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  • Writer's pictureJen Walpole

How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant?

While the actual process of fertilisation can happen relatively quickly, a healthy pregnancy starts well before conception. It takes about 3 months for an egg to mature and be released during ovulation, and a similar timeframe (about 2.5 months) for sperm production (spermatogenesis) to complete. This means that ideally, a couple should be working on optimising their health for at least 3 months before actively trying to conceive.

This optimisation should include nutrition, lifestyle habits, and mindset. By focusing on these aspects in the months leading up to conception, you create a healthier foundation for both yourself and your future baby.

A recent study highlighted that 9 out of 10 pregnant women have nutrient deficiencies, underscoring the importance of addressing potential shortfalls before conception.

Here are some key nutrients to consider:

Folate - Adequate levels are associated with healthier sperm and folate is involved in the egg maturation process. In pregnancy, folate is crucial for fetal neural tube development and a deficiency can increase the risk of birth defects. Aim for rich food sources like leafy greens, pulses and beans, or consider a prenatal supplement with folate (ideally methyl-folate).

Vitamin D - Supports fertilisation at the conception stage. Also essential for bone health and immune function in both mother and baby. Get your vitamin D levels checked and consider supplementation if needed. Fatty fish, eggs, and fortified foods can also contribute.

Iron - Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, potentially impacting ovulation and immune regulation. Include iron-rich foods like red meat, beans, lentils, and dark leafy greens in your diet. 

By addressing potential nutrient deficiencies before conception, you're providing your body with the building blocks it needs for a healthy pregnancy. Over 80% of couples will conceive naturally within the first 12 months of trying yet infertility affects 1 in 7 couples in the UK.

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