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How long does it take to get pregnant?

Posted by Dr Fertility on

Although it’s difficult to say how long it will take you to get pregnant, NHS Choices state that out of 100 couples, on average, 80-90% will get pregnant within a year if they have regular unprotected sex. The rest will take longer, and may need additional help to conceive.


So how often is regular? Having regular sex means having sex every two to three days. You're most likely to get pregnant if you have sex within your fertile window, a six day period of time, commencing five days before ovulation (release of an egg from your ovary) and including the day you ovulate. If your cycle is 28 days long, ovulation is usually 14 days after the first day of your last period. To find out when you are ovulating you can use our free ovulation calculator, and or ovulation tests and fertility monitors to track when you are ovulating.


Age can also play an important part in how long it takes to get pregnant. A recent study has found that couples aged: 


  • 19-26 years old - 92% will conceive after one year and 98% after two years
  • 35-39 years old - 82% will conceive after one year and 90% after two years

Other factors that can affect your chances of conceiving include: 

  • Stress
  • Diet and Exercise
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine 

You can find further information at Getting Pregnant and Prepare Your Bodies for Getting Pregnant. 


If you are under 35 and have been trying to conceive for more than a year, then Dr Fertility recommends that you visit your Doctor. If you are over 35, then visit your Doctor after six months. You may find it useful to complete Dr Fertility’s free preparing to see your Doctor’s questionnaire before your visit. 


It is important to not let trying to get pregnant become an all-consuming obsession. It is important to relax and make the trying part lots of fun – stress and anxiety can hinder your chances! The thing to remember is that it is totally normal not to conceive as soon as you start trying.  


NHS.uk, How long does it usually take to get pregnant? - Health questions - NHS Choices [internet], 2015, available from http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2295.aspx?CategoryID=54 (accessed on April 20 2015)


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