Trying to get pregnant is stressing me out!

Mental Health Sexual Wellness


For something that seems so natural, a lot of things have to go just right for a woman to become pregnant. There's an element of timing involved, with only the handful of days before, during, and after ovulation when a woman is most fertile. There's the age issue, too, as a woman's supply of viable eggs diminishes over time.

Add into the mix your partner's fertility and any number of other potential factors – weight, nutrition, underlying conditions - and it begins to seem easier to believe in the stork than it is to get pregnant. So, if you're struggling to conceive, it's totally natural to feel stressed out!

You may spend month after month tracking your basal body temperature, sweating out the wait between ovulation and when your period might come, and imagining pregnancy symptoms that aren't really there. You might be sick of twiddling your thumbs as you wait for the results of yet another pregnancy test.

Well-intentioned relatives and friends may prod you with questions – "Why aren't you pregnant yet?" and "When are you going to have a baby?" Or the strain may be taking its toll on your relationship with your partner.

One of the biggest sources of stress in this whole getting-pregnant endeavour is the possibility that you might have a fertility problem. The thought has probably crossed your mind that there might be an underlying issue, but you've felt hesitant to call it infertility. Perhaps you've even avoided visiting your doctor for fear of what you might learn or because you're worried about undergoing procedures or being able to pay for potential treatments.

But if you've been struggling to get pregnant for more than a year (or 6 months if you're 35 or older), you need to know that you meet the criteria generally used to define infertility.

No matter how long you've been trying, however, options exist to help you deal with the stress.

Talk about it: Discuss your concerns with your partner, your best friend, a close family member, a counsellor – and your doctor. It can be such a relief to vent your anxieties, but you also stand to gain insight, support, and a plan for moving forward.

Take care of yourself: If you allow stress to take over, it can impact your health, your habits, your mood, and perhaps even your chances of being able to conceive. Find ways to take the edge off and get plenty of rest. Maintain healthy habits. Strike a balance between your desire to become pregnant and the rest of your life and personality. Becoming pregnant doesn't have to define you or dominate your day-to-day life.

Learn all you can: Research fertility issues by investigating online sources, books and magazines, and by asking questions of your doctor or a friend who has been through a similar situation.

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