The Emotional Journey of Trying to Conceive: Coping with Frustration and Disappointment
Trying to conceive can be an incredibly emotional journey, and it's important to acknowledge the rollercoaster of feelings that can come with it. Whether you're just starting out or have been trying for a while, it's okay to feel any emotion that surfaces. As difficult as it may be, there are ways to cope with these feelings and feel supported as you travel along the sometimes bumpy TTC road.
The Emotional Journey of Trying to Conceive: You Are Not Alone
While the journey to parenthood is not always a smooth one, find comfort in knowing it doesn’t have to be a lonely one. You might feel excited, hopeful, and optimistic one day, and then discouraged, frustrated, and disappointed the next. These revolving feelings are normal, justified, and valid. Acknowledging them and allowing yourself to feel them can make them easier to manage.
And if you’re feeling these ranges of emotion, you can bet there’s another woman out there in a similar situation. It is such a beautiful thing to know you have support in every corner on this journey. Whether it be your partner, your family, trusted friends, a professional, a support group, or an online community, lean on these people! If you haven’t already, you are absolutely welcome to join our Premom community. It is a safe place for women to discuss all the ups and downs of TTC. You are never alone.
How Long Does It *Typically* Take to Get Pregnant?
It's natural to wonder how long it will take to get pregnant, but there is no one-size-fits-all answer. While some couples conceive quickly, it can take others a bit longer. According to a study published in Fertility and Sterility, “A little over 80% of women can expect to become pregnant within 12 months of beginning to try to conceive.” This means that for most women who are trying to get pregnant, it is likely to happen within the first year of trying.
Every couple is different and there are many factors that can affect fertility like age, overall health, lifestyle habits, and underlying medical conditions. Women over the age of 35 may take longer to conceive due to a decrease in egg quality and quantity. There are also certain medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or polyps, that could impact fertility.
Infertility and Mental Health
Infertility can take a toll on your mental health.The emotional rollercoaster of trying to conceive, undergoing fertility treatments, and experiencing pregnancy loss can be overwhelming. It's common to experience feelings of sadness, anger, and frustration. Additionally, infertility can lead to depression and anxiety.
It’s essential to prioritize mental health and seek support during the fertility journey. Please seek support if you're experiencing mental health issues related to infertility. If you get nothing else out of this article, get this: It’s okay to not be okay, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Mental health is health. You can do this.
Coping Strategies for the ‘Wait’ of Trying to Conceive
The ‘wait’ can be one of the most challenging parts of trying to conceive. Coping strategies are essential for maintaining a positive mindset and reducing stress. Here are some coping strategies that may help:
- Focus on self-care: Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and take time for yourself to do the things that genuinely make you happy.
- Manage stress: Find ways to manage stress, such as reading, meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
- Connect with others: Join a support group, talk to friends and family, or connect with others online who are going through a similar journey.
- Focus on the positive: Try to focus on the things that are going well in your life.
- Stay informed but avoid obsessing: It's important to educate yourself about fertility and the process of trying to conceive. However, it's also important to avoid being consumed by every detail. Try to find a balance between staying informed and not letting it take over your every thought.
- Reduce time on social media: It may feel like everyone around you is announcing their pregnancy. It’s okay to feel those twinges of hurt and jealousy as you scroll across another announcement. Reducing your time on social media can reduce the risk of these triggers.
Reach out: If you are struggling with feelings of anxiety or depression, seek professional help. Therapy can be a helpful tool for managing your emotions and developing effective coping strategies.
How to Support Your Partner Through Your Fertility Journey
Dealing with fertility issues can be a challenging and emotional journey for couples. It’s important to understand that the experience can be just as difffult for your partner as it is for you. Here are a few ways you can support your partner through this journey:
- Communicate: Communication is key. Talk about how you’re feeling and be open about your needs and concerns.
- Be patient: Remember that everyone’s journey is different. Be patient and supportive of your partner.
- Take care of each other: Take care of each other physically and emotionally. Do things that make you both happy and reduce stress.
Take breaks when needed: It's okay to take a break from trying to conceive if you're feeling overwhelmed. Remember that you're in this together.
The emotional journey of trying to conceive can be challenging, but it’s not one you have to travel alone. If you’re not ready to talk, but want the support, join our Premom community and read other stories from women who are in a similar situation as you. Remember to give yourself grace. You’re stronger than you realize and you can do this.
Lynch, C. D. (2011). How long does it take the average couple to get pregnant? A systematic review of what we know. Fertility and Sterility, 96(3), S115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.07.451
Bohrer, V., Gvozdanovic, D., & Kalezic, D. (2015). The psychological impact of infertility and its treatment. Psychiatria Danubina, 27(4), 338-341.