True or False? Most women get pregnant within 1 month of trying.
If you said False, then you would be correct. Although most people think it’s relatively easy to get pregnant (social media sure makes it seem like it is), it is not true.
Conception can be a complicated process, so it’s important to share the facts with couples interested in starting their family.
There is nothing worse than expecting the process to be quick and seamless when in reality, it can be a bumpy road ahead!
The Basics of Conception
If you're trying to get pregnant, you've probably done your fair share of research. But let's not forget about the basics. How does conception actually occur? Let's quickly break it down.
If a woman has a regular cycle, she will ovulate each month. Ovulation (when the egg is released into the fallopian tube) typically lasts only 24 hours. During this short period, a sperm cell has to swim to the egg and bind to it.
But the process doesn't end there. The fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube and multiplies to become a cluster of cells.
As it reaches the uterus, it has to attach to the endometrium (aka the lining of the uterus). This process is called implantation. During this time, estrogen and progesterone signal the body to thicken the endometrium, so the embryo has enough nutrients to survive.
Here is an interesting fact: it can take up to 6 days for the sperm and egg to fuse and another 3 days to implant in the uterus. So contrary to popular belief, you can't get pregnant right after having sex.
Once implantation occurs, your body releases a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) which can be detected by a pregnancy test.
As you can see, the process is intricate, and many factors have to align to help you have a successful pregnancy. Now that you know what happens behind the scenes let's look at how long it usually takes couples to conceive.
How long does it take?
While some couples get pregnant during the first month of trying, data shows that it is not the case for most.
In an article by Very Well Family, they shared a study where 346 women practiced natural family planning methods to get pregnant, and these are the results.
After one month of trying, 38% were pregnant
After three months of trying, 68% were pregnant
After six months of trying, 81% were pregnant
After 12 months of trying, 92% were pregnant
Of 346 women, 310 conceived; the remaining 10.4% did not get pregnant
Statistics like these show a realistic timeline of how long it takes to get pregnant naturally.
What can I do to get pregnant faster?
When you are eager to start your family, 3 months can seem like forever, let alone 12 months! You’ve probably come across various theories on how to get pregnant faster, from different positions to eating a fertility diet. Still, the truth is that none of those methods have much scientific evidence.
There is only one thing that can affect when and how fast you get pregnant: having sex once a day, every other day, during your ovulation window.
Your ovulation window includes the day you ovulate and 4-5 days before since sperm can live in your uterus and fallopian tubes for several days.
So the best thing you can do is to discover when you ovulate. We recommend using an ovulation tracking kit like Oova, which detects the hormones in your urine and gives you an accurate picture of your cycle.
Can age affect my ability to get pregnant?
If you’re in your 30s or 40s, you might be concerned about your fertility because many articles online claim that the chances of getting pregnant significantly decrease after 35, but do not let that discourage you.
Data shows that women in their 20s have a 25% chance of getting pregnant each cycle, and that number drops to 20% for women in their 30s. However, for women in their 40s, the chance of getting pregnant naturally each month is about 5%.
Most of this can be attributed to the decrease in the number of eggs a woman has because women are born with a finite amount of follicles and lose a significant number with each cycle.
How Long Is Too Long to Get Pregnant?
Getting pregnant does not happen as quickly as most couples would like it to, so the timelines doctors give may surprise you.
Most doctors require couples to have regular sex for at least a year before referring them to fertility treatment.
The good news is that the odds are in your favor because 85% of couples will conceive within the first year of trying, with the average time being 6 months.
However, if you are older than 35 and notice irregularities with your cycle or are not pregnant within 6 months, it’s best to consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Treatments for infertility
If you haven’t been able to get pregnant naturally, do not lose hope! There are various fertility treatments that you can pursue based on your individual situation.
The most common treatments include in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), and surgery.
To learn more about infertility treatments, click here.
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