Many patients have questions about fertility and conception, especially if they have spent months trying for a baby. Conception is not as easy as it is made out to be in movies or even in the media, which tend to focus on accidental pregnancies. Trying for a baby takes patience and perseverance.
Here are the answers to questions I’m frequently asked about conception.
Is it taking too long for me to get pregnant?
After months of trying, many women worry about infertility issues, but the average woman only has a 15 to 25 percent chance of getting pregnant any given month. 85 percent of couples are able to conceive within a year. After a year of trying to conceive, you should make an appointment with your OB/GYN to discuss possible problems.
How can I increase my chances of getting pregnant?
The best thing you can do is to chart your menstrual cycle and figure out when you ovulate each month. Once you know when you are ovulating, you can time sex with ovulation, greatly increasing your chances of getting pregnant. You should have sex frequently, not just on days you think you are ovulating, since your body doesn’t always work like clockwork.
Schedule a preconception visit with your OB/GYN to figure out how to increase your reproductive health by getting in shape and getting rid of habits like smoking (which is important for both you and your significant other).
How long after stopping birth control can I get pregnant?
You can get pregnant after just a week without taking a birth control pill. It is safe to do so.
Am I too old to get pregnant?
Though women do experience higher fertility in their 20s and early 30s, women well into their 40s can still have healthy pregnancies.
Always talk to your obstetrician before you start trying to conceive and remember to relax. Pregnancy doesn’t usually happen on the first try.
Dr. Thomson practices at Hampton Roads OB/GYN Center at Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk. She received her medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Pomona, Calif. She went on to perform her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Summa Akron City Hospital in Akron, Ohio. Her prior professional experience includes private group practice at a Canton, Ohio, women’s clinic.
Dr. Thomson’s special interests include providing compassionate care for women during pregnancy as well as gynecologic care utilizing minimally invasive procedures with the da Vinci® robotic surgical system. Dr. Thomson has participated in several research studies and given numerous medical presentations. She is professionally affiliated with The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Medical Association and American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists.