Trying for a baby? You might be surprised at how long it takes most couples to get pregnant
It's ironic, really, how many of us spend so many years trying not to get pregnant, only to discover that when you do actually try to have a baby, it might not be quite as easy as you thought it would be.
In fact, according to a recent article in Business Insider, many women in their 20s and 30s assume that they can get pregnant whenever they want, and therefore figure that when they decide to start trying for a baby, they'll get pregnant right away.
The reality, however, might not be quite that straightforward.
This is what fertility expert Dr. Shruti Malik had to say:
"Most couples will conceive in about six months or less," Malik said. "So it's interesting, because I have a lot of patients who spent a good portion of their adolescence trying to prevent pregnancy, and then later find out that it's more difficult than one would necessarily presume."
In fact, according to the expert, couples who have no history of infertility, and are having regular unprotected sex, "only" have a 15 percent to 20 percent chance of conceiving per cycle.
"So if you were to consider all of those, if you have six cycles of doing that, most couples will conceive in that six-month window," Malik said.
If, however, you and your partner have been having regular unprotected intercourse without getting pregnant for 12 months, Malik thinks you should consider seeking some help.
"If a women trying to get pregnant has not conceived in that window, there is a higher likelihood that there may be other factors that are contributing to that couple's difficulty in conceiving. And at that point in time, it warrants seeing a physician or fertility specialist."
Here’s what you need to know if you’ve been trying to get pregnant and it’s taking longer than you’d planned:
Women have the best odds of getting pregnant in their 20s. That’s when you have the largest number of healthy eggs.
Fertility naturally declines with age. The older you are, the longer it might take you to conceive. Women are born with all the eggs they’ll ever have. As you get older, your egg supply diminishes. And the ones that remain aren’t as healthy.
By age 35, you have only a 12 percent chance of getting pregnant within any given three-month period, according to a study in PLoS OneTrusted Source. By age 40, that number drops to 7 percentTrusted Source.
It’s important to take care of yourself when trying to conceive. Adopt a healthy lifestyle, cut back on alcohol, stop smoking, work out, sleep enough and minimize stress. As well as this, it might be a good idea to start taking a daily prenatal vitamin.