the odds drastically that the sperm and egg do not miss any opportunity to meet one another. In order to make sure that SMEP is successful to you, you will need to know the length of your cycle (not every woman has the standard 28-day cycle). You need to know when you are ovulating, and you will want to invest in several ovulation prediction kits or OPKs.
Oh and don't forget to buy a new calendar unless you have an extra one laying around. This calendar will be specifically used for SMEP. Don't use it for anything else so you can stay organized with this.
However, for simplicity's sake, let's look at how SMEP works with a standard 28-day cycle. On day 1, Aunt Flo arrives. This is the time to get your OPKs. You will also want to get some pregnancy tests. From day 1 to day 7, you are flowing (or the flow may have ended slightly before day 7). This is the least fertile time of your cycle. But by day 8 is when things should get started.
By day 8, this is getting closer to the time of ovulation but that magical time is still a few days away. This day is important because this is the day when you are going to want to start having intercourse or doing the 'baby dance'. And you will want to do this every other day until you see that the OPK has detected an LH surge (yet don't stop then either).
Therefore, skip day 9, and then you will do the baby dance again on day 10. You are also going to begin using the OPK on day 10, and you'll need to test each day until the positive for the LH surge. In other words, you will want to have intercourse on day 8, day 10, day 12, day 14, and day 16 (as the LH surge would have happened likely by day 12). After day 15, you likely would have ovulated. Mark on your calendar to take a pregnancy test 15 days after ovulation unless Aunt Flo decides to pay you a visit by then.
You can continue having intercourse even when you are well into your luteal phase which is the second half of the cycle. In fact, you will want to do it for enjoyment so sex does not only feel like a chore.
You may be questioning why you must have intercourse every other day instead of every day once you are nearing ovulation time. Your man's sperm will deplete quickly if you have sex daily. And remember that healthy sperm can live in your reproductive tract for up to 5 days and perhaps even longer. This is why it is important to have sex every other day so his swimmers don't become depleted. Additionally, there will be plenty of his swimmers waiting for the egg to be released since after the egg is released it is only viable for 12 to 24 hours.
The SMEP is simple, and effective, as long as it is done properly. Best of luck and sending you lots of baby dust towards your way!