Advice on how long it may take you to get pregnant when you and your partner are actively trying for a baby.
How long does it take to get pregnant - that's a million dollar question right there! Unfortunately there is no concrete answer, some couples methodically follow patterns of ovulation with little success, while others get pregnant without even trying and there is little way to predict which category you will fall into.
Statistically a healthy, fertile couple have a 1 in 20-25% chance of conceiving a each cycle, with approximately 80% falling pregnant within 12 months of actively trying. This approximately translates to 25% of couples getting pregnant in the first month of trying, 60% within 6 months, 75% within 9 months and 90% within a year and a halr, so if that much wanted positive test is taking a little longer than expected you're not alone.
It is currently considered perfectly normal to take up to a year to conceive and unless you have any specific health problems your doctor is unlikely to recommend further investigations until before this time. If you have been actively trying for over a year without success your doctor may suggest that you look into some form of fertility monitoring just as a precaution. For those over the age of 35 it is suggested that you see your doctor after 6 months of unsuccessful trying. This is simply because fertility begins to decline after this age and prompt investigation will allow any problems to be identified and addressed earlier.
While there is no real way of knowing how long it will take you to conceive there are a number of factors that play a determining role. With this in mind it is often advisable to visit your doctor for a health check before, or soon after you begin trying to conceive, just to make sure everything is in working order.
- Age - The chances of conceiving a healthy pregnancy are greatest if you are under the age of 35, however many women do have babies well into their 40s
- Lifestyle - Eating a healthy diet, exercising, avoiding alcohol and refraining from smoking (both you and your partner) will ensure that you are in the best physical health to conceive. It can also be a good idea to take a prenatal vitamin and to supplement your diet with folic acid.
- Health - Problems with general or reproductive health may hamper your chances of conceiving, it is best to get everything cleared up or controlled with baby-friendly medication before you start trying.
- Contraception - If you have been taking an oral contraceptive it is recommended that you wait for your menstrual cycle to return to 'normal' before trying to conceive. While this could take several months if does mean that you will be better able to monitor your fertile periods once your hormones have adopted a regular cycle.
- Stress - While the effect of stress on fertility is still being researched it makes sense to try and relax as much as possible, this will not only help you to enjoy the conception process a whole lot more but will also minimise any health effects that stress may have.
- Sex - It sounds obvious but the regularity with which you and your partner do the baby dance will have an impact on your chances of conceiving. Regular sex necessary for conception is considered to be 2 - 3 times a week with perhaps more during the days surrounding ovulation.
By ensuring that you lead a healthy lifestyle, have addressed any medical issues and have lots of sex, you should have little trouble conceiving. Fertility charting methods can be used to pin point the time in the month that you are most likely to be most fertile and therefore when you are most likely to conceive. By monitoring the fluctuations of your monthly cycle and timing intercourse accordingly you will maximise your chances of conceiving. Although it may take some time, you will get there eventually.