When trying to conceive, understanding common pregnancy success rates can be helpful as a way to get an idea of what to expect and when a doctor should be consulted. Age, lifestyle factors, and the presence of medical or fertility problems can all impact a woman’s chances of getting pregnant.
Common Pregnancy Success Rates
In any given month, common pregnancy success rates are low even for couples who are healthy and young. For
a healthy couple with no fertility problems, the chances of getting pregnant in a given month is about 20%, so most couples must try to conceive for at least a few months before getting pregnant.
However, the odds are good in the long run. Within 6 months, 70% of couples get pregnant, 85% are pregnant within 12 months, and 95% get pregnant within 2 years. Some women have a lower chance of getting pregnant, which may be due to a variety of factors.
Age and Pregnancy Success
Age has a substantial impact on fertility. Fertility declines gradually starting in the late 20s to early 30s; by the age of 44, a woman’s chances of getting pregnant in a single cycle drop to about 1%. At 37, women are considered to be of “advanced maternal age,” which has implications for conception, pregnancy, and childbirth.
Several factors are behind the decline in fertility. First, the number of eggs that the woman has drops, resulting in a smaller available pool of high quality eggs. At the same time, the eggs are more likely to produce embryos with genetic abnormalities which can prevent implantation or cause an embryo to be expelled from the uterus without the woman even being aware of it. If a woman does get pregnant, the chances of having a miscarriage or having a child with chromosomal abnormalities are higher.
Medical Conditions and Pregnancy Success
A number of conditions can impact a woman’s ability to get pregnant. Some of the most common conditions that cause infertility include:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – PCOS is a complex metabolic and hormonal disorder that often is associated with obesity, high blood sugar, and abnormal hair growth, as well as the growth of cysts on the ovaries. PCOS can cause infrequent, irregular menstruation, and it is usually difficult for women with this disorder to get pregnant.
- Endometriosis – Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of uterine lining tissue into areas outside of the uterus. Often, the fallopian tubes and ovaries are affected. In some cases, endometriosis can cause scar tissue which interferes with the sperm and egg meeting. In many cases, it is unknown how endometriosis prevents pregnancy.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – PID occurs as a result of infection of the reproductive tract, which can
occur from STDs (sexually transmitted infections) or other types of infections. PID can block the fallopian tubes, preventing pregnancy.
- Low ovarian reserve – Some women have a low amount of eggs in the ovaries, in which case they will not have enough good quality eggs to maintain a high chance for pregnancy.
- Obesity – When a woman is obese, it is often more difficult to get pregnant, and there are more risks associated with the pregnancy. It is recommended that women who are obese make healthy lifestyle changes to reduce their body weight and improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy.
- Smoking – Smoking can decrease the chances of getting pregnant. The effects can be seen in both men and women. In addition, smoking during early pregnancy can have negative effects on the fetus.
- Male problems – Issues with sperm count or quality contribute to as many as 40% of cases of infertility, so both partners should be evaluated.
If you are interested in treatment for your infertility, Dr. Randy Morris would be happy to hear from you. To schedule your consultation today, please click below and enter your information or give us a call at (630) 357-6540.