5 Strategies to Deal With the Stress of Trying to Conceive

Deal With the Stress of Trying to Conceive

The journey of conception can be an emotional rollercoaster. It’s a common belief that stress can impact your ability to conceive, but is that true? And if it is, what can a mother-to-be do to find peace in this turbulent time? This article will address these questions and more.

How Stress Impacts Your Ability to Conceive 

Stress is a normal reaction to difficult or scary situations, including the ability to conceive. It’s unlikely that stress alone causes infertility, but stress can make it difficult to get pregnant. 

Women who have depressive symptoms during pregnancy were almost twice as likely to report infertility relative to women who didn’t. Stress and distress are associated with poorer ovarian functional response to IVF treatment, reduced fertilization, implantation, and live birth rates. 

However, stress often begets more stress. The more stressed you are, the more likely you’ll have issues conceiving. This can, in turn, cause you to stress more about not conceiving.

How to Handle the Stress of Trying to Conceive 

Beginning your journey toward parenthood brings along a mix of emotions, including a hefty dose of stress. But don’t worry. We’ve got some smart strategies for handling this stress.

1. Take a Pregnancy Test After a Missed Period 

Using pregnancy tests consistently can cause a lot of undue stress, as you’re constantly facing the fact that you’re not pregnant. To reduce this stress, it may be better to wait to test until after your missed period. The reason for this is because taking the test too early can potentially give a false negative, often leading to confusion or distress.

Consider using a pregnancy test calculator, which can suggest the optimal testing time based on your menstrual cycle. 

2. Eat Healthy and Stay Active

Women who have health-conscious eating patterns before and/or during pregnancy have fewer pregnancy complications. Moderate exercise won’t reduce your ability to conceive. 

However, heavy exercise can. Women engaging in 2 weekly hours of vigorous exercise were 16% less likely to get pregnant, and that number rises significantly the more they work out. In the end, you should go hard on the fruits and vegetables but go light on the exercise.

3. Keep Your Hobbies and Social Life

Keeping your hobbies and an active social life can drastically reduce stress. 

Engaging in enjoyable leisure activities leads to greater life satisfaction and social support and lower depression rates. Social support can increase your resilience to stress and will help improve coping strategies. While it isn’t always easy, it’s important to stay in touch with your interests and friends while getting pregnant. Don’t forget that you matter, too! 

It’s common for people who are stressed or depressed to disassociate from their friend group or their hobbies, but this can make symptoms worse. However, if you’re unable to push past these feelings, then consider speaking to a professional, as you may have clinical depression.

4. Embrace Relaxation Techniques 

Relaxing reduces stress, so anything you find relaxing will lead to better pregnancy outcomes. 

However, there are some relaxation techniques that could improve conception based on studies. For example, practicing yoga improved the success rate of couples who used assisted reproductive technologies (ART) when pregnant because it improved their psychological states. 

While there’s no evidence that mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing improve conception directly, these techniques are proven to reduce stress, therefore improving fertility. 

5. Please Know That it Isn’t Your Fault 

It’s still culturally okay to blame infertility on women or to believe that getting pregnant is easy, but none of this is true. A healthy couple in their 20s and 30s only has a 1 in 4 chance of getting pregnant every menstrual cycle. And this is if the stars align and you have sex during ovulation.

Infertility is complex, and it’s rare that fertility issues are caused by the man or the woman alone. Fertility treatment is also expensive. IVF can cost $10,000 per try, out of a lot of budgets. 

Stress impacts both partner’s ability to get pregnant, but it’s rare that anyone asks why they’re stressed in the first place. If other people’s judgments of you are affecting your ability to conceive, know that it isn’t your fault and that the people around you should be nice to you.

In Conclusion… 

While stress can impact your ability to conceive, there are a few things you can do to feel less anxiety about getting pregnant. Fertility is complex, and seeking help from professionals is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s also important to know that fertility issues aren’t your fault. 

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