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How Long It Really Takes to Get Pregnant

You’ve made the decision: You’re ready for a baby (well, as ready as you’ll ever be). Now, how long will it take? You know everyone’s different, but you want to get an idea of your odds of getting pregnant tomorrow versus a year from now.

Photo: Thinkstock / The Knot

Scientific data

One study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, followed women who were trying to get pregnant by having sex at the time in their monthly cycle when they were believed to be most fertile. Of the 346 women in the study, 310 conceived in the first year. The breakdown was like this:

38 percent were pregnant after 1 month.
68 percent were pregnant after 3 months.
81 percent were pregnant after 6 months.
92 percent were pregnant after 12 months.

In their conclusion, the researchers wrote, “Most couples conceive within six cycles with timed intercourse.” After a year of trying without conceiving, experts say you should see a fertility specialist.

Not-so scientific data

We decided to take this (very excellent) question to moms and moms-to-be on The Bump Facebook page. (Keep in mind that these aren’t the most reliable results, seeing that if they’re our friends on Facebook, they’re more likely to have gotten pregnant, period. But at least it gives you a real-life example.) This is what they said:

34 percent of those who were trying were pregnant in the 1st month.
23 percent got pregnant in 1 to 3 months.
8 percent got pregnant in 3 to 6 months.
10 percent got pregnant in 6 to 12 months.
8 percent got pregnant in 1 to 2 years.
16 percent took more than 2 years to get pregnant.
1 percent tried but never conceived.

Reasons why

“With my son, we tried for seven months with no luck. I broke down and bought the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor, and it worked in the first month.” -- calgal1683

“For my first son, it was two and a half years, and he was a complete miracle. We were told that the chances of us conceiving naturally were less than 1 percent.” -- kellyloveszach

“I got off the Pill in August after we got married and just let nature take its course. We got very lucky and it happened on our first try.” -- runnergrl6675

“We weren't actively trying, or charting, but we weren't trying to prevent either. If it happened, it happened. It only took us six weeks from the first time we had sex completely birth-control- and condom-free.” -- sunset+skies

“This pregnancy, I got my BFP on the ninth month trying to conceive. My husband and I were shocked because we anticipated it taking a full year again. With my daughter, it was 13 cycles before I got pregnant.” -- EmmysMom08

“I finished my last pack of birth control pills in the month of April. We started trying to conceive in May, and I got pregnant in the fifth month of trying. I used an ovulation predictor kit after the third month of trying, and I'm glad I did because it helped me realize that I ovulate later in the month than is considered traditional.” -- march2008

“I was ovulating 18 days after we got married, and that happened to be the day we got pregnant. We are so very blessed.” -- wkfouts

“I got pregnant in the first month of trying. We were completely shocked because my first child took 11 months to conceive and my second child took a year to conceive.” -- Baby4OT

Get pregnant faster

Want to up your chances of getting pregnant faster? Do this stuff:

Learn the most effective timing for conception.

Find out how to test your basal body temperature.

Naturally boost your fertility using these strategies.

Prep your brain and body for pregnancy.


Plus, more from The Bump:

Getting Pregnant Checklist

Fertility 101

Sex Ed for Babymaking

-- Elena Donovan Mauer

See More: Fertility and Ovulation , Fertility Concerns