When you decide to get pregnant and start or expand your family, you want it to happen right now. However, only about 30% of couples get pregnant within the first cycle (one month), and for a large majority of couples, it takes six months to a year before they get pregnant. Why does it take so long? There are several potential, perfectly normal reasons.
Once you decide to get pregnant, you want it to happen immediately. When it doesn’t, you immediately start wondering why and thinking something’s wrong. When you’re stressed, your body knows it needs to take care of itself and can’t add on taking care of another human growing inside you. Exercising, meditating, and perhaps boosting fertility with a prenatal vitamin like Conception (Amazon) can help ease your mind and prepare your body for changes soon to come.
If you’re lying awake at night, thinking about why you aren’t getting pregnant, or getting up very early to get a headstart on big projects at work, your body will suffer the consequences. It makes you stressed, depresses your immune system and puts you at risk for illness. A sick body resists pregnancy. The same goes for your hubby — if he’s sick, fever can temporarily damage the sperm, which also reduces the likelihood of fertilization taking place.
Not understanding your cycle
Ovulation occurs two weeks before your period. Many women mistakenly think that this is the same as the two weeks after your period, but unless you have a four week cycle, it’s not. Ideally, you should get to know your cycle, perhaps using a cycle-tracking app like Period Tracker (App Store) (Google Play) that can help you learn when you ovulate, so that you can try to get pregnant at the right time. It’s also important to remember that sperm can live for up to three days in the cervix, so sex a day or two before ovulation can be as effective as sex on the day of ovulation.
Being under or overweight can also inhibit pregnancy, even if your cycles are regular. Being underweight or overweight can significantly affect ovulation, so trying to get to a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet before trying to conceive can make a huge difference in your chances of getting pregnant.
Smoking or drinking
Women who smoke have decreased fertility, to about half the fertility of non-smokers. This decrease leads to an additional six months to a year before conception. Men who smoke have lower sperm density and lower semen quality. Cutting back or quitting your vices can lead to improved fertility.
It can take up to a year to get pregnant. If, after that time, you still aren’t pregnant, it can’t hurt to see a fertility specialist to rule out potential problems. Before that, however, trying to relax, stay positive, and avoid stress can do more for you than visiting a doctor.