Whether you’re winging your TTC process (Goodbye, birth control, let’s see what happens!) or you’re charting your cycle like a champ (I’m ovulating, get in bed now!), making a baby requires a bit of luck.
How long will it take you to get pregnant? Here’s what the science says.
What are my odds?
Your odds of getting pregnant each cycle are between 20 and 37%, during each of the first three months for young, fertile couples, explains Dr. Shannon M. Clark, OB-GYN, a maternal-fetal health expert and creator of the site Babies After 35. The longer you try, the better the chances.
“The chance of success increases to 80% by one year and 90% after two years of trying,” Dr. Clark explains.
Women over 35 and men over 50 have lower fertility rates, as do women with underlying medical conditions.
You can also get a custom evaluation of your likelihood of conceiving soon with Ava’s fertility calculator.
Here’s what your typical chances of getting pregnant this month look like:
What if I’m older?
Dr. Clark explains, “Women over age 35 should feel encouraged, because it’s much more socially acceptable [now] to become pregnant later in life.” ?
“In addition, women are more willing to purse other interests before starting a family. This is especially true for women who are in demanding and successful careers. It is no longer perceived that women over age 35 ‘fall apart’; they are healthy, happy, successful and starting families,” Dr. Clark says. “What should be considered, though, is that although women are delaying childbearing, the biology of ovary aging still exists. This means that regardless of how healthy and successful a woman may be, getting pregnant later in life is still subject to the pitfalls of the aging ovary.”
“There is still the reality of decreased egg quality and egg quantity and difficulties in naturally conceiving after age 35; especially after age 40,” Dr. Clark says. “As a result, more women who have delayed childbearing are turning to assisted reproductive technology (think IVF) in order to become pregnant. This is part of the reason why we are seeing more women conceiving after age 35 and 40.”
What if I have an underlying condition?
According to the CDC, about 12% of women have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, and 7.5% of men of reproductive age report having seen a doctor for infertility. The good news is that most reproductive-age couples who face infertility will be able to have a baby with treatment.
What can I do to make it more likely that I will get pregnant soon?
Lots of things. We have 6 OB-GYN-approved strategies for getting pregnant fast. (TL;DR: Be at a healthy weight, chart your cycle, have a lot of sex.)
When do I get help?
“A general rule of thumb is that infertility is diagnosed after one year of actively trying to conceive without success at age 35 and younger, and six months of trying to conceive at age 35 to 40; and three months of trying to conceive at age 40 or older,” Dr. Clark says.