Getting Pregnant: How Long Does it Take?by Lori Ramsey
The amount of time it takes to become pregnant depends on each individual woman. Many factors influence conception including age, health, and weight to name just a few, but the main fact is that age plays a major role in pregnancy achievement and in the amount of time it can take to conceive.
According to the March of Dimes, women in their twenties have the greatest chance of conception without outside treatments. The older a woman gets, the longer it may take. A woman who is 35 years old may take twice as long as a woman in her twenties to conceive.
Statistics, Fertility and Pregnancy
Research has shown that women under the age of 25 stand a 20-25% chance of conception occurring in each cycle for those actively trying.* By the time a woman reaches the age of 35, her chances of conceiving drops to 15% each cycle. By age 40, it plummets to a mere 5% per cycle. While these statistics seem daunting, with today's medical technology, conception rates can increase with a little help.
The reason for such a decline is due to the aging process on the reproductive system -- hormones levels tend to fluctuate and the quality of the eggs within the ovaries decline through the years.
What Does This Mean?
If you are under 25 years old, you have a one in four or five chance of becoming pregnant. This means that it "normally" takes four to five months for conception to occur if you and your partner are in optimum health and are actively trying. With this in mind, you might want to mark your calendar when you begin trying and if pregnancy hasn't occurred within six months, you may want to inquire with your physician.
If you are between the ages of 35 and 40 you have a one in six to seven chances of becoming pregnant with the conception rate dropping with each year closer to age 40. It could take you up to seven months, barring you and your partner are in optimum health, to conceive. On the other hand, you may not want to wait this long to seek the help of your physician.
If you are over 35, it would be advisable for you to start off with a good pre-pregnancy checkup. This will save a great amount of time if any infertility problems are suspected, thus saving precious cycles in which to conceive.
If you are over 40 you have a one in twenty chance of conceiving each cycle. This means that it could take up to 20 months for conception to occur. It is highly recommended that if you are over the age of 40, begin trying to conceive under the care of your physician. This will insure that time will not be wasted, and that everything is done correctly for conception to occur.
The Bottom Line
Keep in mind that statistics are merely an average look at the general population—there are always exceptions. Some women may experience unexplained infertility in their twenties only to give birth time and again in their thirties. With everything you hear, take it all as information only and do no get upset if you are 36 years old and just now trying to conceive. Chances are before you know it you will be holding that bundle of joy and these statistics will be the last thing on your mind. Be sure to have a good pre-pregnancy checkup with your physician, no matter what your age. Starting off on the best foot possible will insure a positive outcome.
*Statistics from the March of Dimes.
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