We spend most of our teenage and young adult years trying not to get pregnant, but once we do want a baby, hello panic that it’ll take an aeon
When you and your partner start trying for a baby, the first thought on your mind is probably, ‘How soon will you get pregnant?’ (OK, ‘This’ll be fun’ might be high up there, too.)
However relaxed you try to be about the process, it can be hard to ignore the worry that there might be something wrong. One statistic that might put your mind at rest is that most couples having regular sex – that is twice or more a week – will get pregnant within a year.
When to seek help
Ready for the facts? Around 84% of couples will get pregnant within a year of trying and 92% will do within two years. If you break it down further, around 17-20% of couples will get pregnant within that first cycle, so for you it may happen very quickly.
The point at which couples should visit their GP largely depends on the age of the woman.
‘If you’re in your 20s or early 30s, having regular periods and you are generally fit and well, there is not much point going to see the GP in that first year of trying to conceive,’ explains Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, from the Royal College of General Practitioners. ‘If you are over 35, you may want to go to the GP sooner, say at nine months or so, because we know fertility declines with age.’
In those older couples it’s better to start any investigations sooner rather than later, as waiting lists for fertility treatment can be long.
What factors affect fertility?
Fertility problems do affect one in seven couples in the UK. As a nation, we’re choosing to have babies later and later, which has knock on effects on how easy we find it to conceive, especially for women over the age of 35.
Other factors that may have an impact on how quickly you get pregnant include medical conditions, such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome, as well as low sperm count in men and being very under or overweight. Coming off the Pill should not delay things once your periods have returned.
If you are worried that these or any other factors may impact their chances of having a baby, it’s best to visit the GP and get further advice.