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Pre-Pregnancy | Falling Pregnant

How Long Should it Take to Get Pregnant?

Many women think that falling pregnant is quick and easy, and will happen straight away once you stop using contraception. But it’s not necessarily as simple as that. Even though people become accidentally pregnant all the time, getting pregnant do actually require being at the right place at the right time. According to pregnancy “does not happen according to desire, but it happens when various biological and environmental factors are perfectly aligned, like an eclipse.” Most couples will however fall pregnant within a year of actively trying. Let’s have a closer look at how long it should take to fall pregnant for an average couple, as well as other factors relating to conceiving and fertility.


Before you start trying for a baby it’s a good idea to visit your gynae for a preconception check-up. It might be useful to know if you have any underlying medical problems that need to be under control before pregnancy. Besides, you probably have a million questions you want to ask. So pay your gynae a visit, find out everything you need to know and enjoy peace of mind before you start trying to conceive.

These are statistics on how long it takes to get pregnant after you go off the pill:

  • 25% fall pregnant in the first month
  • 60% fall pregnant within six months
  • 75% fall pregnant within nine months
  • 80% fall pregnant within 12 months
  • 90% fall pregnant within 18 months

You should actively try to conceive for at least one year before seeing your gynae for advice related to fertility problems. Approximately 30% of infertility is caused by male factors, 30% by female factors, and the rest is either a combination or the cause hasn’t been found. If you are over 35, however, you should seek help after six months of actively trying, as a woman’s fertility decreases with age.

In order to fall pregnant it’s important that a woman gets to know her own fertility cycle very well. Once you are off the pill and your cycle is regular, you’ll be able to know exactly when you ovulate – which is when you are most likely to fall pregnant. According to Web MD symptoms of ovulation include a slight rise in body temperature, changes in cervical mucus – such as a thin, watery discharge – and a one-sided twinge of pain. If you are unsure and not experiencing any of these symptoms, however, you can always get hold of an ovulation kit from your nearest chemist, which will tell you exactly when you are ovulating. The first day of your menstrual period is day one of your cycle, and in an average 28-day cycle ovulation takes place around day 14. But every woman is different, so you need to read the signs and get used to your body and what it’s telling you.

There are many factors that can affect your fertility:

  • Your health influences your fertility to a great deal. The healthier the both of you are, the greater the chances of conceiving.
  • Your age also influences your fertility. It’s easier for women under 35 to fall pregnant.
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol and indulging in too much caffeine, as well as bad eating habits, can affect fertility in both you and your partner.
  • Timing of having intercourse is also important. When you are ovulating your body is prepared to conceive and therefore your chances of falling pregnant are greater.

In order to boost your fertility, you should start taking prenatal vitamins when trying for a baby – folic acid in particular. You should also lead a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise is important, as it maintains your weight and helps reduce stress.

There are a few tips and even myths about sex when it comes to falling pregnant – such as your intercourse position. Although it makes sense that the missionary position is better, because it allows the sperm to enter the cervix easier in terms of gravity, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t fall pregnant using a different position.

Lying in bed with your feet in the air afterwards will not make a difference, however staying in bed for 10-15 minutes in order to allow the sperm that’s going to get into the cervix, get there, is a good idea.

Overdoing it, however, is not necessary. Sperm can live up to 72 hours after intercourse, which means every other day at the right time of the month is enough. Also, a man’s sperm count can deplete if he ejaculates too often. On the other hand, only having intercourse once a month on the day of your ovulation, is not good either. You might be under the impression that your man should “save up his sperm” for your fertile period, but this is a huge myth. By the time ovulation comes, his little men would be lethargic and slow. And you need happy, fresh sperm that can go the distance.

It’s a good idea for couples to think it will take a year to fall pregnant. In that way there’s less stress, and if you do fall pregnant earlier – it’s a great, welcome surprise! Don’t be impatient and have fun while you’re trying. Because most importantly; you should relax and enjoy this time of your life.


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