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Why Is it Taking So Long to Get Pregnant?

When you are trying to get pregnant, every unsuccessful attempt makes the long wait to the next month seem like an eternity. After a few months of getting your hopes up only to find you are not pregnant, you are likely wondering what’s wrong. While it may be impossible to find the answer to this question without a doctor’s input, there are some things every couple trying to get pregnant should know.


Ovulation occurs when the egg leaves the ovary and is able to be fertilized. Allen Wilcox, Ph.D., chief of the epidemiology branch at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, conducted a study to track ovulation patterns in 225 women. He found that women were fertile five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. Additionally, he discovered that each woman’s ovulation schedule was different ranging from the sixth day of the cycle to the 60th, if a woman had missed a period. For a woman tracking her ovulation by the calendar, this may mean a longer wait.

Fertility Problems

It is perfectly natural to wonder from time to time if you or a partner may have fertility problems. For the most part you can put your worries aside and just keep trying. However, if you are under the age of 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year or over the age of 35 and have been trying for more than six months, it is time to seek out a professional.


Many lifestyle factors can affect the time it takes to get pregnant. Smoking, heavy drinking and drugs can all affect your chances of success. Additionally, being underweight or overweight does not only make conception more difficult, it can also alter your ovulation cycle making planning more difficult. Essentially, any extra stress you put on your body, including mental stress, can cause a delay in getting pregnant.


According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, health problems are one of the leading causes of infertility. Problems relating to the sexual organs are the most common causes of infertility, but diseases, like diabetes and certain STDs, can also cause infertility. Furthermore, if you have recently stopped taking birth control, it may be several months before your body is ready to conceive. Take this into consideration before getting frustrated.

What’s Next

If you have no reason to believe that you or your partner is infertile, it is time to kick up your attempts a notch. The Mayo Clinic suggests first tracking your ovulation. If you are having troubles with this, consider using an ovulation kit that utilizes urine samples to discover your fertile days. Once you discover your ovulation dates, it is time for the fun. Be sure to have sex frequently throughout the month and at least once a day around the time of ovulation. To improve your chances, it is also important to eat healthy, exercise moderately and take a multivitamin.

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