8 Ways to Reduce Stress While Trying to Conceive
Did you know that 1 out of 6 couples has a problem getting or staying pregnant?
It is hard to be positive and not to be worried when you face negative test results month after month. It is common to feel disappointed, angry, guilty and stressed out. You may also feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster. A growing body of evidence suggests that stress may tip off women’s hormones so that fertility test results show up negative.
Studies show that women who worry a lot are up to 20% less likely to get pregnant or carry pregnancy full-term.
Below are some suggestions for reducing stress when attempting to conceive.
1. Allow yourself to be sad and grieve the fact that you have not yet conceived
Grieving allows you to work through and possibly let go of some of your pain and stress about your inability to conceive. Releasing your emotions can help keep your hormones in balance and possibly increase your chances of getting pregnant.
2. Know that you and your partner may react differently
Communicate with your partner but don’t expect your partner to always feel the way you do. Women tend to be more affected by infertility as motherhood is one of the central female roles.
3. Get informed
Knowledge is power. By understanding the causes of infertility and available treatment options you will be able to make better decisions and feel more in charge.
4. Make an alternative plan
Think about “What does parenthood mean to you?” “What is necessary? What is not?” You are less likely to be disappointed if you feel that you have other options of becoming a parent (e.g., IVF, egg/sperm donor, adoption).
5. Don’t give up your life
Keep doing the things you used to do. Get involved in something that makes you feel like you are contributing and gets your mind off trying to get pregnant (e.g. work, volunteering). Get out and do things that you enjoy that are fun and relaxing.
6. Take a break
If trying to conceive is taking over your life, take a break and allow yourself a couple of months to regroup.
7. Practice relaxation techniques:
Yoga, meditation and breathing techniques can help relieve tension. They reduce the production of stress hormones and can also increase your chances of getting pregnant.
8. Find support for yourself:
Educate your family and friends about what you are going through so that they understand what you are going through. Tell them what kind of help you need. Find a support group, that provides an opportunity to meet others who are going through a similar experience. Seek out the professional expertise of a psychologist if necessary.
Most people allow trying to get pregnant to dominate their lives. If you feel isolated from your partner or family, think about having a baby at all times, can’t focus on work, or enjoy other areas of your life, you may benefit from professional psychological support.
A psychologist with expertise in the area of infertility can help you find ways to reduce stress and feel more empowered about your choices. Therapy may even improve your odds of conceiving. Research shows that couples who participate in counseling are more likely to get pregnant than those who did not.
Remember, you have choices. Don’t let infertility take over your life.
For more coping tips and articles on coping with infertility please click here.