10+ Things to Know before Trying to get Pregnant
Updated: Dec 1
When it comes to getting pregnant, most people assume it is as simple as having unprotected sex and then becoming a parent in nine months. However, this isn't always that easy. In reality, there are many things to consider when it comes to conceiving, and it can be a long, unpredictable, and sometimes even frustrating journey. As someone who has been through this process, here are some of the things I wish I had known before I started trying to get pregnant.
It Can Take Time
It's a common misconception that as soon as you start trying to conceive, you will get pregnant straight away. However, this isn't always the case. It can take months or even years to conceive, and there may be many reasons why it's taking longer than expected. This can be frustrating, especially when you hear stories about people getting pregnant on their first or second try. The reality is that everyone's journey is different, and it's important not to compare yourself to others. Remember, it's normal for it to take time, and stressing about it won't help.
A study has shown that 60% of women between 20 and 28 get pregnant within 6 months. 90% get pregnant within 12 months. When women are slightly older, they still can get pregnant naturally. 80% of women ages 35 got pregnant within one year.
For my first one, it took about 8 months to get pregnant. While for my second this was 5 years. For my second baby, I have had several checkups to see if everything was normal but nothing abnormal was found. I just had bad luck.
Recovering from Birth Control
Your Body May Take Time to Adjust After Going off Birth Control. If you've been on birth control for a while, it's important to remember that your body may take some time to adjust after you stop taking it. For some women, their menstrual cycles return to normal straight away, but for others, it can take months especially when you had hormonal birth control for a long time. This is completely normal, but if you're worried, speak to your doctor.
Not All Cycles Are Created Equal
It's a common myth that everyone ovulates on day 14 of their cycle. In reality, everyone's different and everyone’s cycles are different, and ovulation can occur at different times each month. For some women, it's easy to track their cycles and predict when they ovulate. For others, it can be more difficult. This is why tracking your ovulation can help understand your body's rhythms.
For me, my cycles are very unpredictable. My cycle ranges from 5 to 8 weeks. This severely reduces your chances of getting pregnant each year. Most women have about 10-12 tries per year while I had 7-9 tries per year.
Fertility Apps Can Mess with Your Mind
Fertility apps are great for tracking your cycle, but they can also be overwhelming. It's easy to become obsessed with tracking every single detail, which can lead to stress and anxiety. Remember, these apps are tools, not the answer to everything. If they're becoming more of a hindrance than a help, it's okay to take a break or maybe ditch the fertility apps altogether.
Scheduling Sex Doesn't Have to Kill the Mood
When trying to conceive, it's easy for sex to become a chore. Scheduling sex may not sound sexy, but it doesn't have to be a mood killer. Try to make it fun by experimenting with new things, using toys or oils, or having a cocktail before. Remember, the focus should be on enjoying yourself and not just on getting pregnant.
When my partner and I were trying to conceive, I never told him when I was ovulating. To keep things as spontaneous and fun as possible without putting too much pressure on him.
Miscarriages Are Not Uncommon
Miscarriages are a devastating experience, but they're not uncommon. They happen in 10% to 15% of pregnancies in women aged 20-24 while this can be close to 50% for women over 40. It’s important to know that you're not alone if you experience a miscarriage. About 10% of all women have experienced a miscarriage in their lives. Reach out for support if you need it, and remember to be kind to yourself.
When trying to conceive my second baby I experience a lot of miscarriages. When I finally passed the twelve-week mark with my second baby it was actually my seventh pregnancy. I have had 5 miscarriages over the past couple of years.
What people often don’t know is that once you had a miscarriage, the chances of having another miscarriage increase. After two miscarriages the chance of another miscarriage is close to 30% and after 4 miscarriages the chance of having another is over 40%.
You're Going to Do Some Weird and Gross Stuff
When trying to conceive, you'll find yourself doing some weird and gross things. Checking your cervical mucus, peeing on dozens of sticks, and holding your legs in the air are all part of the process of trying to get pregnant. It may be uncomfortable, but it's important to remember that it's normal.
Confusing Pregnancy Tests
You can take a pregnancy test one day and get a negative, and again a few days later, and get a positive.
Our bodies are amazing, but they can also play the ultimate practical joke on us. Pregnancy tests are not always accurate, especially when they’re taken right after conception. A positive test occurs when a certain level of the HCG hormone is met, and this often doesn’t happen up until two weeks post-conception. This means when you take a test and the threshold of HCG hormone is not met yet, the test will be negative while your HCG levels could be high enough a day later. As annoying as it is to wait to take a pregnancy test, it can often spare you the roller coaster ride of thinking you’re not pregnant and then having a “Hey, wait a second…” moment.
Obsessing over Symptoms
You’re going to obsess about pregnancy symptoms, but you’re never really going to know you’re pregnant until you test positive.
As soon as you start trying to conceive, you’ll start to obsess about every little twinge and symptom that your body is experiencing. You’ll start to question whether that headache is a sign of pregnancy, or whether that metallic taste in your mouth means something. However, the truth is that you’ll never really know for sure until you take a pregnancy test. All the symptoms you’re experiencing could be due to a million other things, and obsessing about them won’t help you conceive any faster.
Don’t google every little thing you feel in your body and stop doing those online pregnancy tests. The internet can be a double-edged sword when it comes to trying to conceive. On the one hand, there are plenty of resources available to help you navigate this journey. On the other hand, there’s a lot of misinformation out there that can leave you feeling more confused and anxious. Googling every little thing you feel in your body can be a recipe for disaster. You’ll end up down a rabbit hole of information, and it’s unlikely to provide any useful insights. Furthermore, online pregnancy tests are notoriously inaccurate, and they’ll only serve to fuel your anxiety.
You know your body better than anyone else.
Everyone has an opinion, advice, or a sure thing when it comes to trying to conceive. Friends, parents, coworkers, Starbucks baristas, and spouses may have a lot to say about you, your body, and trying to conceive, but ultimately, you know your body better than anyone else. Trust your intuition and listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, speak up and advocate for yourself. While it’s essential to listen to your doctor, you’re the one living in your body, and you know what feels normal and what doesn’t.
Trying to get pregnant can be a fun and exciting process, but it can also be incredibly frustrating. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of a baby, but the reality is that it might take some time before you conceive. It’s important to have realistic expectations and to be patient. While some couples conceive quickly, others may take longer. It’s important to remember that there’s no right or wrong way to conceive, and every journey is different.