Marriage duration and time to get pregnant – is it related

Now days we see women taking up demanding careers and pushing marriage and/or pregnancy to a later date. Due to this we find many newly married couple coming to us to enquire if they should try to get pregnant or wait for some time.

IAs a doctor I cannot tell you when to get pregnant. But it is essential to realise that age and the ability to get pregnant is very closely related. Generally we see that in females approaching the age of 35, the ability to get pregnant with or without treatment starts to drop. This is because of decline in ovarian reserve.

What is ovarian reserve?

Every female is born with a finite number of eggs. Each month (starting from the day of your birth) some of these eggs get destroyed. As the female enters her reproductive years, one egg becomes mature, ruptures and gives her the chance to get pregnant that month but the other 10-12 eggs which did not grow, get destroyed on their own. As the age of the female increases the number of eggs remaining in the ovary goes down. This also brings about a decline in the quality of the available eggs. The total available eggs at any given point in time is called ovarian reserve.

Therefore it does not matter how long you have been married. What matters more is the ovarian reserve. If you are over the age of 35 and want to have a baby – remember – earlier the easier

So what does duration of marriage mean?

In a young female, where periods are regular and the past record does not reflect any apparent expected problem in conception – normally it is advised to try for a year or two before considering investigations or treatment. It is important to point out here that this is not applicable for females who are of older age, have irregular periods, have some medical or surgical problems etc.

In a normal couple, there is a good chance of pregnancy if the couple tries for some time. But as this duration of “ trying “ increases the chance of spontaneous pregnancy goes down. Therefore at some point it becomes better to consult a fertility specialist and start treatment if required.

The duration for which the couple has been trying or has taken some medical treatment helps the doctor to get a rough estimate of the couples ability to get pregnant and their expectations.

So to summarise
If you are seeking treatment to get pregnant it is better to do it earlier than later. If there is no apparent problem then in a young female, trying for some time often produces result.

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