Getting pregnant: How long should it take?

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Many things in life have a clear timeline: high school is usually four years, Disney movies are about 90 minutes long, and pregnancy lasts nine months. But how long should it take to get pregnant?

There is a ton of conflicting information out there, so we’re going to sort through the noise. The good news is that at age 30, women have a 91% chance of conceiving naturally within four years. The odds are still 84% at age 35 and 64% at age 40! The not so good news is that four years can feel like an eternity when you’re trying to get pregnant.

While it’s true that 59% of couples will conceive in about the first three months of trying, that means that a full 41% will not. After six months of trying, about 80% of couples end up conceiving, which leaves 20% of couples wondering why it’s not happening for them. There are plenty of factors that can affect a couple’s ability to conceive, including:

  • BMI: Being considerably under or overweight can affect your reproductive health and your ability to get pregnant, so getting your weight to a healthy BMI range while you’re TTC is a great move.
  • Age: Age is indeed more than just a number. A French Institute of Health and Medical Research study showed that 75% of healthy 30 year old women become pregnant after 12 months of trying naturally. By the age of 40, the chance of conceiving drops to 44%. This data does not reflect the impact of that fertility treatments can have.
  • Male infertility: Male infertility can be due to many things, including low sperm production, injury, or even lifestyle choices.
  • Unhealthy habits: It’s best to avoid smoking or drinking too much alcohol or caffeine when you’re TTC.

What you can do to move things along

Checking in with your healthcare provider when you’re TTC is a great call. They can help you find out what you should be eating, help you monitor your stress levels, and refer you to any specialists that can make your fertility journey easier. And, remember those bad habits we mentioned? Your provider can help you kick those, and establish some healthier habits for right now and for the future. After all, you are your baby’s first home.

Tracking your period with Ovia can help you figure out when you’re going to ovulate. At the same time, a First Response Ovulation Test tells you when you’re experiencing your LH (Luteinizing Hormone) surge, which precedes ovulation. Your most fertile time is within 24 to 36 hours of the LH surge, so this is when you have the best chance of getting pregnant. Translation: Drop everything and get busy!

Remember, though, all these numbers are just statistics and averages. You are more than a number, and your journey is more than just a predetermined probability. Tap below to get your First Response Ovulation test – which includes a pregnancy test – while you’re at it!

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  • Gnoth C., Godehardt, D., Godehardt, E., Frank‐Herrmann, P., Freundl, G.; “Time to pregnancy: Results of the German prospective study and impact on the management of infertility.” Human Reproduction. 18(9): 1959-66. Web. September 2003.
  • Leridon, H. “Can assisted reproduction technology compensate for the natural decline in fertility with age? A model assessment.” Human Reproduction. 19(7):1548-53. Web. July 2004.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Female fertility: Why lifestyle choices count.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. April 14, 2018.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Male infertility.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. August 11, 2015.

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