A new math method can help predict a woman's chances of becoming
pregnant, depending on how long the couple has been trying, say
For instance, the researchers from Warwick Medical School found
that, if the woman is aged 35 years, after just six months of
trying, her chance of getting pregnant in the next cycle is less
than 10 percent.
The analysis, developed by Warwick Medical School and the London
School of Economics, uses the number of menstrual cycles over
which the couple has been trying for a baby to determine a
probability of conception within the next month, the journal
Public Library of Science ONE reported.
The method makes use of an important math result first described
by Thomas Bayes, an 18th century Presbyterian minister, which
allows probabilities to be calculated by combining prior
information with new evidence, according to a Warwick statement.
Peter Sozou of the London School of Economics said: "After several
cycles without pregnancy, it becomes relatively more likely that a
couple have low fertility.
"This is the main reason why it becomes less likely that
conception will occur in the next cycle."
Geraldine Hartshorne, professor at Warwick Medical School, added:
"Many couples are not aware that chance plays a big role in
getting pregnant. People expect to get pregnant when they want to,
so finding out that it isn't happening can be a shock.
"Approaching a doctor about such a personal matter is daunting so
knowing when is the right time to start investigations would be a
useful step forward," said Hartstone.
"We can't work out exactly when, or if, a woman will become
pregnant - but this analysis can predict her chances, and give a
percentage estimate of pregnancy in the next cycle," concluded