Welcome to our Getting Pregnant/Trying To Conceive (TTC) section. We have packed it with information to help you plan for your new addition.
Eat well, sleep well, and get enough excercise.
Consult your physician regarding pre-natal vitamins and any medications you may be taking.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco as they may cause health problems in your developing baby.
Once you think you may be pregnant, make an appointment for a blood test to confirm.
- It may take a little while. Within a one month period a healthy woman between the ages of 20 and 25 has a 25% chance of conceiving, from 25-30 a 20% chance, from 30-35 a 15% chance, from 35-40 a 10% chance, from 40-45 a 5% chance and over 45 less than a 1% chance. On average a woman in her 20s will conceive within 5 months and a woman in her 30s within 9. Within the first year of trying, 80% of couples will succeed.
- Although many women have no problems, it is not uncommon to have some difficulty conceiving. Sometimes a woman may easily conceive her first child but have difficulty with the second or vice versa. Miscarriage is also not uncommon. A woman under the age of 30 has a 5-10% chance of miscarrying, ages 30-34 a 20% chance, 35-39 a 25% chance, 41-44 a 33% chance and 45 and up a 50% chance. As a woman ages, she produces a greater percentage of genetically abnormal eggs which in turn increases her chances for miscarriage.
- If you are having difficulty getting or staying pregnant, rest assured you are not alone, and much can be done to assist you. Reproductive problems whether known or unexplained in men and women under age 42 may often be circumvented using various assisted conception methods including IVF IUI ICI.
- If you are under the age of 30 and have been trying unsuccessfully for 12 months, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to ensure that there is nothing that is preventing you from becoming pregnant. If you are 30-34 you should consult your doctor after 9 months of trying, 35-39 after 6 months, and 40-44 after 3 months. Although this may seem counter-intuitive as it should take an older woman a longer time to conceive, the recommendations are made so that there may be enough time to help the woman to conceive using alternative methods should they be required. Of course your partner should also be tested at this time.
- Unfortunately age matters. Women are at their peak fertility between the ages of 20 and 24. By their mid-30s they are 15-20% less fertile than at their peak. By their late-30s 25-50% less fertile and by their mid-40s 95% less fertile. The age of a woman's partner also affects her ability to conceive. Men over 35 are twice as likely to be infertile as those under 25. In one study of 1,938 couples, women younger than 30 years old had a 25% less chance of conceiving if their partner was over 39 and women 35 to 37 had a 50% less chance if their partner was over 39. Also, just like women's eggs, men's sperm contain more genetic abnormalities as they age, thus producing more miscarriages. So as much as you might want to be more settled in your life or career, this must be kept in mind when planning your family.
- The age of the woman matters more than the man's because women are born with a finite number of eggs, whereas men produce sperm throughout their lives. Medication or devices which stop periods, average period length, and age at start of menses seem to have no bearing on when a woman will no longer be able to conceive. The average age of menopause for women in the U.S. is 52, and generally takes place between 45 and 55 although it can happen much before or after for an individual woman. Menopause is defined as one full year without a period. Studies have shown that it is the age of the eggs which is the failure point and not any of the reproductive organs. For this reason, older women may become pregnant using donor eggs and IVF.
- For a variety of reasons, many people choose to become parents through Adoption and/or Foster Care. Whether because they want to provide a home for a child, are single, or are having difficulty conceiving, many people find the fufillment of parenthood by adopting a child.