Wondering how long it takes to get pregnant?
Has trying to conceive taken longer than expected?
Many women spend years utilizing birth control to prevent a pregnancy. After being diligent, it’s easy to assume that stopping birth control will quickly lead to pregnancy.
Conceiving within six to twelve months is an expectation many couples have. While some conceive within just a cycle to a few, some take closer to twelves months or more. Taking twelve months to conceive can be within the realm of typical fertility.
Without any fertility issues, most women have about a 25% chance of conceiving each cycle.
When it takes longer than six months, many couples begin looking into why they haven’t conceived yet.
Why Is It Taking Longer Than 6 Months To Get Pregnant?
After six months of sex without birth control, many begin charting and pinpointing their most fertile days in hopes of conceiving. As cycles pass and there’s not a positive test in sight many feelings can creep in.
There are many reasons it can take longer than six to twelve months to conceive, including:
- Missing the fertile window
- Reproductive health issues such as endometriosis, PCOS and complications from previous infections
- Male factor infertility
- Age related decline in fertility
- Genetic conditions
- Thyroid and other hormonal issues
While there are many reasons for struggling to conceive, it can sometimes take a while to pinpoint the cause for each couple struggling.
Coping When Trying To Conceive Takes Longer Than Expected
Many women report feeling they were alone in their struggles, but the reality is conception struggles happen, they are just not always talked about.
Some couples choose to go with the flow and trust they will have children if and when it is meant to be. For others though (and likely the majority), it can become an isolating and concerning time.
Our culture is mostly beyond the obvious stigmas for infertility but many still feel an inexplicable level of value in our ability to conceive and bear children. For this reason we might feel embarrassed to discuss difficulty conceiving.
We fear people’s judgments, we fear awkward conversations and we fear the unsolicited advice. Comments like, “just take a vacation,” feel hurtful but also leave a feeling that we somehow caused the delay in conceiving with our own stress.
These fears cause a cycle of not opening up and therefor continuing to feel alone in this struggle. Please know that your fertility status is not in anyway a reflection of your value.
Having adequate support during and after the struggle to conceive can relieve some of the stress and isolation that often accompanies fertility struggles.
Though support may not end fertility struggles, sometimes knowing you are not alone and that what you are experiencing is common takes a little pressure off. With today’s technology we can reach out to others online when we are not able to open up in person. We have the ability to maintain a level of anonymity and seek support despite our fears.
Whether you found support, are seeking support or you still feel lonely, please know that you are not alone in your experiences with conception. In addition to online peer support, many find professional support invaluable as they process this difficult time.
Perhaps you have not experienced infertility (defined by not conceiving within twelves months, or experiencing three or more miscarriages), are not quite at the twelve or even sixth cycle of trying to conceive but the journey of conception took you by surprise. Support can still be vital regardless of how long you’ve been trying.
If secondary infertility is your struggle you might feel guilty being upset because you already have at least one child, but your struggles and disappointment are valid. You might feel guilty about impatience knowing others wait longer, but know that your feelings are valid too. A struggle is a struggle. Some will have bigger struggles and some will have smaller ones, but comparing does not help us through our unexpected times.
If you are currently struggling to conceive, do not hesitate to reach out to a healthcare provider, if you. Even if you opt not to use medical assistance to conceive you can often get answers to many of your questions and concerns. If you are open to assistance, many options exist. As with any provider, search until you find one that will listen to your concerns and one that treats you with respect. Find a provider that is willing to take your concerns seriously and take the time to answer your questions. Many couples also utilize alternative med