It’s a question many of us ask ourselves, often before we are even trying to conceive. The problem? There’s tons of conflicting information out there.
So we’re going to sort through the noise.
The good news is that 95% of couples conceive within four years. The bad news is that four years can feel like an eternity when you’re trying (and not succeeding) to get pregnant.
While it’s true that 59% of couples will conceive in about the first three months of trying, that means that a full 41% will not. After six months of trying, about 80% of couples end up conceiving, which leaves 20% of couples wondering why it’s not happening for them.
I’m Not Pregnant Yet: What’s Going On?
There are plenty of factors that can affect a couple’s ability to conceive. For instance:
- Smoking or overconsumption of alcohol or caffeine are big no-no’s when you’re TTC (Trying To Conceive). Which is why you should do your very best to kick those bad habits before you begin trying to get pregnant. (Really, we can’t stress this enough.)
- Also, being considerably under or overweight can affect your reproductive health and your ability to get pregnant, so getting your weight under control before you start trying works in your favor, too.
- Whether we like it or not, age is more than just a number. It actually plays a significant role in a woman’s ability to conceive. It’s a fact: the older we get–the longer it can take to get pregnant.
- About 86% of healthy women in their 20’s will become pregnant after 12 months of trying
- By the age of 35, our chance of conceiving drops to just 15% per cycle. So, if you’re 35 or over, the time to seek fertility help is at the six month mark, not later.
- Approximately 1 in 8 couples struggle with fertility issues. And in about half of these cases, male infertility plays a role. Male infertility can be due to many things, including low sperm production, injury or even lifestyle choices. But your guy does have options for treatment, so make sure he goes to see his doctor, too.
Now, with all this in mind, there are things you can do to help reduce the time it takes to conceive.
Helping Mother Nature Along
Get Your Body Ready
- Don’t – we repeat, do not! – wait for a positive pregnancy test to make an appointment with your doctor. Get a check-up when you’re ready to start trying. Find out what you should be eating, what vitamins you should be taking, and what level of exercise you should sustain to achieve or maintain a healthy weight. (Need help starting that conversation? You can find some thought starters here: http://www.firstresponse.com/en/Journey-To-Pregnancy/Trying-To-Get-Pregnant/Articles/Planning-for-Pregnancy#pre-pregnancy_doctor_visit
- And, remember those bad habits we mentioned? Yes, your doctor can help you kick those, and establish some healthier habits for now, and for the future. After all, you are your baby’s first home.
Know Your Cycle
- Let’s talk ovulation. Do you know when you are ovulating? And if so, do you know when the best time to have sex is during your ovulation cycle? (Hint: It’s not after you’ve ovulated.)
- The First Response Ovulation Tests can tell you when you’re experiencing an LH (Luteinizing Hormone) surge (this is just a fancy name for the right time to have sex when you’re TTC). This LH surge immediately precedes ovulation. Your most fertile time is within 24 to 36 hours of this LH surge. If you’re timing your sex around this window, you’ll increase your chances of getting pregnant. (Translation: Drop everything and have sex now!)
Remember, though, all these numbers are just statistics and averages. You are more than a number. And your journey is more than just a predetermined probability. Know the facts, take care of yourself, and work with your doctor to make sure that you’re taking the right steps on your journey.
All statistics via Baby Center.