When a couple is trying to conceive, one of the biggest questions that comes up is what the chances of getting pregnant are. Many factors contribute to how likely a woman is to get pregnant, some of which may not be obvious until after she starts trying to conceive.
Chances of Getting Pregnant Throughout the Menstrual Cycle
One of the most important things to understand when trying to conceive is when a woman’s most fertile time is. About two weeks from the start of the menstrual period, a woman will ovulate a new egg. It is during ovulation, when the egg is traveling through the fallopian tube, when fertilization can occur. Having sex several days before or during ovulation has a high chance of resulting in pregnancy, as long as the woman is actually ovulating.
It is much less likely to get pregnant during, just after, or just before menstruation. However, because women can sometimes ovulate at unexpected times, it is not unheard of for pregnancy to occur at any point in the cycle.
Chances of Getting Pregnant by Age
Age has a huge impact on how likely a woman is to get pregnant. Women are most fertile, as well as most likely to have a complication-free pregnancy, during their early to mid 20s. By age 30, fertility begins to slowly decline. Of course, many women are not ready to have children at that point, and more and more women choose to start their families during their late 30s or even their early 40s.
How dramatic is the drop in fertility? At 24, a woman has a 25% chance of getting pregnant in a single cycle when trying to conceive. At 30, the rate dips to 20%. By 38, fewer than 15% of women will get pregnant in a single cycle, and just over 6% of women will get pregnant within one cycle at 42 years old. At any age, most women must try to conceive for several cycles before getting pregnant, but as women age they are less and less likely to become pregnant within a year of trying.
Effects of Medical and Reproductive Disorders
Having a history of reproductive problems, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis, can decrease a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. These women may consider talking to their doctor relatively early on when trying to conceive, because of the high chance of having a problem.
Certain medical conditions can also make it more difficult to get pregnant, as well as make miscarriage more likely. Hypothyroidism, obesity, and myriad of other health problems can all be an issue when it comes to getting pregnant.
Chances of Getting Pregnant with Fertility Treatment
If a woman has been trying to conceive for 12 months, or for 6 months if she is over the age of 36, she should contact a reproductive endocrinologist. A reproductive endocrinologist can help identify the causes of the infertility, and suggest treatments that will greatly increase the woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Examples include Clomid and IVF.
Although the majority of couples who try to conceive can eventually get pregnant with fertility treatment, the road can be long, and there is never a guarantee of success. Therefore, how much a couple is willing to commit to getting pregnant is a highly individual decision.
If you are interested in ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant, Dr. Randy Morris would be happy to hear from you. To schedule your consultation today, please click below and enter your information or call (630) 357-6540.