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How long does it take to get pregnant?

posted on 10th July 2012 by

I’m often asked the million-dollar question: “How long will it take me to get pregnant?” Of course, for any individual woman this is impossible to answer definitely. What I can do though, is provide an estimate based on my assessment of her level of fertility.

In an article published in the Lancet in 2002, Johannes Evers presented data from a German study of how long couples took to get pregnant, having already been assessed to determine how fertile they were. 

Take a look at this table. It shows what percentage (%) of couples who are assessed to be “superfertile”, “normally fertile”, etc will be pregnant after a set amount of time. so, for example, it says that after 6 months of trying, 100% of superfertile couples will be pregnant. In the same way, after 2 years of trying, only 46% of moderately subfertile couples will be pregnant.

 Category MFR* 6 months  1 year   2 years 5 years 
 Superfertile 60% 100%
 Normally fertile 20% 74% 93% 100%
 Moderately subfertile 5% 26% 46% 71% 95%
 Severely subfertile 1% 6% 11% 21% 45%
 Infertile 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
 * MFR = monthly fecundity rate.


So what does the red column, MFR, mean? Well, MFR stands for “monthly fecundity rate”. Bit of a mouthful, but this basically is a measure of how likely a couple diagnosed in each category are of getting pregnant in any given month. A normally fertile couple then stand a 20% chance each month of getting pregnant. That’s a 1 in 5 chance.

The important thing to notice here is that even though a fertile couple has a 20% chance of getting pregnant each month, there will still be quite a large number that aren’t pregnant after six months, and even after a year, approximately 7% will still not be pregnant (100% – 93% = 7%).

So the key message is, don’t panic if you’re not pregnant after 1 year of trying. It is well worth getting your fertility checked out though. We can offer a number of treatment approaches that are proven to improve fertility and increase the chances of having a baby.

You can call me on 0845 676 9699 to make an appointment or discuss this article.


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