09 November 2009

How Long Does it Take to Get Pregnant?

Ask a random group of mothers or mothers-to-be how long it took them to get pregnant, and you'll hear everything from, "I got pregnant while still taking birth control," to, "It took us eight years of trying." In fact, while it make take a woman two months to get pregnant the first time, it could take the same woman over a year the second time. A couple ready to start trying to conceive needs to look at its health and lifestyle. It should be commonsense that the more strikes you have against you (weight issues, drug abuse, family history, etc.) the longer it may take to conceive. (As you know, this isn't always the case. But when it's you trying, it seems as if everything is stacked against you, doesn't it?)

The general rule of thumb is to allow 6 months of trying for an average, healthy 25-year-old woman; a little longer is she or her partner are a bit older. If a woman is of "advanced maternal age" (35 or older), doctors may want to intervene after 3 months of trying without success (since at this point, time is of the essence). It could also take a perfectly healhy couple a year or even longer, with no known cause or reason. You should be reminded here, though, that reading this website and using the information you learn here should help you conceive more quickly if you are a healthy individual, or spot a potential problem earlier if you aren't.

When I first started trying to get pregnant a few years ago, I had to start from square one. I had a lot to learn about my body; I admit, I was 25 years old and I thought you could only get pregnant while on your period, and I had no idea how I was going to talk my husband into that one. I spent hours scouring the internet and plowing through books trying to learn as much as I could about the way my body works and how I can get things working in my favor.

The very first thing I did was chart my temperatures. It was the easiest--and cheapest--place to start. It took a few months for me to learn how to predict when ovulation was going to occur, but as soon as I did, I got pregnant. Whew! All in all the whole pregnany journey took a whopping four months of diligent temperature- and sign-tracking.

Getting pregnant a second time should be a breeze for me, right? WRONG! Now I knew all the tricks and had them ready up my sleeve. I charted for a month to get back into the rhythm of things. Everything was just as it should be, complete with egg-white cervical mucus exactly halfway through my cycle. Even though my self-imposed goal was to wait 3 months before really trying, I thought since things were looking good, I could go ahead and start the next month. I charted and found my temperatures so off the wall that I thought I had been doing something wrong. There was no pattern at all, and no way of telling when or if ovulation had occurred. I thought it was a fluke month.

The third month was a charm: my temperature were back to normal, and I had unprotected sex at just the right time. But no pregnancy took place, and even though I wasn't even supposed to start actually trying yet, I felt myself getting discouraged. I decided to take drastic measures (well, at least for me) and purchased every fertility/ovulation tracker I could get my hands on. I bought a fertility monitor, ovulation predictors kits (OPKs) in bulk, and a saliva scope. [More on all these later, in case you aren't familiar with them or are interested in purchasing one or more of these yourself.]

For the next two months, my temperatures were haywire and all of the tests and kits told me no ovulation had occurred. So here I was, five months into trying, and the first time around I would have been spotting my first signs of pregnancy. I went to the doctor, and because of the charts and the test results, I was taken seriously and got in for testing at certain times during my next cycle.

What charting and testing did for me was help me spot a problem: I was having more anovulatory cycles than I was "normal" cycles. As soon as they were able to figure that out (with just a few blood tests) I was put on fertility medication. I got pregnant the first month I took the medication and am now four weeks away from my due date.

Fertility medication may not work right away, but it usually does within the first three months. I felt guilty that I had gone that route, like I had cheated. But fertility medications have a bit of a misnomer, or so I tell myself. The drugs didn't help me become more fertile; the drugs simply prompted my body to release an egg. If you ever find yourself in the same boat, just remember that.

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