How long does it usually take to get pregnant?

Like lots of women, you might want to know how long it will take you to get pregnant if you start trying for a family. Being able to predict how quickly you will conceive could make planning for your future much easier. As you might expect though, things are not that simple. The fact is, it is impossible to say with any certainty how long it takes to get pregnant because this differs from woman to woman.

All you can do is read the information available and make an educated guess. If you’re already trying for a baby, you can get pregnancy tests from your local pharmacy or over the web from healthcare specialists such as LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. Meanwhile, this brief guide should help you to get to grips with the facts.

The broad picture

As a rough guide, most couples get pregnant within a year if they have regular sex and don’t use contraception. However, bear in mind that a number of factors affect your chances of conceiving.


For example, age plays a role. Women become less fertile as they get older and the decline in fertility speeds up after the age of 35. This is because fewer eggs are released by the ovaries. Around one in three couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems. This figure rises to two in three when the woman is over 40.

How regularly you have sex will also have an impact. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s important to have sex every two to three days throughout the month. Some couples try to time sex to coincide with the days when the woman ovulates. However, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence advises against this, stating that this approach causes added stress.

Your general health and your reproductive health also have a bearing on how quickly you can conceive, and whether you can get pregnant at all. For example, hormonal problems such as disorders of the thyroid or pituitary glands can hinder fertility. Also, physical issues such as obesity or excessive exercise can also cause fertility problems. Complications with the reproductive system, including blocked fallopian tubes or endometriosis, can reduce your chances of conceiving as well. Of course, ovulation failure prevents pregnancy too.

Bear in mind that it’s not only your health that will determine how quickly you get pregnant. Your partner’s sperm count will play a role too.

When to seek help

If you’ve been trying for a baby for one to two years without success, it may be wise to contact your doctor for advice.

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