From the moment we start having sex (and probably a good while before), it's drummed into us to use protection, because we WILL get pregnant and terrible things WILL happen. Okay, so maybe it's not that extreme, but the 'prevent pregnancy' message is certainly a strong one among teenagers and young women.
But when you settle down with the person you'd like to start a family with and you start to think about taking the plunge and ditching contraception, will it be as easy to conceive as you were led to believe in your sex-ed lessons all those years ago?
According to research carried out earlier in the year by online community Channel Mum, who asked 1,194 parents to share how long it took them to fall pregnant, it seems the average time it takes with regular 'trying' is six months.
With the research indicating it takes an average of 78 sex sessions to conceive, this figure was divided by 13, the number of times the couples in the study reported having sex each month while trying to get pregnant. Et voila: six months of unprotected sex is what it takes.
Of course, this figure really is just an average - it's different for everyone. According to the NHS, one in seven couples will experience fertility difficulties, and then there's the people who get pregnant almost immediately, or by accident.
You're most likely to get pregnant if you have sex within a day or so of ovulation, which is roughly two weeks after the first day of your last period. But because sperm can live for up to seven days inside a woman's body, it's still possible to get pregnant before you've ovulated because the sperm can just sit and wait in the fallopian tubes until the egg is released if it fancies.
But the main thing to remember is not to get disheartened if you are trying and it doesn't happen right away - the NHS advises you only see your GP for advice if you’ve been trying for a baby for one to two years without success. Your body's gonna do what your body wants to do, so it's best to just roll with it until you reach a point of real concern.
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