What is Time to Conceive?

What is Time to Conceive?
Who Can Join?
Time to Conceive Eligibility Criteria
Study Activities
Participants in Time to Conceive will be asked to complete the activities listed below.
Benefits & Costs
Study Visit Locations
Study Team

How Do I Join?

Enrolling women through December 2015!

To Participate in Time to Conceive:

  • Call (919) 843-8246 to speak with study staff


  • Email fertility@unc.edu. Provide your name, contact phone number, and the best time to reach you.

We will conduct the screening interview over the phone and will answer any further questions you may have.


Time to Conceive in the News
Is Baby Panic Based on Questionable Data?
Millions of women are being told when to get pregnant based on statistics from a time before electricity, antibiotics or fertility treatment. What's the reality? Are women being oversold outdated facts? When is the deadline to have a safe pregnancy?
Fertility After 35: Cutting Through the Junk Science
Time to Conceive Principal Investigator, Dr. Anne Steiner, interviewed by John Hockenberry on NPR's The Takeaway
How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby?
Deep anxiety about the ability to have children later in life plagues many women. But the decline in fertility over the course of a woman’s 30s has been oversold. Here’s what the statistics really tell us—and what they don’t.
Fertility Kits Can Mislead Women
Home fertility tests may not be reliable predictors of a woman's ability to get pregnant, researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill have found.
Are You Fertile? Don't Rely on a Drug-Store Fertility Test to Tell You
New research indicates that home fertility tests can’t be relied upon. A quarter of women were labeled infertile by the tests, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, although in actuality they had no more trouble getting pregnant than other study participants.
Study Raises Concern about Ability of Tests to Predict Fertility
The study found that the cutoffs used by such infertility tests, which measure levels of a molecule called follicle stimulating hormone or FSH, label many women as infertile who actually go on to have children naturally. It also suggests that another hormone, called antimullerian hormone or AMH, could prove to be a much better harbinger of infertility.
Home Fertility Tests Questioned
There's some new research out that is raising questions about those home fertility tests that are being sold in drug stores. A new study found that the tests may incorrectly label women infertile even though they are still capable of having babies.

Study Visit Locations

Chapel Hill Site

Clinic A, First Floor UNC Women's Hospital

From the Women's Hospital Lobby, take the escalators to the first floor.  At the top of the escalator, turn to your left and you will arrive at Clinic A.

Parking is available in the Visitor lot (Dogwood Deck).

Directions to the Dogwood Deck

Map of UNC Hospitals

Women’s Hospital

Raleigh Sites

STUDY VISIT SITE: UNC Specialty Women's Center at REX

This clinic is located on the first floor of the REX Women's Center. From the lobby of the Center, take the stairs to the first floor.  At the top of the stairs, turn to your right, and you will arrive at UNC Specialty Women's Center at REX.

Map and Directions to the REX Women's Center

Picture of REX Birth Center

UNC Fertility Main Office

This clinic is located at UNC Fertility's new office in Brier Creek. The address to this office is:
7920 ACC Boulevard
Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27617

Map and Directions to the UNC Fertility Main Office

Picture of UNC Fertility

Welcome to the School of Medicine Content Management System!

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Get Started

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Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions. OIS is already working on features and enhancements for the next launch. This system is a constant work-in-progress. Your input is invaluable!

Participant Resources

Consent Forms
Study Consent Forms, updated 1/16/14
Urine Kit Instructions
This kit is for you to collect a sample of your first morning urine on the day of your study visit, store it, and transport it to your appointment.
Pregnancy Test Instructions
Instructions for using your pregnancy tests
Cervical Mucus Monitoring
A "How-to" guide for monitoring cervical mucus throughout the menstrual cycle.
Ovulation Predictor Test Instructions
Instructions on how to use your ovulation predictor tests.
Time to Conceive Diary
Forgot to bookmark your daily diary link? No problem! You can access your diary link here.
Refer-a-Friend, get $10!
Are you a past or current participant of Time to Conceive? Refer your friends to join the study!

Contact Information

(919) 843-8246


Time To Conceive
Anne Steiner (PI)
CB#7570, Old Clinic Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Directions to the Dogwood Deck (Visitor Parking)

Directions from the West

  • Take NC 54 East to Chapel Hill
  • Exit at Columbia Street/US 15-501 and turn left onto South Columbia Street.
  • From South Columbia Street, turn right on Manning Drive
  • Take a left on East Drive
  • The entrance to the Dogwood Deck (Visitor Parking) will be on your right


Directions from the North

  • Take NC 86 South (which becomes Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard) to downtown Chapel Hill.
  • Turn right onto Cameron Avenue (2nd light after Franklin Street) then make an immediate left onto Pittsboro Street
  • Bear left when the road splits.  Go straight across South Columbia Street and you will be on Manning Drive near UNC Hospitals
  • Take a right on East Drive
  • The entrance to the Dogwood Deck (Visitor Parking) will be on your right


Directions from the East

  • Take I-40 West to exit # 273A.  Take NC 54 West to Chapel Hill.
  • Take US-15-501 South to Manning Drive
  • Turn right onto Manning Drive
  • Take a left on East Drive
  • The entrance to the Dogwood Deck (Visitor Parking) will be on your right


Directions from the South

  • Take US 15-1501 North to Chapel Hill.  US 15-501 will become South Columbia Street at the NC 54 intersection.
  • From South Columbia Street, turn right on Manning Drive.
  • Take a right on East Drive
  • The entrance to the Dogwood Deck (Visitor Parking) will be on your right


Physical Activity and Conception Study

What is the Physical Activity and Conception (PAC) Study?

PAC is a research study to learn about the relationship between a woman’s physical activity and her fertility.

This study will try to determine if different levels of physical activity increase or decrease a woman’s likelihood of becoming pregnant.

Additional Information





Who Can Join?

Women are eligible to participate if they:

    • Are between 18 and 29 years of age
    • Are cohabitating with a male partner
    • Have regular menstrual cycles
    • Are hoping to get pregnant and
      • Are about to start trying or
      • Have been trying for less than 3 months

Women are not eligible to participate if they:

    • Have a history of infertility or fertility treatment
    • If their partner has a history of infertility or fertility treatment
    • Cannot speak and read English
    • Are currently breastfeeding
    • Have used hormone shots for birth control in the past year
    • Have Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOS) or a history of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

What Study Activities Will I Complete as Part of PAC?

To participate in PAC, you will be asked to:

Screening Interview

The first part of the study is to determine if you can be in the study.  During this phone interview you will:

    • Be asked questions to see if you are eligible to participate
    • Receive information about study activities
    • Have the opportunity to ask questions about the study
    • This screening interview should take approximately 10-15 minutes.

Study Visit

Your study visit will be scheduled right before you begin your next  period.  At the study visit you will:

    Fertility Diary 

    While you are trying to get pregnant, we will ask you to keep a daily diary in which you will record bleeding, intercourse, medications, ovulation prediction test results, exercise, and pregnancy test results, while you are trying to get pregnant.  Each daily diary entry should take approximately 1 minute to complete. You will keep the fertility diary until you get pregnant or until you have been in the study for 6 months.

    Ovulation Prediction Tests

    We will provide you with up to 36 ovulation test strips while you are trying to conceive.  You will test for ovulation 6 days each month using the test strips.  The test strips test for luteinizing hormone (LH) in urine.  The LH surge is used to predict release of a mature oocyte (egg) within 24-48 hours.  We ask that you enter the results of each ovulation test in your fertility diary.You can find instructions on how to use the test strips here.

    Physical Activity Monitor 

    The physical activity monitor is an accelerometer.  The physical activity monitor is worn on your wrist using the elastic band provided.  All the measurements are stored within the monitor.  It does not give you any information about your physical activity.  You will wear the physical activity monitor for an entire menstrual cycle (from the beginning of one period to the beginning of your next period). You will then send the accelerometer back to us with your diary in an envelope we provide.  We will send back the accelerometer and you will wear the accelerometer for one week each month until you get pregnant or until you have been in the study for 6 months.  For further information on the physical activity monitor click here.

    wrist accelerometer




    Pregnancy Testing

    We provide you with up to 12 free pregnancy tests while you are trying to conceive. You should use your pregnancy tests only when you miss a period. We ask that you enter the results of each pregnancy test in your fertility diary. You can find instructions on how to use the pregnancy tests here.

    Pregnancy Ultrasound

    When you have a positive pregnancy test, we will schedule an ultrasound to evaluate the pregnancy. The ultrasound will be scheduled during the 7th week of pregnancy. You will be provided pictures, and at your request, a copy of the report can be sent to your doctor. The ultrasound visit will take about 20 minutes.

    What are the benefits of participating in PAC?

      • Up to 12 free pregnancy tests and 36 free ovulation predictor kits
      • Early pregnancy ultrasound pictures
      • $60-$170 in compensation (depending on the study activities you complete)
      • Satisfaction in knowing that you are contributing to our knowledge of women's health

    Are there any risks or costs involved with participating in PAC?

      • There are no known reproductive risks in this study.
      • Any procedures, like the ultrasound, have very low risks.
      • We take extreme care to prevent all risks.
      • All tests completed as part of this study are free.
      • We will pay for your parking during your study visit.  You will be responsible for paying for your parking (approximately $1.50) during our ultrasound visit.

    What are the Confidentiality Policies for PAC?:

    Information about all study participants will be treated in strict confidence to the extent provided by law. No personal identifiers (names, medical record numbers) will be placed on questionnaires or data. Participants will be assigned a study number for identification. No participants will be identified in any report or publication about this study.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Study Visit Questions

    Q: When do I contact you to schedule my study visit?
    A: We ask that you call and/or email us as soon as you start your period (aka, "Day 1"). Your study visit will be on Day 2, 3, or 4 of your cycle. We check our emails regularly over the weekend, so if you period starts then, send us an  right away!

    Q: What do you mean by "Day 1" of my cycle? Does spotting count?
    A: Day 1 of your period is the first day you see real blood, not just spotting. We do not count spotting to be "Day 1" of your cycle. 

    Q: Will I get a copy of the lab results from my blood and urine samples?
    A: Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide you with a copy of your blood and urine results. We will not process the samples until towards the end of the study, at which time your name would have been de-identified from the samples. 

    Q: Can I eat breakfast before coming in for my study visit?
    A: Yes, you can eat prior to your study visit! We do not require a fasting blood draw. But, we do ask that you drink plenty of water before your visit! 

    Q: Do I need to bring anything to my study visit?
    A: Yes, please remember to bring your first morning urine sample with you! You should receive a urine kit in the mail prior to your study visit. 

    Diary Questions

    Q: I realized I made a mistake after submitting my daily diary. How do I fix this?
    A: We will have to fix the diary entry for you. Send us an , and we'll make sure your diary is corrected as soon as possible!

    Q: I forgot my password. Can you please reset it for me?
    A: Unfortunately, we can't reset your password for you. However, if you click on the "Forgot your password? Click Here." link on the Diary Login page, you'll be able to reset it yourself!

    Q: The vitamin supplement and/or drug I use isn't listed in the Drug Picker. What should I do?
    A: If the supplement or drug is not on the Drug Picker list, please select the closest one to it in the list, based on the active ingredients. If there is nothing else listed that's similar to it, you can enter it manually. You can find directions on how to enter your medications manually here.

    Q: I take more than 6 medications daily, so can't enter all of them into my diary. What should I do?
    A: You should pick 5 medicines with the Drug Picker, then enter the rest manually in the Drug Picker text box. You can find directions on how to enter your medications manually here

    Pregnancy and Ovulation Test Questions

    Q: What does the ovulation test tell me?
    A: The ovulation tests detect a rise in your Luteinizing Hormone (LH) level, which happens about 24-36 hours before you ovulate.  

    Q: Should I wait for a positive ovulation test result before having sex?
    A: No, you should not wait for a positive ovulation test to have sex! A woman's most fertile period is the six days UP TO and INCLUDING the day of ovulation. Having sex AFTER ovulation has occurred is very unlikely to produce a pregnancy.  

    Q: Oh no! I'm out of tests. Should I go buy some from the store?
    A: No need to run to the store--we'll send you more! us, and we'll send some out to you within 48 hours. 

    Q: What if I don't get a positive ovulation test result?
    A: Don't stress if you don't get a positive ovulation test result! Women can ovulate and not have a positive test result, which is just another reason not to wait for a positive test to have sex!

    Ultrasound Questions

    Q: Is the early pregnancy ultrasound safe?
    A: Our study participants will be given a free endovaginal ultrasound, in which a narrow probe, just a little bit larger than a tampon, is placed inside the vagina. This allows measurement of structures smaller than a pencil eraser that cannot be seen with an abdominal ultrasound. Endovaginal ultrasounds are less invasive than a pelvic exam.  

    Q: Will I get to have a copy of my ultrasound? Can you send a copy to my OB?
    A: Yes, we'll give you a copy of your ultrasound scans, and would be more than happy to send a copy to your doctor. After your ultrasound, send us an with who you'd like us to forward your results to, and we'll make sure to do so right away!

    Welcome to Time to Conceive!

    About Time to Conceive

    Time to Conceive is a time-to-pregnancy research study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The purpose of Time to Conceive is to learn a way to measure fertility in women ages 30 to 44 who are trying to get pregnant. Specifically, we will try to determine if certain hormones (FSH, estradiol, antimullerian hormone, inhibin) in blood and urine will predict fertility and infertility. From April 2008 through December 2015, we hope to enroll 850 women who are trying to get pregnant, collect a small blood and urine sample from each, and observe how long it takes for them to get pregnant. Time to Conceive is important because, although 1 out of 7 women suffer from infertility, we currently have no markers to predict who will be infertile. With your help, we can discover more about infertility.

    What Are the Benefits of Joining?

    Eligible participants receive:

    • free pregnancy tests,
    • free ovulation predictor tests,
    • a free early pregnancy ultrasound with a picture,
    • up to $200, depending on the study activities completed,
    • free fertility charting online,
    • satisfaction in knowing you are contributing to our knowledge of women's health.
    Funded By



    Who Can Join?

    Women can join if they:

    • are between the ages of 30 and 44 years
    • are hoping to get pregnant and are about to start trying, or 
    • have been trying for less than 3 months.

    Women can not join if they:

    • have a history of infertility or fertility treatments,
    • have a partner with a history of infertility or fertility treatments,
    • have used hormone shots in the past year,
    • cannot read or speak English,
    • have Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOS), endometriosis, or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) 
    What Will I Have to Do?

    Study participants will be asked to:

    • complete a 15-minute telephone screening interview,
    • complete a one-time baseline questionnaire online,
    • complete short, daily diaries online,
    • come in for a brief, 20-minute study visit at one of our 3 study visit sites,
    • complete a free early pregnancy ultrasound,
    • complete a short pregnancy outcome report.

    We will NOT give you any medicines to take or ask you to make any significant changes to your daily lifestyle or existing healthcare routine. Information about study participants is strictly confidential. Names and identifying information will be removed from all of your questionnaires.

    How Do I Join?

    Signing up is easy! Give us a call at 919-843-8246, or email us at fertility@unc.edu.