How long does it take to get pregnant?
Written by: Dr. Amy Beckley, PhD, Founder and Inventor of the Proov test — the first and only FDA-cleared test to confirm successful ovulation at home.
Written on 5/7/21
Keep reading to learn how long it takes to get pregnant.
If you’re just starting out trying to conceive, then welcome! There is an awesome community of women going through something similar to you.
You also may be wondering how long it takes to get pregnant. Keep reading to find out!
How long does it take to get pregnant?
Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question. Every woman is unique and fertility varies widely. This is why some women get pregnant as soon as they start trying to conceive (sometimes without even trying), yet for others it may take longer.
Your ability to conceive can be influenced by a variety of factors, some of which we’ve highlighted below.
Age is probably one of the most important aspects impacting female fertility. Every woman is born with the amount of eggs she will have for her entire life. As we age, there is a decline in both quality and quantity of eggs. This impacts our fertility and ability to get pregnant.
Overall health has a huge impact on fertility. Infections, chronic illnesses, and even mild hormonal imbalances have been scientifically proven to affect our ability to get pregnant.
Healthy ovulation is considered to be a marker of a healthy hormone balance and overall health. The more balanced your hormones are, the better your overall health, and the better chance you can conceive.
Reproductive health may or may not be connected to overall health. Common reproductive health concerns include endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), sexually transmitted diseases, fibroids, or infections of the reproductive and urinary tract. These can negatively impact conception or implantation.
Even if you are healthy and have a well-functioning endocrine (which is where your hormones are produced) system, if your tubes are blocked or you have other structural issues, natural conception can be very difficult, or in some cases, impossible.
Frequency of intercourse
Similar to timing intercourse during your fertile window, the amount of intercouse you have can also impact your chances of conception. While it is essential for a woman of reproductive age to track her cycles when trying to conceive to identify her fertile window, studies show the frequency of intercourse is strictly connected with the probability of conception.
All in all, science tells us that most couples will get pregnant within a year if they don’t use contraception and have regular sex. But RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, states that 1 out of 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant.
Generally speaking, the current standard of care is you can see a fertility doctor if:
- You are under 35 years old and you have been trying to get pregnant for over a year
- You are over 35 and you have been trying to conceive without success in the last 6 months
Science tells us that most couples will get pregnant within a year if they don’t use contraception and have regular sex.
How long does it take to get pregnant after going off birth control?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 62% of the female population aged 15-44 uses contraception. Many of these women will, at some point, consider pregnancy.
Getting pregnant after stopping the pill can take some time, as your hormones try to rebalance and your menstrual cycle becomes regular. Research shows that the use of the pill does not affect a woman’s capacity to conceive in the short term.
Yet, it is important to understand that not all women start using birth control because they need a form of contraception. Many of them get started on the pill in hopes of regulating their hormones, such as women with PCOS. For these women, fertility challenges are likely to reappear once they stop the pill, requiring diet changes, lifestyle adjustments, or even assisted reproductive techniques in order to conceive.
Does age play a factor in how long it takes to get pregnant?
Yes! As we mentioned, we are born with our entire ovarian reserve — a population of 1 to 2 million primordial (immature) follicles that decreases as we age and reaches around 400,000 by the time we reach puberty.
We begin each cycle with a cohort of antral follicles containing immature eggs. Only one of these follicles will mature and release an egg in the process known as ovulation.
A woman’s peak reproductive years are her 20s. By the time she reaches 35, a decline in fertility begins and by 45, the chances of getting pregnant drop drastically. This can be explained by the fact that older eggs have higher chances of being genetically abnormal meaning they are unable to produce healthy embryos or implant.
By the time a woman reaches 35, a decline in fertility begins and by 45, the chances of getting pregnant drop drastically.
Can I optimize my chances of getting pregnant?
Absolutely! Here at Proov, we’re all about helping you get pregnant faster. Here are some of our favorite tips for getting pregnant.
As we mentioned, timing intercourse is an important part of trying to conceive. This is because an egg is fertilizable only for 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, meaning you have a very small window when you can actually conceive.
The good news is that healthy sperm may live up to 5 days in your reproductive tract. This means your chances of getting pregnant are actually higher if you have intercourse a few days before ovulation versus if you were to wait for the egg to be released.
The few days leading up to ovulation is called your “fertile window” and this is when you should be timing intercourse to improve your chances of conception. In fact, studies show that most of the couples who fail at getting pregnant do not properly identify their fertile window or they do not have enough intercourse to optimize their chances of conception.
Need help finding your fertile window? Proov Predict can help you identify your two most fertile days each cycle!
Check his sperm
It takes two to tango! According to studies, men are responsible for 20-30% of infertility cases and contribute to 50% of cases overall. We recommend getting your partner checked as soon as possible so you know where you stand and don’t waste precious time.
Men can be sensitive when it comes to their fertility and your partner may feel uncomfortable getting to a lab and having his sperm assessed. The good news is there are home tests he can use at home to check both quantity and quality of his swimmers.
The His and Hers Fertility Starter Kit comes with an at-home YO Sperm test and a Proov Predict & Confirm kit!
Confirm successful ovulation
Contrary to popular belief, healthy ovulation is two-fold: you need an egg to be released and enough progesterone produced for long enough to support implantation. Without enough progesterone, it can be more difficult to get pregnant.
Luckily, Proov PdG tests can help you confirm successful ovulation. Our tests measure PdG — a urine metabolite of progesterone. After progesterone circulates through your blood, it’s expelled from the body in the form of PdG in urine.
We recommend testing with Proov PdG tests on day 7, 8, 9, and 10 after peak fertility to confirm a high quality ovulation. If you get 3-4 positive PdG tests (with a positive on day 10) then you have confirmed high ovulation quality! If you get anything less than 3-4 positives, this may be a sign of a problem with ovulation that could make it more difficult to conceive.
No matter how long it takes you to get pregnant, we at Proov want to make sure you have the tools and information to empower you on your fertility journey!