How long can it take to conceive?

A healthy mid-20s couple having frequent unprotected sex on a monthly basis have a 25% chance of achieving a pregnancy each month.  Chances increases to 70% after 6 months, 85% after a year, and 95% after 2 years. Reproductive health factors and age can reduce these odds significantly.

When to try to conceive?

Ovulation occurs approximately 14 days before menstruation. A couple trying to conceive should have intercourse every 2 to 3 days during this time. If the female partner has a regular menstruation cycle (between 28 and 30 days), it is recommended that the couple have intercourse 10 to 17 days after the start of the woman’s period.

What can affect chances of conception?

  • Poor diet: women should eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in folic acid.
  • Obesity: obese women (or underweight women) can have irregular mentrual cycles and therefore may have difficulty conceiving.
  • Alcohol: excessive alcohol consumption can affect both men and women's chances of conceiving.
  • Tobacco & drugs: both tobacco and marijuana can interfere with ovulation and reduce sperm count.
  • Medications: certain medications can alter fertility and lower the chances of conceiving.

When to seek help from a fertility specialist

We recommend making an appointment for a fertility consultation if you have not been able to conceive within one year of regular monthly unprotected sexual intercourse.