How long before I get pregnant
How long will it take until I get pregnant?
Many women wonder how long it will take for pregnancy efforts to bring the desired result.
- Will I get pregnant with one or two attempts?
- Does it make sense that I need a few months for conception?
- When should I see a doctor?
These are very common questions that couples trying to conceive ask us, or who have not become pregnant yet.
The answer is easy but not simple. It is virtually impossible to determine how long it takes to "conceive" and then to get pregnant. For the simple reason that this is different for each woman, for each man and ultimately for each couple.
There are couples who get pregnant with a single effort and after 9 months hold their baby in their arms.
On the other hand, there are couples who try for many months, intensively, but do not achieve the desired result. At this point, let's separate the concepts of “conception” and “pregnancy”. Conception usually takes place inside the fallopian tube, a few hours after ovulation, and it is when the sperm penetrates the egg and fertilizes it. When the fertilized egg "falls" into the uterus and attaches itself to its walls, then this is called "implantation" and in essence only then the condition is typically called pregnancy.
In this post we will try to see the factors that affect this period of time.
Starting generally, there are many factors that can affect the chances of conceiving, such as:
- General health condition.
- Health of your reproductive system.
- How often you have contacts.
See our older post, here
1. Everything is normal
As mentioned earlier, there is no set rule for how long it will take to conceive. Continuous months of efforts can be particularly annoying or frustrating but at the same time perfectly normal. According to studies, only about 30% of couples conceive in the first month of efforts, while about 90% of couples will conceive within the first year of continuous efforts.
According to a study by the academic journal BMJ:
- 30% of couples trying to conceive succeeded in the first month.
- 75% of couples conceived within 6 months.
- 90% of couples conceived within 1 year.
- 95% of couples conceived within 2 years.
According to another study by an institute in Germany, the researchers found the following pregnancy rates for couples trying to conceive:
- 38% became pregnant in the first month.
- 68% became pregnant within 3 months.
- 81% became pregnant within 6 months.
- 92% became pregnant within 1 year.
While these statistics are valid, however, they can only be used as an indication of what usually happens and should not be construed as absolute limits on a case-by-case basis. At this point we should point out that these statistics are not the same not only from couple to couple but also from one pregnancy to the next, of the same couple. That is, if for example you conceived your first child in the past in the first or second month of trying, it does not mean that the same will happen to the second child that you are trying for, now. The second child may need a year of continuous efforts and again, this is normal.
When couples start trying to conceive, most expect it to be achieved immediately. According to a study of 1.400 women, 44% said it took longer than expected.
The most common reason is that the time of contacts does not coincide with the day of the woman's ovulation. That is, couples have contact on days when the woman is not fertile. This by definition almost nullifies the chances of conception as the sperm, even if it manages to move to the fallopian tube where it will have to meet the egg, will not find an egg to fertilize and will eventually die. Therefore, it is very important to know when the woman is ovulating, ie she is in the "fertile window" and then focus your contacts around this time frame. Conception can take place just three minutes after ejaculation or may take a few days.
Many couples try to have sex throughout the cycle, day after day, which is wrong.
Therefore, the first thing couples have to do is use ovulation tests to locate the day of ovulation and focus their contacts around that day.
The issue of fertility is big and complicated. It is also different for every person, woman or man. Infertility occurs when a couple is constantly having difficulty conceiving.
In general, if a year has passed without the use of ovulation tests or using them occasionally, then you can see the case of visiting your gynecologist to investigate if there is any factor that affects your fertility. If you use ovulation tests every month consistently, then this period is reduced to six months.
Fertility problems affect about 15% of couples and due to various factors of our modern lifestyle, this percentage is increasing.
Many factors can cause fertility problems, such as:
- Hormonal (endocrine) disorders, such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid or pituitary problems.
- Physical disorders, such as obesity, anorexia nervosa or excessive exercise.
- Reproductive system disorders, such as infections, blocked fallopian tubes, uterine shape, endometriosis or low sperm count.
The most common causes are: failure of ovulation and various sperm problems.
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), approximately 9% of men and 11% of women in their reproductive age have reported fertility problems.
If you think that a lot of unsuccessful attempts have taken place, then only your doctor is able to diagnose if there are any health conditions that may be affecting your fertility and suggest the best treatment.
Finally, there is a percentage of non-explainable fertility problems. That is, while the couple finds the day of ovulation and while they have done all the necessary exams without any pathological problems, however, they are unable to conceive. This is called “unexplained infertility” and some studies show that this exists even in 25% of couples who have trouble conceiving.
3. Infertility and treatments
As mentioned above, only your doctor is able to diagnose the problem, if any, and suggest a treatment.
For your information, if a problem is found, your doctor may suggest the following fertility treatments:
- Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation
- Surgical procedure to correct any physical problems in the reproductive organs
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
If you are trying for just a few months, do not be disappointed. You may need some more time until pregnancy is finally here. It is usually a matter of synchronizing ovulation and intercourse.
If enough time has passed with unsuccessful attempts, then you can inform your doctor, to consider the case of medical help.
We, at HomeTest.gr, after so many years of experience, advise you to be patient and persistent. Maybe next month will be the month you will see a positive pregnancy test!
See related blog post, here.
See all of our blog posts, by clicking here.