How long does fertilization take?
So you’ve hit the point in your life where you and your significant other would like to try and start your own family. Many couples find themselves in this situation and don’t know a thing about how difficult or, if you are lucky, how easily becoming pregnant can be. Often times OB-GYN’s are asked, how long before I get pregnant or essentially how long does fertilization take? This is a question that is not easily answered and can be affected by a number of different factors. The outcome can be affected by both the woman and the man in the relationship.
The first factor that must be considered when trying to answer the question, how long does fertilization take is the health of both partners. In order to even think of trying to conceive, both partners; man and woman, must make sure they are in the best overall health and physical shape they can be in. This will ensure that conception will not be blocked by a weak immune system, vitamin deficiency, or other health condition. This means that each partner must be looked at to see if there are any underlying problems that would prevent them from becoming pregnant.
Starting with the female partner, there are many risk factors of infertility. One of the first things to consider is the age at which you try and conceive. Women in their late 30’s and early 40’s have a more difficult time getting pregnant than a women that is younger and in her pregnancy prime, because the eggs she produces tend to be less healthy and less fertile. Another risk factor that may affect a women is any type of pelvic infection; many of which are caused by STD’s. Stress, alcohol, smoking, drug abuse and/or poor eating habits are also risk factors that can make the process harder or even not possible at all.
Now when we take a look at the risk factors for men, we see that there are some similarities that could prevent a couple from becoming pregnant. Such factors include poor diet, smoking, alcohol use, drug abuse and poor overall health as well. With men, these factors can all lower the sperm count and decrease the chances of fertilization. Other factors that often cause infertility in men are underlying health issues, some of which can be caused from cancer radiation treatment, chemotherapy, or even environmental toxins. The higher and stronger the sperm count, the more likely the chances are of penetrating the egg for fertilization.
With all of the factors looked at, answering the question how long does fertilization take must start with the time of ovulation. If the female partner is not ovulating, and won’t be in the near future, then fertilization of the egg will not take place. If a woman is ovulating then becoming pregnant is a lot easier. An egg can last up to 12 to 24 hours in the fallopian tubes waiting to be fertilized by healthy sperm so depending on when a man and women have intercourse, it is likely that if you have healthy eggs and sperm and you try to conceive when you are ovulating than your chances of becoming pregnant are increased.
Once healthy sperm has reached an egg then fertilization can immediately occur. It usually roughly takes 90 seconds for the sperm to reach the egg and can be found in the fallopian tubes within five minutes. So if a woman is ovulating then fertilization can begin immediately and a healthy zygote and begin to form in the womb of the mother. After fertilization occurs, implantation begins to occur as the egg travels through the fallopian tubes to the uterus where the zygote will begin to form and grow into a baby. This process can take up to four days to complete and reach it’s expected point.
So for couples trying to conceive, take into consideration all the factors that could keep you from becoming pregnant, and make sure to take all the steps that could help you and do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle while trying to grow your new family.