Once you set your mind to starting a family, waiting is the last thing you want to do, right?
Sometimes it takes days or even months to get pregnant. This can leave some women with a sense of hopelessness. They can feel frustration, anxiety or depression.
That brings us to another important question...
How Long Does it Take to Get Pregnant?
So, how long does it usually take for a woman to get pregnant?
Normally, a healthy couple, having frequent, unprotected sex, would take no more than a year to conceive.
According to a recent study, 38% of women get pregnant just one month after trying to conceive. The study also found that 70% of women become pregnant after 3 months. Over the next 6 months 81% of ladies are pregnant and 92% after 12 months.
The chances of getting pregnant during any monthly cycle are pretty slim, the ratio is almost 1 out of 5.
So, it’s perfectly normal for a women in her early thirties, or even younger, to try for pregnancy for up to a year before she has any success.
It all depends on your luck. If you are lucky enough you might get pregnant within a month. But it can take up to 12 months, even when you are watching your ovulation cycle closely.
If you are over 35 and still not pregnant after 6 months or a year of trying, it’s about time you visited your doctor. You may have to look into different fertility treatment possibilities.
How to Conceive Quickly
To get pregnant fast, you need to following these steps:
- Visit Your Doctor
Firstly, a visit to your local doctor, even though not mandatory, is highly recommended.
Your doctor will be able to give you vital advice. This may include taking preconception vitamins, such as folic acid. Your doctor may also tell you to change bad habits, such as smoking or drinking alcohol.
Your doctor will also screen you for any other underlying illnesses. He or she can give you sexual advice, which can the increase chances of you getting pregnant. They may also discuss the need for any fertility boosting medications.
Did you know?
Folic acid is an important vitamin that prevents birth defects. Taking it in the early stages of pregnancy is essential.
- Get Tested
It’s time to get a few medical screening tests done.
Your doctor should check your medical history. He or she may also talk about any possible conditions that might hinder your chances of getting pregnant.
For example, he or she might ask you to get tested for thyroid disease, endometriosis etc.
It's recommended that screening blood tests for HIV, hepatitis B and STDs should happen as early as possible.
If you are suffering from hypertension or epilepsy, you have to make sure that those conditions are under control. Any medical conditions you may have need to be controlled before you plan to get pregnant.
You should also let your doctor be aware of all the medications you may be using at present. Your doctor might want to alter your medication or dosage to make sure everything is under control before you get pregnant.
Your doctor will also check if you and your partner have a family history of inheriting genetic conditions. A simple test will help in the diagnosis.
- Get Checked Out
Your doctor will also check for up-to-date vaccinations.
Your doctor should make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date before you conceive.
He or she will test you for rubella immunity and, if needed, will give you a shot to boost it. If you are not given a rubella boost it can cause some serious difficulties for your fetus.
Your doctor might also tell you to get flu shots before getting pregnant.
- Ask Questions
Talk to your doctor.
You should also talk to your doctor about any possible concerns you may have, instead of asking family and friends. There are many misconceptions and myths out there, it’s better to be informed by an expert.
- Get to Know Your Menstrual Period
It is a good idea to try to understand exactly how your menstrual cycle works. Get to know when you are most fertile.
Did You Know?
Women are only fertile for a few days every month.
- Know When You Are Ovulating
Ovulation usually occurs during the middle of the menstrual period.
This is the time in which you can get pregnant, so you must have regular sex during this period.
The life expectancy of the ova/egg is about 2-3 days. The sperm must be able to fertilize it before it dies for you to get pregnant.
Ovulation usually occurs during the middle part of the menstrual cycle. If you have a 28 days cycle, ovulation may occur during the 14th day. If you have a longer menstrual cycle, ovulation may occur a bit later.
There are various ways to know when you have ovulated. You may feel a small pinch and pain on the lateral aspects (sides) of your tummy. Some feel a high body temperature. Others feel a greater drive to have sex.
Understanding ovulation will increase your chances of pregnancy.
- Get an Ovulation Prediction Kit
An ovulation prediction kits can be extremely helpful in predicting the best time to get pregnant. They inform you when is the best time to have intercourse to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
How does an ovulation prediction kit work?
The first day of your menstrual period will count as day one. You don’t test on day one, rather you wait for day nine and keep on testing until you get a positive.
Usually, women with a 28-day menstrual cycle tend to ovulate on day 14. Every woman is different; some have longer cycles, while others have shorter cycles. So, taking a long route to be on the safe side is the best approach.
- Get a Sperm Boost!
The female egg, also called ovum, is very picky about sperm. Only one sperm out of millions is able to fertilize the egg. So, you should maximize the quality of your partner's sperm.
He should avoid smoking, non-prescribed drugs and alcohol.
He should consume healthy nutrients, such as Vitamin C, zinc, and folic acid. These will help produce strong and plentiful sperm.
Additionally, it is important for him to eat healthy food. And to prevent exposure excessive heat (such as in saunas/ hot baths).
The radiation from cell phones can alter the sperm quality. Remind him not keep his phone in his front pants pocket.
If you follow the above steps, the sperm quality will be optimal to fertilize the egg.
- Don't Worry About Sexual Positions
You may have heard about sexual positions which increase the chances of conception. Yet, according to tests. sexual positions don’t actually matter.
Understanding the basic concepts of physics does matter though. As you know, sperm needs to travel upstream via the cervix into the uterus.
If you lay down after sex, gravity is able to support the sperm cells to move inwards towards the cervix.
Did You Know?
If you wash the genital area soon after sex you may wash away sperm.
- Don't Overdo It
Some people think that having sex every day, during the ovulation period, will ensure that they will become pregnant faster. This is not true.
Having sex every OTHER night (when ovulation time is approaching) will help increase your chances of getting pregnant.
This is because sperm lives up to 72 hours after every sexual intercourse.
The best practice is to have sex regularly whether you are ovulating or not.
- Take it Easy, Do Not Stress
Have you heard the saying "It will happen when you least expect it."? It is good to let things happen naturally.
Stress interferes with ovulation. And in the long run it will affect you both physically and mentally.
Staying peaceful, and calm are some of the most important aspect of trying to get pregnant. When you are stressed your adrenal system takes a hit and your body may struggle through the fertilization process.
The best thing to relax and keep yourself busy doing whatever makes you happy.
- Stay Healthy and Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Eat a balanced diet. Do moderate exercises. Again, don’t overdo it (too much exercise can cause you not to ovulate). Avoid smoking and alcoholic drinks. Spend time with friends and family. In other words, look after yourself.
Reasons You Are Not Getting Pregnant
Sometimes you can follow all the best advice in the world but still struggle to get pregnant.
You might want to look into the following issues:
- Inadequate Sleep
Lack of adequate sleep isn’t directly related to pregnancy. But, according to research, women who don’t get enough sleep can start to develop anxiety, which may cause missed periods.
- Weight Issues
Women who are underweight or overweight may also face difficulty conceiving. For example, a malnourished body may not ovulate properly.
Similarly, obesity can have a negative impact on fertility. Even if you are ovulating regularly, just being obese decreases your chance of getting pregnant.
The Good News…
No matter what, don’t lose hope. There’s plenty of help available. With the latest advances in fertility technology, there is hope for every woman who wants to get pregnant.
Emma really enjoys her work and has a proven record of helping hundreds of families resolve their issues - pregnancy, birth, potty training, tantrums... she's seen it all. She is passionate about children's physical safety and optimal mental development. Married, with three children that take up a great deal of her time, she tries hard to maintain a good work-life balance. Her real-life experiences help her provide trustworthy and practical advice for all busy moms. When Emma isn't working she likes to spend time with her kids, dining out and going to the movies. Emma is based in Houston, Texas.