How to Deal with the Stress of Trying to Conceive

Trying to conceive can be quite the emotional rollercoaster. On one hand, deciding that you are ready to raise a family is an incredibly exciting time, spending your days imagining the kind of Mom you would become whilst scrolling through the baby name books and planning the ideal time of year to try and conceive. However, attempting to start a family is also not as simple as we have potentially been led to believe.

For those that like to plan ahead or have their life following a pre-determined pattern of events, the level of unknown and uncertainty relating to starting a family can be a huge cause of stress and anxiety. Checking dates, monitoring your cycle, the use of ovulation sticks, and trying to master perfectly timed intercourse can often make trying to conceive feel like a highly complex baby-making mission. If the months start to go by and there is still no positive line on that pregnancy test, it is completely understandable that it may cause some emotional unrest.

Stress and fertility, however, don’t mix all that well, with stress being proven to have a negative impact on your chances of conceiving, thus creating a vicious cycle that can go on for some time.

Here are some tips for avoiding stress whilst trying to conceive:

Remain Spontaneous

Whilst a focus on tracking dates can be helpful, don’t forget to enjoy sex with your partner outside of the ‘window of opportunity’. Try to avoid only having sex when you are expected to be ovulating, otherwise the pressure of trying to conceive can take away the enjoyment and spontaneity of love making and remove the intimacy and closeness with your partner. Ovulation is also only a prediction, and it may be that you ovulate slightly earlier or later in the month than you might expect.

Ease off the pressure – Remember, you don’t have to have sex every day to get pregnant. It can be all too tempting to suddenly ramp up your sex life in the hope that one session sticks, but you also need to avoid exhaustion. Sperm can live in the body for up to 5 days, so giving you both time to recuperate and have ‘rest days’ can actually be beneficial!

Practice relaxation techniques

If you are finding yourself becoming anxious or feeling overwhelmed, practice mindfulness, breathing, or yoga techniques to help you unwind and stay grounded. The act of meditation and being in the moment can help distract you from the task of trying to conceive, whilst practicing gratitude can allow you to enjoy the positives in your life as a couple.

Spend time together

During a period of trying to conceive, it’s important to remember why you fell in love with your partner in the first place, and continue to see the positives in your relationship. Go for a walk together, go on date nights, and make the most of those experiences that will become far more tricky when you have a family in tow. Laughter and good conversation can ease your stress levels and help you both feel more relaxed and calm.

Remember that even for the most healthy of couples, falling pregnant can take time. Whilst some are lucky enough to conceive as soon as they start trying, it is common to take between 6 and 12 months to conceive.

It takes two to tango

Remember, not every person reacts the same to the realization that another month has passed without a positive pregnancy test result. Whilst your partner may not be as outwardly vocal about their concerns, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t feeling as anxious and nervous as you, or worried about the reason you haven’t become pregnant yet. Try and talk to your partner about how both of you are feeling and avoid bottling things up.

Reach out to a friend

All Moms have experienced their own individual journey to conceive, with many being familiar with the disappointment that comes when another month passes without a positive result. If you feel comfortable to do so, reach out to a trusted friend to vent, ask their advice, or simply talk through your emotions. Trying to conceive is nothing to be ashamed of and having insights into others’ experiences can help reassure you that your feelings are perfectly normal.

Take a break from the tracking

Sometimes the constant tracking of figures, dates, and basal temperatures can become a bit overwhelming. If it’s starting to take over your life or you find yourself becoming a little data obsessed, simply take a break. Turn off the app for a while, stop the constant checks, and regroup.

Distraction is key

That two week wait after ovulation can be mentally agonizing, spending your entire time symptom spotting, over analyzing, and potentially getting your hopes up for early signs of pregnancy that may actually end up being a sign of your impending period. Distract yourself, keep yourself busy, and plan day trips or activities where your mind will be busy focusing attention somewhere else.

Remember that even for the most healthy of couples, falling pregnant can take time. Whilst some are lucky enough to conceive as soon as they start trying, it is common to take between 6 and 12 months to conceive.

If you are struggling to conceive after an extended period of time, don’t be ashamed to seek professional help for a fertility evaluation.

Lucy Cotterill
Lucy is a UK-based parenting and lifestyle blogger who has also featured in the Huffington Post. A Mom of two daughters, Lucy is passionate about sharing the true reality of parenthood and helping others through their first experiences. In her free time she loves to write, go on day trips with her family and photography.

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