The Odds Of Getting Pregnant

Health, life style and age make a huge difference. Learn how to maximize your chances of getting pregnant.

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odds of getting pregnant

For many women today, the odds of getting pregnant can be heavy on their mind if they wish to start trying to conceive or have been trying to conceive for quite some time. Each woman's body is different, and even the most remote and slight change of circumstances can alter the chances of a woman becoming pregnant.

There are many factors that can improve or reduce the odds of getting pregnant that women and men should always consider when actively trying to conceive a baby.

Typically a healthy couple could realistically conceive a child in between 4 - 9 months without much problem at all. While this can be the normal time frame, there are many other couples that experience a much different schedule for their upcoming pregnancies.

What Affects The Odds Of Getting Pregnant

The health of the mother

The first major factor for natural conception would be the health of the mother. If her ovulation cycles are consistent and regular and her fallopian tubes are open and receptive, that is a good starting point for conceiving relatively quickly. Irregular ovulation cycles can mean the chances of getting pregnant will be significantly lower, but because it may be more difficult to actually know when ovulation takes place, and also because there may be some hormonal or other disturbances involved that may reduce fertility. If you do have irregular cycles, make sure to discuss the matter with a gynecologist.

The age of the mother will also have a direct result on how her body ovulates, how many eggs are produced and what quality they are each month. As a woman's age increases, the egg count decreases and the quality of the eggs diminishes as well. An important borderline here is 35 years old. After that, a woman's fertility decreases rapidly. If you are over 35 and wants to conceive, pay a visit to your OB-Gyn for a health checkup to make sure your chances of getting pregnant are optimized. (It is not impossible to become pregnant just because you are older than 35, but at 40 the chances are quite poor for many women.)

Unfortunately, the risk of miscarriage also increases by with age. This starts to happen alaread at around the age of 30 years old, but the risk increases rapidly when a mother approaches 40.

Health issues including obesity or underweight issues, high blood pressure, diabetes or other medical conditions can have a direct adverse effect on how easily a woman can become pregnant.

Smoking regularly can also delay the chances of getting pregnant for a couple and for those couples experiencing problems with conception, quitting smoking can drastically increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Several studies indicate sharply lower fertility for women who smoke, probably related to hormones as well as obstructing the implantation process.

The health of the father

The health of the father can also have a direct impact on how easy a couple will be able to conceive a child.

The sperm count of the man will be the deciding factor on how easily or how difficult it can be to fertilize an egg. The sperm count of the man should be above 20 million/cc to be considered a normal amount. Anything less would make it more difficult for the woman to become pregnant.

Recent research indicates that the age of the father also affects the odds of conceiving, because as the man grows older, his sperm quality falls. According to the study, sperm volume peaked between the age of 30 and 35 years and sperm motility peaked at 25 years old. Overall quality seemed to peak at around 30-35 years of age and was at it lowest for men older than 55 years. Another study found the critical age to be 35 years.

Other factors that could hinder the male fertility factors include blockage and obstructive problems in the sperm carrying tubes, genetic or hormonal problems, drug usage or even environmental toxins or radiation exposure. Men who wish to conceive a child should abstain from any drug use or exposure to environmental factors that could alter their chances of conception. Recent studies suggest that men who smoke have on average 17% or less sperm count than men who don't smoke.

How to improve the odds

Did you find all this information scary? I think knowing is always better, because then you have a chance to actually do something to improve the situation.

So, how can you improve your odds of getting pregnant?

Well, obviously, you can't get younger, but maybe healthier?

If you are overweight; cutting out all carbohydrates you can find (such as sugar, wheat, potatoes, alcohol and white rice) and starting to exercise can make a huge to difference to your chances. If you can get your BMI (body mass index) below 28, your fertility may improve sharply, according to a study carried out in 2010.

There are a few indications that male obesity may have a negative effect on sperm count too, so get your hubby engaged in losing weight.

If you are underweight enough to have irregular menstruation, try to increase in weight. Add more carbohydrates to your diet.

If either of you smoke, the stop immediately. Smoking has a long term negative effect on the chances of getting pregnant.

Cut back on alcohol and caffein, any any drugs.

Also read our tips for getting pregnant here.

Video: Improving your chances of getting pregnant

This useful video will discuss how your age truly affects your changes of getting, what health issues to address, when to make love and other similar issues.

Fertility Book Tips

If you want to more information and tips for getting pregnant, check out any of these books.

While many couples successfully conceive a child anytime between 4 - 12 months, often conception will occur after 12 months. Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, partaking in recreational drug use and harmful environmental factors should be avoided for all couples that wish to begin or have started to conceive a child of their own.

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Levitas E, Lunenfeld E, Weisz N, Friger M, Potashnik G.(2007), Relationship between age and semen parameters in men with normal sperm concentration: analysis of 6022 semen samples.Andrologia. 2007 Apr;39(2):45-50.
Winkle T, Rosenbusch B, Gagsteiger F, Paiss T, Zoller N.(2009),The correlation between male age, sperm quality and sperm DNA fragmentation in 320 men attending a fertility center.J Assist Reprod Genet. 2009 Jan;26(1):41-6. Epub 2008 Nov 22.
Hillary Klonoff-Cohen1, Loki Natarajan, Richard Marrs and Bill Yee, Effects of female and male smoking on success rates of IVF and gamete intra-Fallopian transfer, Hum. Reprod. (2001) 16 (7): 1382-1390.
Christopher J Brewer and Adam H Balen, (2010), The adverse effects of obesity on conception and implantation, Reproduction September 1, 2010 140 347-364
Body mass index and its effect on infertility and in vitro fertilization success rates,


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