“How do I get pregnant faster?” is a question that many women ask. The moment you decide you want to ‘start trying’ for a baby is also the moment you want it to actually happen. The popular website, The Bump, turned to SGF’s own Eric Levens, M.D., of Shady Grove Fertility’s Fairfax, VA office, for tips on how to get pregnant faster.
Stop Taking Birth Control
While this may seem like an obvious step to get pregnant, what’s not so obvious is that, depending on what form of birth control you’re using, fertility doesn’t necessarily return right away. It could take some time for your hormone levels to return to normal. “Especially when women have been on birth control for a very long time, cycles may not occur right away. They may be absent or very irregular for a month or so,” says Dr. Levens. Typically with the pill, “after about 6 to 8 weeks, you should start seeing your cycle. If after 8 to 10 weeks you’re still not getting a period, it’s wise to seek help from a doctor to figure out what’s going on.”
Understand Your Menstrual Cycle
Every woman’s cycle is different. “The average cycle is anywhere from 24 to 35 days, and it doesn’t vary by more than 3 to 4 days on any given month,” Dr. Levens says. The length of your menstrual cycle is determined by the number of days from the first day of bleeding to the start of the next period. The length of your cycle—while not on any form of birth control—can be a key indicator of hormonal imbalances and whether or not ovulation is occurring in a regular manner. If ovulation does not occur, pregnancy is not possible. Understanding your menstrual cycle is key to conception. To learn more about what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to your menstrual cycle and trying to conceive, read more and attend one of SGF’s free educational webinars, What Your Menstrual Cycle Says about Your Fertility.
Take Your Vitamins
Take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid as soon as you think about trying to conceive. Dr. Levens notes that “If taken prior to conception, folic acid can significantly decrease the incidence of spinal birth abnormalities known as neural tube defects. Starting a prenatal vitamin regimen once you’re pregnant is too late, as the neural tube has already formed by the time a woman knows she is pregnant.”
Why am I still not pregnant?
It’s important to keep in mind that even at the peak of fertility, the chances of getting pregnant in any given month is only about 20%, Dr. Levens says. A woman in her early 30s has a 15 to 20 percent chance of pregnancy per month when she initially starts trying to conceive. After trying for 1 year, the chances of pregnancy declines to 1 to 2 percent per month.” It’s important to remember that the chances of success decline quickly when trying on your own. One in eight couples will experience infertility. The only way to truly know what is keeping you from starting a family (or adding to the one you already have) is a complete fertility evaluation. Four simple tests completed during your next menstrual cycle can help reveal the underlying factors preventing conception.
Knowledge of your fertility health is power and can help you make decisions and achieve a pregnancy faster. Your initial consultation with an SGF physician is just a conversation and the first step on your path to parenthood.
Editors Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness as of October 2020.