Why Cant I Get Pregnant
When youre ready to start a family and youre not getting pregnant, it can be frustrating and overwhelming. Especially if youve tried the conventional methods to maximize your chances: having frequent intercourse during your fertile window, tracking your temperature every morning and using tools like ovulation tracker apps and predictor kits.
You may start to wonder is this a medical problem or do I simply need to be more patient? Youre not alone. One in 8 couples struggles to conceive. Chantel Cross, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist with the Johns Hopkins Fertility Center at the Johns Hopkins Health Care & Surgery Center Green Spring Station in Lutherville, Maryland, explains what factors might be affecting your ability to get pregnant and when you might consider infertility treatment.
Generally How Long Does It Take To Conceive
The majority of couples become pregnant within six months, says Kenan Omurtag, M.D., a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis. But if a couple doesnt get pregnant within that window, theres no reason to panic, he adds.
The fact that they havent conceived is not an indictment on their ability to get pregnant, Omurtag says.
By nature, humans arent the most fertile of creatures. On average, the chances of conceiving in a given ovulatory cycle hover around 20 percent, according to a review article published in The Lancet in 2002. That means that 74 percent of couples with average fertility will become pregnant after six months, and 93 percent after one year.
If its been a year and youre still not pregnant, its time to do a workup to rule out any potential conditions that might be making conceiving more difficult, such as irregular ovulation or low sperm count.
Cut Back On Strenuous Workouts
Being physically active most days of the week can help a woman’s body prepare for the demands of pregnancy and labor, and has been associated with a reduced risk of fertility problems, scientists reported in the March 2020 issue of the journalHuman Reproduction . But getting too much exercise or doing frequent strenuous workouts could interfere with ovulation,Live Science reported.
Doctors see a lot of menstrual disturbances in women who exercise heavily, and a lot of times these women need to cut back on their workouts if they want to become pregnant, Pavone told Live Science.
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Temporary Infertility After Depo
But not every woman will get their cycle back 5 months after the last injection. In some cases, it may take up to 22 monthsor almost two yearsfor fertility to return after the last injection. Why does this happen?
According to the research, the delay seems to be related to a womans weight. Women who weigh less will have their fertility return faster than women who tend to weigh more. This has to do with how long it takes your body to completely metabolize the progestin.
How long youve used Depo-Provera is not associated with a longer period of lack of ovulation. In other words, whether you used Depo-Provera injections for 6 months or two years doesnt matter. Your fertility will likely take the same amount of time to return in either case.
If you received the subcutaneous version of Depo-Provera , your risk for experiencing a lack of ovulation for up to two years is significantly less. According to at least one study, 97% of women who received the subcutaneous version of Depo-Provera had ovulation return after 12 months.
Depo-Provera use is not associated with long-term infertility beyond two years after the last injection.
Its Easy To Check His Sperm Count
According to the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences, up to 40-50% of infertility in couples is linked to the male. One of the most common problems contributing to male infertility is low sperm count. You can check if your sperm count meets the threshold for fertility quickly, easily, and privately at home with SpermCheck Fertility. This FDA-cleared kit is available online or at your local retailer and is a product of DNA Diagnostics Center , a corporate sponsor of the American Pregnancy Association. SpermCheck is simplelike a home pregnancy test and results are ready in minutes. Keep in mind that other fertility factors like sperm mobility and morphology are also important and should be checked by a healthcare professional.
If youre younger than 35 and havent gotten pregnant after trying for a year, or youre older than 35 and youve been trying for six months, it may be time to see a fertility specialist.
If you still have further questions regarding ovulation, we encourage you to talk with your health care provider or contact the American Pregnancy Association for more information. Being informed about how your body works can help you feel more in charge of your health.
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Stay In Bed Right After Intercourse
You have probably heard this one — lie in bed with your feet in the air after having sex to increase your chances of getting pregnant. The verdict? Not true.
“It’s good advice to lay in bed for 10 to 15 minutes after intercourse, but you don’t need your feet in the air,” Goldfarb says. “Your pelvis does not move when you put your legs in the air.” Don’t go the bathroom during this time either, he says. “If you wait 10 to 15 minutes, the sperm that is going to get into the cervix will be in the cervix.”
Have Frequent Sex During Your Fertile Window
One of the most common questions among people trying to conceive is: How often should I have sex if Im trying to get pregnant?
The short answer is that it depends on your preferences as a couple, and whether there are any known fertility issues.
Overall, studies have shown that couples who have sex every day or every other day during the fertile window have the highest rates of pregnancy. Also, doctors often recommend sticking to just once a day during the fertile window.
If having sex every day or every other day isnt possible or enjoyable, set a goal to have sex throughout your cycle. This can get you and your partner into a regular sex routine, which can carry you into the fertile window.
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Between 2 And 4 Weeks After Sex: Early Pregnancy Symptoms
Everyone experiences pregnancy differently, which is why you might start noticing the early symptoms anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks after conception. The most common sign of pregnancy is a missed period, explains Dr. van Dis. Other common signs are fatigue, tender breasts, more frequent urination, and bloating.
Some of the most typical signs of pregnancy are nausea and vomiting, with more than 94% of women experiencing them, according to a 2020 University of Warwick study. The severity of nausea varies from person to person, as does its duration. For most people, it goes away by 14 weeks of pregnancy, but for others, it can continue on for longer. If you feel like nausea during your pregnancy is affecting your life, its best to speak to a health care professional.
Emotions can also fluctuate in the early stages of pregnancy and beyond. The flood of hormones during the early stages of pregnancy can make you feel happy one minute and tearful the next. You may also have a sore back or experience headaches, food cravings, or food aversions. The area around your nipples may also become darker during the early stages of pregnancy lots of changes!
No Two People Are The Same But We Can Tell You How Factors Such As Age Birth Control Weight Substance Abuse Medication And Stress May Prolong Your Ability To Conceive With Some Help From An Obgyn We May Be Able To Pinpoint A Ttc Timeline For You
There is no one size fits all strategy for getting pregnant, which means its difficult to determine how long it could take any given person to conceive. If you are having trouble getting pregnant, youre not alone or hopelessthis is a lot more common than you may realize. According to Thebump.com, 1 in 7 women TTC face challengesmost couples conceive within six cycles with calculated intercourse.
Even if youre in the small percent of women who conceive during their first cycle, one must remember pregnancy doesnt begin the day you have sex. Planned Parenthood explains it can take up to six days for the sperm and egg to form a fertilized egg and six to 10 days for the fertilized egg to implant into the uterus. Pregnancy officially begins once the hormones needed to support a pregnancy are released.
Now that we have determined that our timeline begins 12-16 days after sex if successful the first go, lets deep dive into some common variables that could prolong conception.
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Between 6 And 10 Days After Sex: Implantation
Once sperm penetrates and fertilizes the egg, the fertilized egg starts rapidly dividing until it becomes a cluster of cells that will later become an embryo. As the cluster grows, it begins to make a journey of its own, traveling from the uterine tubes to the uterus where implantation can take place. Implantation is when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus lining, and it happens around 6 to 10 days after conception.
In around a quarter of pregnancies, there may be some light spotting between 10 and 14 days after conception. This is known as implantation bleeding, and, confusingly, it usually happens at the time you would expect your next period. That can make it tricky to detect, but it tends to be lighter than your usual menstrual period. If you experience bleeding that doesnt seem like your period, and you think theres a chance you could be pregnant, its worth taking a pregnancy test or speaking to a health care professional.
How Long After Sex Should You Take A Pregnancy Test
The great news is that pregnancy tests have gotten better and better at detecting earlier pregnancies, says Dr. van Dis. The not-so-good news is that it still takes around 15 days after sex for a test to become positive.
So while you might feel anxious or excited for a couple of weeks after you think you ovulated, its worth holding out to make sure you get a clear result. Pregnancy tests are designed to trace the pregnancy hormone hCG, which your placenta starts producing around 10 days after fertilization and slowly increases as the fertilized egg becomes an embryo.
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Strive For A Healthy Body Weight
A woman’s weight can also impact the chances of conceiving: Being overweight or underweight may reduce those odds. Research has shown that a woman who is overweight can take twice as long to become pregnant as a woman whose body-mass index is considered normal weight, Pavone said. A woman who is underweight might take four times as long to conceive, she said.
Having too much body fat produces excessestrogen, which can interfere with ovulation,according to the Cleveland Clinic . A 2017 study suggested that couples in the study in which both partners were very obese, with BMIs of at least 35, took from 55% to 59% longer to become pregnant, compared with couples who were not obese, the researchers reported in the journalHuman Reproduction .
In a study published in 2020 in the journal PLOS One , researchers looked at data from more than 50,000 couples in China trying to conceive over the course of a year they found that women’s ability to conceive within a given timeframe decreased as their BMI increased.
Male obesity, which can disrupt the male endocrine system as well as sperm viability and concentration, can also affect a couple’s ability to become pregnant, scientists reported in 2020 in the journalAndrologia .
Women who are underweight, with a BMI less than 18, might not be getting regular periods or could stop ovulating, which also hinders their ability to become pregnant, according to theUniversity of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority .
When To Take A Pregnancy Test
Remember that a home pregnancy test cant detect a pregnancy at the moment of conceptionor even on your implantation day. The test won’t be positive until there is enough pregnancy hormone in your body, and this takes time. To get the most accurate results, wait until your period is at least one day late before taking a test. Otherwise, you may get a false negativeeven if you are pregnant.
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Morning Sickness Nausea And Vomiting During Early Pregnancy
Although its called morning sickness, it can occur anytime during the day or night. Its unclear exactly what causes nausea and morning sickness, but hormones may play a role.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience mild to severe morning sickness. It may become more intense toward the end of the first trimester, but often becomes less severe as you enter the second trimester.
Are My Eggs Bad After 40
All women have a percentage of eggs that are genetically abnormal. This means that even if those eggs are fertilized, the pregnancy will not end in a live or genetically normal baby. The percentage of normal eggs a woman has decreases as she ages. At age 25, a woman has approximately 75% normal eggs. By age 35, that number drops to around 45%, and by 40, its around 20-30%. This is one reason why most physicians recommend genetic testing for conditions such as Trisomy 21 in a pregnancy over age 35.
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Timing Of Removal If You Wish To Avoid Pregnancy
Scotchie says you can remove an IUD at any time. But if you want to prevent pregnancy right away, you need to use another form of contraception such as condoms or birth control pills until you want to become pregnant.
Talk with your doctor ahead of time to determine the right method of birth control for you. Examples of other reversible methods include:
- oral contraceptives
- birth control implant or shot
How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant On Metformin
Metformin is not actually a fertility drug its original use is a diabetes treatment, but it has been used as an infertility treatment, particularly with those who have PCOS .
While theres not much information on how effective Metformin actually is, some claim that it can increase fertility and your chances of getting pregnant within around 60-90 days.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant After Sex
Lets say the egg and sperm are both winners, and the sex is perfectly timed around the ovulatory cycle. Even when all the parts fall into place, conception and pregnancy dont happen immediately. In fact, it can take up to a week, Mukherjee says.
After vaginal intercourse, sperm swim or, technically speaking, spin up through the cervix toward the fallopian tubes. They can survive in that space for as long as 72 hours while they wait for the egg to be shuttled down the tubes from the ovaries. A more intrepid sperm might last even longer. Thats why couples looking to conceive shouldnt wait until ovulation to have sex, Mukherjee says. Pregnancy is most likely to occur when the sperm are already hanging out in the reproductive tract when the egg is released.
After fertilization, it can take another two to three days for the egg to begin dividing, then implant in the lining of the uterus, triggering a surge of hormones. Thats when pregnancy starts.
How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant After The Pill
In general, birth control use is not associated with infertility. Most women return to normal fertility within two months of stopping hormonal birth control. But exactly how long it takes to return to full fertility can depend on what method of birth control you were using:
- The Pill: If you were taking the standard combined birth control pill, which contains estrogen and progestin, fertility should return within one to three months in most cases. For the progestin-only mini-pill, its possible to get pregnant just days after you stop taking it. In most cases, cycles resume within two months of stopping the pill. If you experience post-pill amenorrhea for longer than two months, you should see your healthcare provider.
- IUD or implant: Its possible to get pregnant as soon as your healthcare provider removes the device.
- Injectable birth control like Depo-Provera: It may take up to 18 months for fertility to return
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How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant After Going Off Birth Control
Wondering if your body needs time to adjust to being off the pill before youll be able to conceive? The answer isnt exactly clear-cut, but in most cases, hormonal birth control shouldnt throw too much of a wrench in your pregnancy plans.
Hormonal birth control methods like the pill, patch, ring or hormonal IUD all work by turning off hormone signals mainly by stopping ovulation . Once you stop using this form of contraception, those hormones turn back on and you go back to ovulating.
Most women start getting regular periods again a sign that youre likely ovulating regularly within a few weeks after stopping birth control. But for others it can take up to three months and thats completely normal.
Just like theres some variation in when your period will come back after stopping birth control, some women take a little longer than others to conceive. Some research shows that having taken oral contraceptives doesnt affect a womans ability to get pregnant in the short- or longer-term. But other research found that going off the pill is tied to a slight delay when compared with barrier methods.