How to deal with the stress of trying to get pregnant

A husband comforting his sad and upset wife.

When you’re ready to start a family, infertility can feel like a cruel and isolating hurdle. But remember, you’re not alone. Getting pregnant is not easy, as about 20% of couples in the United States experience infertility. Waiting month after month for a positive pregnancy test can cause heated arguments, resentment toward your partner, and other complicated feelings. Couples who are trying to conceive can feel the pressure of the process and may be full of stress and feelings of anxiety and guilt. This emotional roller coaster can take a toll on even the strongest relationships. 

What is Infertility?

The stress of trying to get pregnant may be caused by infertility. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after a year of regular unprotected sex or the failure to carry a pregnancy to term. Infertility can result from issues in either partner. In women, common causes include problems with ovulation, damage to fallopian tubes or uterus, or issues with the cervix. Male infertility often stems from low sperm count or problems with sperm motility. 

The Role of Age in Infertility

Communicate with your partner when trying to conceive. Women may feel like they have a biological time clock to consider, as fertility starts declining in their early 30s and speeds up after age 35. It’s also important to remember that while men may not feel the pressure of a biological clock, their fertility naturally declines with age.

The Emotional Impact of Trying to Conceive

The emotional toll of infertility can be immense, leading to feelings of inadequacy, depression, or anxiety. Communication is essential to ensuring you and your spouse or partner are on the same page and helps reduce stress in the relationship.

Many individuals and couples may find themselves grappling with a sense of loss or disappointment as they navigate the stress of trying to get pregnant. Acknowledging these emotions and prioritizing self-care is crucial. Seeking support from loved ones, a therapist, or a support group can provide validation and guidance as you navigate the complex emotions that come with fertility struggles.

Finding coping mechanisms that work for you is essential in managing the emotional impact of trying to conceive. Whether it’s through meditation, yoga, journaling, or engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, taking care of your mental health is job #1. 

Lifestyle Changes Can Impact Fertility

Lifestyle changes can also significantly impact your fertility. A balanced diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins specific to your unique needs can enhance fertility in both men and women. Regular exercise can also improve fertility by boosting overall health and helping maintain a healthy weight.

Body weight plays a crucial role in hormone production, which ultimately affects fertility. Being either overweight or underweight can increase the body’s stress when trying to get pregnant. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise is essential for improving the chances of pregnancy.

Additionally, quitting harmful habits such as smoking, vaping, and excessive alcohol consumption is vital to improving fertility. If you are a medical marijuana user, speak with your doctor about alternatives. These lifestyle changes can significantly impact one’s reproductive health when trying to conceive.

What to Do if You Suspect Infertility

If the stress of trying to get pregnant has become long-term and you suspect infertility, schedule a medical consultation. During fertility testing, your doctor may perform blood tests, ultrasounds, and semen analysis, among other tests. These tests can help identify any underlying issues and guide treatment decisions.

Medical Treatments for Infertility

Medical treatments for those who have been trying to conceive include fertility drugs, which stimulate ovulation, and surgical procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

IVF is a widely used medical treatment for infertility that involves the fertilization of eggs outside the body in a laboratory setting. This process typically includes retrieving mature eggs from the ovaries and combining them with sperm in a dish to create embryos. These embryos are then carefully monitored and selected for transfer into the uterus, where they have the potential to implant and develop into a pregnancy.

It is crucial for individuals considering IVF, either with their own eggs or donor eggs, to thoroughly discuss these risks and potential side effects with their healthcare provider before proceeding. 

A couple walks arm-in-arm along a beach.

Alternative Paths to Parenthood

Sometimes. The stress of trying to get pregnant makes a couple decide to stop trying to conceive. It’s important to remember that if traditional methods aren’t successful, there are other paths to parenthood.

Surrogacy is one increasingly popular option for creating a family. Gestational surrogacy is when another woman carries the baby on behalf of the intended parents. This process involves a legal and financial agreement between all parties to ensure a successful pregnancy.

Additionally, some individuals or couples may choose to use donor eggs or sperm to achieve pregnancy. Sperm and egg donors provide a genetic source while allowing individuals to experience the joys of parenthood.

It’s essential to research all options when exploring alternative paths to parenthood.

Find Support During Your Journey

Trying to conceive can be emotionally taxing. Seek support from those who understand your struggle – this could be friends who’ve gone through similar experiences or support groups (both local and online). Mental health counseling can also help manage the emotional toll and stress of trying to get pregnant.

Connect with Family Creations

Trying to conceive requires patience and resilience. Remember that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and to seek help. Never forget that there are many paths to becoming a parent, and the professional staff at Family Creations can help navigate this challenging journey. With offices throughout the United States, we are here to answer any questions about fertility and the surrogacy process. Contact us today.

by Julia McConnell | Last updated on : March 25, 2024