Problem Is With Him Not You
Women may carry the baby, but it takes two to tango. Twenty to 30% of infertile couples discover fertility factors on the man’s side. Another 40% find infertility factors on both sides.
Another thing you need to know: male infertility rarely has symptoms that are observable without a semen analysis, which is a test that measures the health of the semen and sperm. When you do see the doctor, make sure you are both tested.
How Long Is Too Long To Get Pregnant
Just because youve been trying to get pregnant for longer than a year doesnt mean youre infertile. Remember, even for people with average fertility, seven percent of couples wont get pregnant within a year. And if you do discover a condition impacting your fertility, it doesnt necessarily mean you need medical intervention to conceive, Mukherjee says.
When youre trying to get pregnant, the components that matter are quality eggs, regular ovulation, healthy sperm, and a healthy uterus and fallopian tubes, Mukherjee says. If theres a problem with two or more components, the chances are higher that a couple will need medical intervention to make a baby. But if theres a problem with only one of those components, the chances are good that a couple will be able to get pregnant without assistance. Itll just take more time.
For example, polycystic ovarian syndrome is a major cause of irregular periods, impacting 6 to 12 percent of women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with PCOS often take longer to get pregnant because they tend to ovulate less often. Instead of 13 opportunities per year to conceive, you might be down to six or seven, Mukherjee says. But in the long-term, women with PCOS conceive at the same rate as women without PCOS.
The problem is, not all couples have time. If you start trying to get pregnant at 35, you cant afford to wait, Mukherjee says. But if youre in your 20s or early 30s? It might just take patience.
When To Call A Doctor
Doctors recommend that you see a doctor about your fertility if
- You’re 35 years or older and have been trying for at least six months
- You’re younger than 35 and have been trying for at least one year
If either of these fit your situation then see a doctor, even if you have no symptoms of a fertility problem.
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You’re Blaming Yourself For Not Getting Pregnant
People tend to blame the woman for infertility. But in fact, Dr. Curtis says, cases of infertility are about 40 percent male-related, 40 percent female, and 20 percent a combination of both partners. “Frequently, the would-be mom rushes in to see her doctor at the first sign of a delay in getting pregnant. This is wrong, since it’s really an even playing field in terms of diagnoses.” And remember: It usually takes a healthy couple between 6 months and 1 year to conceive.
How Long To Try To Get Pregnant Before Seeing A Specialist
Talk with your doctor if youre under 35 and havent conceived after a year of actively trying, or if youre over 35 and havent conceived within six months.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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The Cons Of Back To Back Pregnancies
- During your second pregnancy, you wont be able to rest as much as youd like, since youll have your firstborn clamoring for your nearly constant attention.
- If you had a C-section for your first delivery, it may be difficult for you to have a vaginal delivery within 18 months to two years.
- If youre breastfeeding during your second pregnancy, youll be nourishing not just one but two babies, so youll need to be extra careful about keeping your nutrient levels up.
- While your doctor might give you the green light to get pregnant before your older child hits 18 months if youve gotten back to your pre-pregnancy weight and are feeling good, its still worth giving your body some breathing room.
How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant
For some people, getting pregnant can take longer than expected. For others, pregnancy happens with one mistake in birth control.
The timing of pregnancy for one couple can be very different from the timing with another couple. Your likelihood of conceiving depends on a few factors, including your:
- family and personal medical history
Of course, how often you have sex also plays a role.
Most couples are able to get pregnant within six months to a year. If youre unable to conceive after a full year of trying, its a good idea to consult a fertility specialist.
Sometimes theres an obvious cause of infertility, like a physical problem with the ovaries, uterus, or testicles. In other cases, the cause is unknown.
Heres what you need to know if youve been trying to get pregnant and its taking longer than youd planned.
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Counseling And Support Groups
If you’ve been having problems getting pregnant, you know how frustrating it can feel. Not being able to get pregnant can be one of the most stressful experiences a couple has. Both counseling and support groups can help you and your partner talk about your feelings and help you meet other couples struggling with the same issues. You will learn that anger, grief, blame, guilt, and depression are all normal. Couples do survive infertility, and can become closer and stronger in the process. Ask your doctor for the names of counselors or therapists with an interest in fertility.
Love Your Pregnant Belly
No matter the size or shape, whether youre big or small, or carrying low or high, your pregnant belly is the perfect place for your baby to develop and grow! Love your bump and get excited for your little one on the way. Use our guide to get an idea of what your tummy might look like during each trimester and how big your baby and your uterus are. And when you near the end of your pregnancy, prepare your babys nursery with a Newton Baby Crib Mattress. In no time at all, your baby will be out of your tummy and in your arms!
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You’re Not Checking With A Professional About Certain Health Issues
Maybe you’ve always had irregular periods and worry you can’t get pregnant. Or perhaps you have diabetes and want to make sure it’s under control before trying for a baby. Checking in with a professional isn’t neurotic or crazyit’s smart!
In certain situations, like the ones mentioned above, couples should seek out the help of a doctor or fertility consultant to formulate a bambino-making plan. That way, if it takes you a little longer to get pregnant, you’ll already know how to handle things. And, if you find yourself with a positive pregnancy test sooner than you thought, you’ll already be getting monitored by a doctor and acting healthfully.
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 excess estrogen, 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 journal Human 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 journal Andrologia.
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 the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority.
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.
Can Stress Affect Fertility
Stress probably has a minimal impact on a women’s ability to get pregnant. Studies have shown that elite athletes and women with low female hormone production activate their stress hormones, which can have an impact on their ability to release an egg. However, normal day to day stress may not have as much of an impact on your ability to conceive. Usually stressful situations are short term and don’t have an on-going effect on your fertility.
It had been suggested that using ovulation tests to time intercourse on the most fertile days could be stressful, but a study by Professor William Ledger and Clearblue found that using these tests is no more stressful than trying to conceive without them. In fact, in this study 77% more women got pregnant in the group that were using the tests7.
I Had A Termination In The Past Could It Affect My Ability To Get Pregnant Now
Professor Michael Thomas
Usually a pregnancy termination will not affect your ability to get pregnant in the future. On rare occasions, you may develop adhesions in the uterus that can cause issues with future fertility. If you are having normal monthly cycles, the chances of these adhesions affecting your fertility are low. Seeing your fertility specialist or gynecologist will be helpful in making sure your uterus has not been affected if you have been attempting pregnancy for one year, are under the age of 35 and have cycles between 23-35 days long. If you are over 35, consider a consultation after six months, and immediately if over 40.
When To Get Help
If you’ve been trying for less than six months, don’t fret just yet. Keep trying. If you’re older than 35, and you’ve been trying for six months, see a doctor. Since age can be a factor, it’s important you don’t wait. You may still conceive on your own! However, it’s best to get checked out.
What if you’re younger than 35, have been trying for six months, and don’t want to wait until one year passes? Some doctors won’t do fertility testing until a year goes by for women younger than age 35. However, if you have timed intercourse each of those six months, you may be able to convince your doctor to investigate sooner. One way to show this is with a fertility calendar.
If you’ve been trying for a year and you’re not yet pregnant, you should definitely see a doctor. Some couples hold out hope, not wanting to face the possibility of infertility. This is completely understandable. But since the passage of time could lower the chances of fertility treatments working. It’s better to seek help sooner.
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How Do I Increase My Chances Of Getting Pregnant
- Have sex near the time of ovulation.Have sex every two to three days per week starting soon after the end of your period. This can help ensure that you have sex when you are most fertile.
- Maintain a normal weight.Overweight and underweight women are at increased risk of ovulation disorders.
- Fertility-friendly lubricants. Use lubes that are sperm and egg-friendly. Fairhavens BabyDance lubricants are specially designed for couples trying to conceive.
- Consider a supplement. Fairhavens FertilAid delivers all of the essential nutrients both women and men need to ensure the best chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy and baby.
- Dont smoke. Tobacco has multiple negative effects on fertility, not to mention your general health and the health of a fetus. If you smoke, ask your health care provider to help you quit before conception.
- Dont drink alcohol. Heavy alcohol use can decrease fertility. Avoid alcohol if youre hoping to conceive.
- Cut caffeine. Research suggests that fertility isnt affected by caffeine consumption of less than 200 milligrams a day. Thats about one to two cups of 6 to 8 ounces of coffee per day.
- Dont overdo strenuous exercise.Strenuous, intense exercise of more than five hours a week has been associated with decreased ovulation.
Why It Might Take Longer To Get Pregnant
There are a number of reasons why you might find that getting pregnant takes longer than you expect.
One possible problem is that ovulation may not occur every month.
If you’ve recently stopped taking hormonal contraception, ovulation may be delayed or irregular for a short time.
If you’ve been using a contraceptive injection, ovulation may be delayed or irregular for up to a year.
If you’re worried that you might not be ovulating, see your doctor.
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Causes Of Male Infertility
Male infertility is a factor for about 8 percent of couples who are trying to conceive.
Causes of male infertility include:
- enlarged veins on the testicles, called varicocele
- abnormally shaped sperm
- injury to the testes that reduces sperm production
- heavy drinking, smoking, or drug use
- chemotherapy or radiation to treat cancer
- problems with the glands that produce the hormones needed to make sperm
- more rarely, genetic disorders such as Klinefelter syndrome
What Can I Do To Get Pregnant Faster
You can increase your chances of becoming pregnant if you time intercourse for the day of ovulation or the days before.
Ovulation tests detect the surge of a hormone called LH which peaks 24 36 hours prior to ovulation. Using an ovulation test as soon as you start trying to conceive will help you understand your menstrual cycle and quickly identify any cycle length irregularities. While an ovulation test may not be able to remove your stress completely, it can give you confidence that you are maximising your chances of getting pregnant.
Clearblue Ovulation Tests are at least 99% accurate at detecting your LH surge.
If after three monthly cycles you have not detected ovulation , we would advise you to see your doctor.
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Does The Size Or Shape Of Your Pregnant Belly Matter
What you see on the outside the general size and shape of your belly doesnt have much to do with your baby, their health, or their size. A healthy baby can grow regardless of how your belly looks. During your second trimester, your doctor will start taking fundal height measurements. This is a better way to tell whether your baby is big or small for their gestational age and can be an indicator of conditions like slow fetal growth or too much or too little amniotic fluid.If you feel worried about the size or shape of your bump, by all means, talk with your doctor about it! They will check it out and put your mind at ease. But for now, rest assured that no matter how your pregnant belly looks on the outside, as they say, its whats inside that counts.
Do I Need Infertility Treatment
If youre having trouble conceiving, an infertility specialist may be able to help. The first step after 12 months of trying to conceive is to schedule an infertility evaluation. This multipart assessment includes:
- Physical examination
- Semen analysis
- Evaluation of the uterus and fallopian tubes
If you or your partner have a known medical condition that affects the uterus, fallopian tubes, sperm or ovulation, talk to your doctor to see if you should be evaluated sooner. For example, if you know that both of your fallopian tubes are blocked, youll need to see an infertility specialist even before trying to get pregnant.
The Johns Hopkins Fertility Center
Our fertility specialists will work with you to identify the unique causes of your infertility and help you realize your dream of parenthood.
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