How to Stop Feeling Hopeless When You’re TTC

You’ve been trying to conceive (TTC) for months or even years, and feelings of hopelessness are starting to creep in. Here are six powerful ways to stop feeling hopeless when you’re TTC.

how to stop feeling hopeless ttc trying to conceiveIn Hope for Women Who Want to Get Pregnant, I share The Parable of the Maiden’s Horse. The moral of the story is that you may never know why it takes so long to get pregnant when you’re TTC – but you have to learn how to stop feeling hopeless. Why? Because the more hopeless you feel, the less power and strength you have. And if you’re weak, you’re vulnerable to stress, illness, and depression.

Hopeless, depressed, and defeated is not a good start for a new life! Don’t let those feelings of hopelessness, despair, or depression affect your journey towards getting pregnant. In this article, I share six tips on how to fight feelings of hopelessness when you’re trying to conceive. I also briefly describe two research studies about womens’ fertility and circadian clocks.





In this article, you’ll find:

  • Research on how circadian rhythms affect women who are trying to conceive
  • Information about how your circadian clock is affected by food
  • 6 tips on how to stop feeling hopeless when you’re TTC

I won’t promise that you will get pregnant after reading this post, but I do guarantee that you will feel encouraged and hopeful!

How to Stop Feeling Hopeless When You’re TTC

I want to start with two important research findings for women trying to conceive. The more information you have about fertility and TTC, the more power you have. And the more power you have, the stronger you’ll be to fight hopelessness.

Your circadian rhythm (light-dark cycle) needs to be consistent

Let’s start with the new research from Northwestern University. We already know that women (and men) need to consider their biological clocks when they’re trying to conceive – because getting pregnant after 40 brings a different set of considerations.

This research shows that if a woman’s circadian clock is repeatedly disrupted, her reproductive health is affected. This makes TTC more difficult. Your circadian rhythm or clock is affected when you get jet lag after a crossing time zone. Even changing your clock back or forwards an hour can affect your circadian rhythm! When your days and nights get disrupted, your body is out of sync with its natural dark-light rhythm. This makes conceiving a baby more problematic.

The research from Northwestern University found a clear association between disrupted circadian rhythms and reproductive physiology. Repeated changes in the light-dark cycles of mice led to problems TTC. Further, researchers found that the severity of circadian disruption was linked to the severity of pregnancy disruption: mice subjected to advances of the light-dark cycle had greater circadian clock disruption and lower reproductive success. To learn more about the effect of circadian clocks when you’re TTC, read Females face different clock problem on the Northwestern University’s website.

So, one way to stop feeling hopeless when you’re trying to conceive is to limit the amount of light-dark disruption you get. If you’re a shift worker, such as a nurse or flight attendant who works on long-distance east-west routes (in other words, you have constant jet lag), you are more like to have fertility and menstrual issues. You will be habitually out of sync with the external light cycle, and this will make TTC more difficult.

Another solution is to eat foods that help get your circadian rhythms back in sync. This is especially important for women who can’t quit their jobs and focus full-time on trying to conceive.

You can eat foods that regulate your circadian rhythms

Research from Yamaguchi University in Japan shows that a chronic desynchronization of your circadian clock creates a significant risk of illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, sleep disorders, and cancer. And, as we already say, a disrupted circadian rhythm affects women TTC.

But, the new finding is that what you eat can help reset your circiadian clock.

If you’re suffering from jet lag, you should eat foods for dinner that are enriched with ingredients promoting insulin secretion. This might lead to a “phase advance of the circadian clock, whereas breakfast would be the opposite,” says Dr. Makoto Akashi. So at breakfast you need to avoid foods that promote the secretion of insulin.

ttc how to stop hopeless feelingsInsulin may help the stomach clock synchronize with mealtime, which helps your body adjust to the change in circadian rhythm. More information on this research can be found on What you eat may affect your body’s internal biological clock.

Unfortunately, Dr. Akashi didn’t state what specific foods regulate your circadian rhythms. I did a quick search for foods that promote insulin secretion, but it’s beyond the scope of this article. As a general rule, however, foods high in sugar or foods that are primarily composed of processed, refined carbohydrates cause the greatest rise in insulin.

If you’re interested in learning more about diet when you’re trying to conceive, read 6 Foods to Avoid When You’re Trying to Get Pregnant.

6 Ways to Fight Hopelessness When You’re Trying to Conceive

If you have a coping strategy that helps you fight hopeless feelings, tell me below. Your tip or story about how to stop feeling hopeless might help other women who are TTC.





1. Hold on to your faith

trying to conceive ttc feel hopelessWhen my husband and I were trying to conceive, we prayed all the time. We clung to God’s promise of love, strength, power, and Spirit. We prayed for a baby, but we also prayed for peace for whatever God brought into our life as a married couple.

Faith brings peace, hope, and acceptance. Trust God to provide His best for you in His own time and way. Accept that He is your Father and He really does know what’s best for you.

2. Practice acceptance and surrender

You’ll hate this tip on how to stop feeling hopeless when you’re TTC because it seems hopeless: detach from the outcome of your attempts to conceive a baby. Let go of your desperate desire to get pregnant.

Allow your life to unfold naturally, without gripping tightly to what you want to happen. Why? Because the more tightly you grip what you want, the less peace and joy you’ll have. Accept that maybe you won’t get pregnant naturally. Maybe you’ll have to try fertility treatments. Accept that maybe the fertility treatments won’t work. Maybe you’ll have to look into adoption. Accept that maybe you and your husband may not be able to afford fertility treatments, or agree on adoption.

3. Continually renew your strength and courage

TTC requires strength, courage, and persistence – especially if you’ve been hoping to get pregnant for months or years. Your strength and courage will take a hit every time you get your period.

You need to rebuild your strength every day if you want to stop feeling hopeless while TTC. Spend time every morning in prayer or meditation, asking for faith, hope, comfort, and energy to keep your spirits high. You may want to learn how to pray for a baby – but I strongly encourage you to stay open to whatever God brings into your life. Ask Him to give you huge portions of strength and courage to face whatever comes your way.

4. Balance action with trust

Ah, my favorite tip on how to stop hopeless feelings when you’re trying to conceive: act as if everything depends on you, and pray as if everything depends on God. This is why I included research on women’s circadian clocks and TTC in this article about fighting hopelessness.

Learn as much as you can about foods that improve sperm count, ways to increase female fertility, and how to create optimal conditions for pregnancy in your body. At the same time, trust God that He will bring a baby into your life at the right time. Get information, and pray for His blessing. Learn the best tips for conceiving a baby, and have faith that your life is in your Father’s loving, gentle, capable hands.

5. Use the right resources when you’re TTC

trying to conceive hopelessThe Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test is what I used when I was trying to conceive. It’s the most popular, accurate ovulation test on the market – and it’s easy to use.

An ovulation predictor kit won’t guarantee pregnancy, but it can help stop those feelings of hopelessness because it increases the amount of control you have in your life. Any tool or resource can make you feel empowered – an ovulation calendar, fertility supplements, prenatal vitamins, even trips to the doctor or fertility specialist.

Find the resources and tools that work for you. They may not help you actually get pregnant, but they can reduce the stress and make TTC easier on both you and your husband.

6. Learn how to cope with feelings of depression and stress

Research shows that stress has a negative effect when you’re TTC. Ohio State University researchers studied 501 American women, from ages 18 to 40. The women had no known fertility problems and had just started trying to conceive. The researchers followed these women who were TTC for 12 months or until they became pregnant as part of the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study.

Saliva samples were collected from participants the morning after they enrolled in the study, and after the first day of their period (which they didn’t want to get because they were TTC!).

This wasn’t the first research study to link infertilty and problems trying to conceive with high levels of stress. The researcher encouraged women TTC to use techniques such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness to reduce stress. I would add prayer to the list of tips on how to stop feeling hopeless when you’re trying to conceive!

ways to fight hopelessness ttc

How to Stop Feeling Hopeless When You’re TTC

This researcher added that couples should never blame themselves if they are experiencing problems TTC, because stress is not the only or most important factor involved in a woman’s ability to get pregnant. To learn more, read Preconception Stress Associated With Increased Risk of Infertility from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Don’t give up hope. Give up your desperate grip on the idea of having a baby, but don’t succumb to feelings of hopelessness or despair. Allow the light of God to fill you with peace, joy, and courage to face whatever comes your way.

Here’s a summary of what I covered in this article:

  • Research on how circadian rhythms affect women who are trying to conceive
  • Information about how your circadian clock is affected by food
  • 6 tips on how to stop hopeless feelings when you’re TTC

How do you feel about your journey towards pregnancy? I welcome your thoughts below. If you have any tips on how to stop hopeless feelings when you’re trying to conceive, please share them. I can’t offer advice but you may find it helpful to write about your experience.


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