Trying to conceive can be an emotional time – especially if it takes longer than you expected.
Here are 10 ways to stay strong and feel in charge.
At a glance
- The emotional impact of trying to conceive
- How to manage challenging feelings
- Reduce stress and feel better
“If you’re struggling to conceive it may at first come as a real shock – you just didn’t expect to have problems,” says Richard Smith, Consultant Obstetrician. “The feelings can be overwhelming. “But even if you can’t change the circumstances in the short term, the one thing you can change is how you face the challenge. It will help you feel better and reduce your stress levels too.”
Stay busy during the two week wait
The two-week wait can be truly agonising, so seize control by keeping busy. Try exercising, watching films, seeing gigs or going away – just try and make sure you’re out doing something, not waiting and wondering.
Remember what you do for fun
Write a list of 10 things you normally do for fun - then find a friend or grab your partner and get busy.
Take a break
If you can, take a break from the intense world of trying to conceive. The mental and physical break may help you conceive in the long term – and you’ll probably feel a weight off your shoulder straight away.
Know the facts
Knowing what’s happening can really help you feel in control. Find out what happens when you ovulate , and check out ways to boost your chances of conceiving.
Stop sex becoming a chore by rediscovering that original spark. Why not use your imagination, and shake things up a bit? How about debuting new lingerie each month? Or setting the mood with different movies or music? Try a change of scenery - a different room or a hotel, or even in a tent in your garden. Do whatever you can do to keep the mood light and loving, and go for it!
Be nice to yourself
Now is a good time to really treat yourself. Pick something you love – exquisite chocolate, a massage, a fun movie or even a holiday. You totally deserve it and it will help you switch off and relax.
Help family and friends to help
Sometimes friends and family find it hard to empathise with fertility problems. Some are so worried about saying the wrong thing, they avoid the subject altogether. Others just don’t get it. But you know they care, so tell them how you’re feeling and suggest ways they can help, whether that’s texting every day, watching a fun movie together - or just listening.
Stock response to the ready
If people weigh in with unhelpful advice, or daft questions, it’s easier not to get emotionally involved. Just sail through it smiling, with a quick response like, “Thanks for trying to help - I’ll tell you when I’ve got an update.” Just choose whatever feels right for you.
Acknowledge the difficult feelings
It’s the most normal thing in the world to feel a riot of emotions when you’re trying to conceive. “You might feel anxious, depressed, sad, guilty,” says Smith. “Talking to your partner, a friend or counsellor will almost certainly make you feel better. It’s perfectly normal to need to talk or seek information.”
Get expert support
You can chat to your GP about taking treatments, lifestyle changes of medication. Fertility clinics always offer counselling too.