How Many 'Attempts' Does the Average Couple Need to Conceive?

Think most people make a baby after a single romp? Think again! This study sheds some light on how many attempts it REALLY takes to conceive.

Baby-making sex JMTH/Shutterstock
When we think about trying to conceive, we tend to consider whether it takes couples one cycle or many to get the job done—chances are, we don't really think about how many singular attempts most people make, though we probably assume many couples are scheduling more than one "baby dance" session per month.

Well, a recent study confirms that assumption. According to a survey from Channel Mum, couples are having a lot of sex before they finally get that positive pregnancy test. The Channel Mum team carried out a survey of 1,194 parents—and according to an emailed release sent to Fit Pregnancy, the couples surveyed had sex 78 times on average before conceiving.

Surprised by that number? Yeah, so were we.

Some other key findings only add to the idea that when it comes to baby-making, most couples can't rely on a one-and-done approach: Couples had sex about 13 times a month on average when trying to conceive, and half the couples surveyed reported having sex more often than usual while trying to conceive. Only about one-third of the female respondents said they loved stacking the odds with additional attempts, while about 18 percent of the women surveyed admitted to feeling like those additional attempts were a bit of a chore.

But while most respondents needed to put in multiple attempts before they conceived, there were those rare responders who got pregnant right away—though only five percent of the people surveyed got pregnant after having sex just once. Others didn't have it nearly as easy: One in 16 women even scheduled a vacation for the purpose of baby-making.

While one-third of the couples surveyed got pregnant in the first month of trying, about one out of five took upwards of a year.

“Far from being an unlucky number, 13 seems to be the lucky number couples need each month to fall pregnant," Channel Mum founder Siobhan Freegard said, according to the release. “But while trying to conceive can be fun, it is also hard work, stressful and not every couple is lucky enough to get conceive. So while you’re focused on the baby, try to remember about each other, too.”

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