Some couples are lucky enough to get pregnant the month after they decide that they want a baby. Others can try for years before becoming pregnant. Though a couple with normal fertility has about a 15 to 25 percent chance of getting pregnant in any given month, there are many things that can play a role in how easy it will be for you to get pregnant.
How Pregnancy Happens
A woman is born with many eggs already in her body. Once she reaches puberty, the ovaries develop and release one of those eggs each month. The egg travels down the fallopian tube, where it can meet with a sperm for fertilization. If it’s fertilized, it will try to attach in the uterus, becoming a pregnancy. If this doesn’t happen, the woman gets a period. To become pregnant, you need to have sex as close to ovulation as possible. Sperm can live inside the body for around five days, but the egg only lives for about a day. This gives you only a short period of time in which you can become pregnant.
Planning to Get Pregnant
To become pregnant quickly, it’s helpful to plan things out ahead of time. If you track your monthly cycle, you can get closer to pinpointing the time of ovulation. Knowing when you are likely to ovulate, you can time your sex correctly to give you the best chance of conception. You can find your fertile time by writing down when you get your period each month. In general, a woman will be fertile around 14 days after the first day of her period, though this varies from woman to woman. You can also track your basal body temperature, which involves taking your temperature as soon as you wake up each morning. A spike in temperature means that you ovulated the day before. Alternatively, ovulation test strips measure the luteinizing hormone in your body, which tells you that ovulation is coming up.
Factors that Affect Conception
Age is one of the biggest factors in how easy it will be for you to conceive. The younger you are, the easier conception is. Women over 30 can become pregnant naturally, but it may take a few more months. You may also have trouble conceiving if you’ve had any medical procedures or diseases that affect the reproductive organs. Those who have a healthy diet–avoiding alcohol and tobacco and eating well–may conceive more easily than those who do not. To increase your chances, you should have sex frequently–every other day.
Average Time to Get Pregnant
About 85 percent of couples will conceive within a year of trying. The average couple takes about six months to conceive, though many do conceive sooner than this.
When to Ask for Help
If you are under 35, you should try to conceive for at least a year before you talk to your doctor about potential fertility problems, unless you already know that you have a condition that may make conception difficult–like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Women over 35 can talk to a doctor within three months of trying to conceive, especially if she thinks there might be something physically wrong.