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If you are trying to get pregnant, then it can sometimes feel like an eternity before you start seeing positive results.
Getting pregnant is a complex process involving many different factors and each individual’s journey will be different.
The good news is that there is plenty of information out there to help demystify the process and tell you more about what to expect when it comes to how long it will take to get pregnant and how you can speed up the process.
In this article, we’re going to break down all the important questions related to pregnancy timeline – including how long it takes for a couple or woman on their own (depending on your circumstance) can take to conceive naturally or otherwise - so that you can go into your TTC journey with confidence!
Factors that affect pregnancy timelines
The length of time it takes to get pregnant can be affected by a few factors, such as:
Age – Women under 35 years of age have the highest fertility rate and take less time on average to get pregnant than women over the age of 35.
Frequency of unprotected sex – The more regular sex a couple has, the higher their chances of getting pregnant.
Health – other health conditions that you may be struggling with, such as PCOS or endometriosis to name just two, can impact open the time it takes for you to conceive.
Medication – Certain medications may affect your ability to get pregnant, so it's important to check with your doctor if you are taking any medication while trying to conceive.
Stress – High levels of stress can affect fertility. However it is important to know that stress itself doesn't impact on your ability to conceive, but the unhealthy lifestyle choices we make as a consequence of stress, do.
How long does it take to get pregnant naturally?
The average time for a couple trying to conceive naturally, and who are having regular sexual intercourse is between 6-12 months. It is also reassuring to know that by 12 months, 80% of couples will have conceived.
To help reduce the time it takes you to get pregnant, it's important to get to know your body and get empowered with your cycle.
Let's go back to the basics and explain what happens to our bodies each month.
Explanation of the menstrual cycle and ovulation
The menstrual cycle is the time it takes for a woman’s body to go through its reproductive stages, beginning with menstruation, then ovulation and ending with the last phase of the cycle, the luteal phase.
During the early part of the cycle a follicle is maturing ready for ovulation. At ovulation an egg is released from one of the woman's two ovaries and travels down the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. Once in the uterus, if it is fertilised by sperm, it will implant in the uterine wall and a pregnancy will begin.
Ovulation generally occurs around 10-16 days before your next period and this is when a woman has the highest chance of becoming pregnant.
It is important to note that not all women have regular 28-day cycles and that the day of ovulation can differ from woman to woman and cycle to cycle. Some women have shorter or longer cycles and this can impact on the time it takes for you to get pregnant.
By understanding your body and observing your natural fertility indicators such as your temperature, cervical mucus and the changes in position of your cervix through the month, you can time having unprotected sex correctly and identify when ovulation occurs and reduce your time to conception.
What age are you more fertile?
Women are most fertile in their twenties, when fertility rates are at the highest. However, it is possible to get pregnant into your thirties and even beyond that if you take good care of your health, understand your cycle and have regular sex around the time of ovulation.
The length of time it takes for a man to conceive is not as well understood as the female timeline. Many men can go on fathering children in to old age, however we do know that sperm health can start to decline from age 40-45 onwards.
Tips for getting pregnant faster
If you are trying to get pregnant, there are a few things that you can do to increase your chances of conceiving quicker:
Track your menstrual cycle - Knowing when you ovulate and having sex in the days leading up to this can dramatically increase your chances of conceiving.
Stay Stress Free – whilst stress itself doesn’t affect fertility, it can lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices which can impact on your ability to conceive. Make sure you look after yourself and do what works best for you to reduce the stress in your life.
Eat Well - Eating a balanced diet is important for both partners in conception, as it fuels the body and helps to create an optimal environment for a healthy pregnancy.
Get plenty of rest - Getting enough quality sleep to allow your body to recover from the day can help improve fertility rates, so make sure you give yourself sufficient time to relax and get plenty of rest.
Avoid alcohol and smoking - Both partners should try to avoid alcohol and cigarette smoking, as this can reduce fertility in both men and women.
Exercise regularly - Maintaining a healthy weight is important for conception and regular exercise helps with improving your overall health and wellbeing.
When to seek help from healthcare professional or fertility specialist?
If you have been trying to conceive for more than 12 months and are aged over 35, or for more than 6 months and aged 35 or under, it is advised that you seek medical help.
Your doctor can assess your reproductive health with blood tests and physical examinations that can identify any underlying health issues which may affect fertility.
Where to get support when trying to conceive?
If you are having difficulty conceiving, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many support networks and organizations dedicated to helping couples through the journey of trying to conceive.
Your doctor can also provide a wealth of information, advice and assistance if needed. So don’t hesitate to reach out for help when you need it.
We've put together some of our favourite resources to help you on your trying to conceive journey.
With a combination of understanding your body and the lifestyle changes suggested above, most couples will fall pregnant within six to twelve months. However it is important to remember that the length of time it takes for you to get pregnant can vary from couple to couple, so don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t happen right away.
If conceiving naturally is not possible for you due to fertility problems (either male infertility or female infertility) there are many ways to create your family with fertility treatment, surrogacy or adoption.
This article was created with the intent to provide general information about how long it takes to get pregnant. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
If you are concerned about your fertility health, it is advised to always seek the advice of a licensed medical professional.
OvuSense can help
OvuSense takes all the guesswork out of detecting ovulation so you can focus on conceiving. Get started tracking ovulation with OvuSense today for the best chance at pregnancy success!
Good luck on your journey! We hope that you have all the answers that you need and wish you all the best with your trying-to conceive journey.