I am 35 and my Husband is 36. We are newly married and trying to conceive a baby from about 06 months now and still I am not pregnant! I haven’t used any contraceptive before and my cycles are always very regular about 28 days every month. I am expecting that I will not get my periods hopefully, but on the 28th day of my cycle I get my periods. I’m starting to get nervous now! Do I need to go to a Doctor? How long it takes to be pregnant to a healthy woman? My husband says me to wait since it is 06 months but I feel very sad because I terribly want to be a mom soon.
Infertility affects one in six to seven couples. After one year of unprotected intercourse, 85% to 90% of the couples will succeed to conceive. Among the remaining couples, 5% will conceive during the second year.
Once you decide you want to have a baby, it is natural to hope it happens quickly. You probably know somebody who got pregnant very easily, and you think you should too. You may get pregnant right away, but you might not. It’s important to know what is considered normal, so you don’t worry if there is no cause for concern.
Infertility is defined by doctors as the inability to get pregnant (conceive) after 12 months of frequent, unprotected sex (intercourse), if you are less than 35 years old.
If you are 35 years of age or older, doctors will start evaluating your fertility after six months of unsuccessful attempts at pregnancy. If you are having regular menstrual periods, you are probably ovulating regularly. You need to know that you are the most fertile in the middle of your cycle, between periods. That is when you release an egg. You and your partner should have frequent sex on a number of days in the middle of your cycle. You can use an over-the-counter fertility kit to find out when you are ovulating. You should not use any lubricant, and the standard wisdom is that you should not get up immediately after having sex.
Somewhere around 25% of couples will be pregnant at the end of the first month of trying. About 50% will have conceived in 6 months. Between 85 and 90% of couples will have conceived at the end of a year ff those that have not conceived, some still will, without any specific help. Many of them will not.
Monthly Chance of Pregnancy
With timed intercourse, if you are less than age 35, you have about a 30 to 35 percent chance of getting pregnant each menstrual cycle.
- Your monthly chance of getting pregnant is highest during the first three cycles of unprotected sex and decreases after that.
- If you are not pregnant after one year of consistently trying, you still have about a 50 percent chance of conceiving during the following year.
- Your chance is lower after 36 months and approaches zero after 48 months of no conception despite timed intercourse.
- Your chance of pregnancy each cycle decreases as you get older.
Factors That Affect Time to Conception
If your fertility is normal, whether you get pregnant in the first month of trying or take longer is first a matter of chance – a “throw of the dice.” The main factors that underlie the average chance of getting pregnant each month include the normal variation in:
The length of the menstrual cycle
- Timing of ovulation and intercourse each cycle
- The quality of the egg each cycle
Second, several other factors that affect your ability to get pregnant can modify this background chance and increase your time to conception.
Ovulation and Timing of Intercourse
Optimum timing of intercourse to match ovulation is a critical factor in your chance of getting pregnant each cycle. If you are not tracking your ovulation and timing intercourse around that day, it can take you longer to conceive.
The following information can help you with timing and improve your chance of pregnancy each cycle:
- You have a six-day fertile window around ovulation during which you can conceive if you have intercourse.
- Your most fertile of these six days are the two days before and the day you ovulate – especially on the day before you ovulate.
- Tracking your signs of fertility such as cervical mucus changes or use of ovulation (LH) predictor kits can help you with this timing.
- You can also use a fertility calculator to estimate your day of ovulation.
- It takes longer to conceive with age because of a decrease in fertility with aageingin women and men. For women
- The decrease in the likelihood of pregnancy each cycle becomes significant after age 35.
- The decline is due to the aging of the ovaries and therefore fewer and aging eggs and irregular ovulation.
- Men over age 50 have a significant decrease in fertility capacity compared to men less than 30 years old. This is caused by a decline in sperm quality with age.
- Problems with either the female or male reproductive systems interfere with conception ability and lengthen the time it takes to conceive.
- Ovarian dysfunction caused by disorders of the ovaries, pituitary, hypothalamus, thyroid and other hormone glands interfere with regular ovulation
- Tubal damage caused by sexually transmitted diseases, endometriosis, appendicitis, or abdominal surgery
- Uterine factors, such as fibroids, polyps that distort the cavity of the uterus and disturb implantation of the early pregnancy
- Male factors that cause abnormal sperm production, low sperm count, or poor sperm quality
- Disturbance of ovulation is the easiest fertility problem to treat and the highest pregnancy rate after fertility treatment.
Health and Lifestyle Factors
Health and lifestyle factors can interfere with egg development, ovulation and egg quality, and sperm production and quality, and therefore fertility. These factors can increase the number of cycles it takes to conceive.
The following health and lifestyle factors can affect fertility:
- Toxins such as solvents and mercury ingestion from eating a lot of seafood
- Chronic medical illnesses, such as liver, kidney and heart disease, diabetes, cancer, thyroid, and autoimmune diseases can also play similar roles.
Medications Can Have an Impact
If you are not pregnant after six cycles of trying, consider the medicines you are taking and discuss them with your doctor. After stopping some types of hormonal contraceptives, some women might not return to regular ovulation for several months, thus taking longer to get pregnant. These include oral contraceptive pills, and contraceptive implants.
In addition, prolonged use of some prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medicines have the potential to affect ovulation in women and sperm production in men. This includes prolonged use of prescription and illegal steroids
First versus Future Pregnancies
It might take you a shorter or longer time to conceive after your first pregnancy by a throw of the dice of chance. Having your first baby is a confirmation of your fertility, but it doesn’t predict the journey to your second pregnancy and others.
Factors that can make it harder and lengthen the time to conceive your next baby compared to your first include:
- Obstetric complications during your first pregnancy and delivery
- Post-partum complications, such as uterine or tubal infection
- Gynecologic and hormonal problems after delivery
- You could develop any of the fertility factors or medical problems described in the sections above
When to Seek a Fertility Evaluation
The standard recommendation is, if you are younger than age 35, you should consult your doctor for a fertility evaluation if you are not pregnant after one year of unprotected intercourse. If you are older than 35, see your doctor after six months of trying.
Consider Seeking Help after Six Months at Any Age
Most women will conceive within six months of trying. Therefore, even if you are younger than 35 years, if you are concerned, consider consulting your fertility specialist if you are not pregnant after six months.
At any age, seek help soon if you have a known fertility issue or a medical problem that can interfere with your fertility.
In general, infertility investigations are conducted after 12 months of exposure. However, some cases including those with oligo/amenorrhea, history of pelvic surgery, tubal infection, or chemotherapy require earlier investigations. For women older than 35 years, investigations should be started after six months of attempts.