For some women, conception comes easily and naturally. For other women, the process of having a baby is long and uncertain. If you are a woman who is having trouble conceiving, knowing the reasons that some women struggle to have a baby can help you decide how to handle your situation. By taking the proper action, you may be able to overcome infertility and conceive a child.
How Long Does It Take to Get Pregnant?
Every woman is different, and every pregnancy is different. Some women take one month to get pregnant, others take months or years. About 30 percent of women are able to get pregnant in the first month of trying. Over half of women are pregnant after three months, and after one year, 85 percent of women who try to conceive are able to do so.
If you've been trying to conceive for over a year or more, you are in the minority. This does not mean that you cannot get pregnant, though. Some people take a little longer but still can get pregnant.
What Are Some Things That Make Conception Difficult?
So many variables are at play during conception that sometimes it's difficult to find out why a woman isn't getting pregnant. Still, some clear risk factors can point to the problem.
Most women have regular periods that happen between 24 and 35 days apart. If your cycles are longer or shorter than this, or if they happen at irregular times, this could be a sign of infertility issues.
Problematic Lifestyle or Habits
Drug addiction, heavy drinking, smoking, and other problematic habits can make conception difficult (though not impossible). Some of these habits can also cause miscarriages.
Severe cramps can be a sign of endometriosis, a condition that affects the tissue inside and outside of the uterus. In addition to severe cramps, infertility is another sign of endometriosis. A woman with endometriosis can become pregnant, but this condition does significantly lower the chances.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Chances?
You can do several things to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Know How Your Body Works
When a woman's body ovulates, it produces a mature egg that is released from the ovary and into the uterus. Pregnancy occurs if the egg is fertilized by sperm.
Check for Ovulation and Track Your Cycles
Knowing your ovulation cycles and when you are ovulating can help you time your intercourse. The easiest way to know when you're ovulating is to use the test strips sold at pharmacies. If your periods happen at regular intervals, start testing yourself for ovulation several days before the halfway point in your cycle. The exact day of ovulation can vary.
You can also install one of the many available apps for your smart phone that can help you track your periods and ovulation. Use an app to track your cycles, identify patterns, and anticipate your ovulation cycle.
Take Care of Yourself
During the time when you're trying to conceive, develop extra healthy lifestyle habits. Cut back on your use of caffeine, alcohol, and similar substances. Get enough sleep and try to avoid stress. See your OBGYN if conception takes longer than about 6 months. Your doctor can give you an examination to ensure that you're in good shape.
Where Can You Turn for More Information?
If you have more questions and would like more information about conception and what you can do to improve your chances of getting pregnant, start by talking to your OBGYN. At Jack G. Faup M.D., we're happy to answer any questions you might have about conception and problems that can occur during conception. Contact us today for a consultation.