How to Deal With the Disappointment of Not Being Pregnant

These six ways to deal with the disappointment of not being pregnant will give you hope and strength. At least, you’ll see you’re not alone – especially if you learn how other women coped with childlessness.

Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos will help you cope with being “barren.” You’ll never deal with your disappointment once and for all, but it’ll help to see you’re not alone.

If you feel guilty because you can’t get pregnant, you might take this psychologist’s advice: “Instead of berating yourself, look forward to how you and your partner are going to manage the situation,” says Yakov M. Epstein, a psychologist at Rutgers University and co-author of Getting Pregnant When You Thought You Couldn’t.

I never looked forward to managing my situation of being childless, but somehow things are working out. Here’s what helped me cope with the disappointment of not being pregnant…

6 Ways to Deal With Childlessness

Feel rotten about not being pregnant

Instead of fighting or hiding your depressed, angry, disappointed, hurt or frustrated feelings, let them wash over you for a short time. Feeling awful is much better than shoving the feelings down or expressing them in other ways, such as overeating, drinking, doing drugs, or being cruel. Let yourself feel rotten. You may feel like you’ll die from a broken heart…but you won’t. When you’re dealing with the disappointment of not being pregnant, it’s better to feel and deal with your grief for a short time, rather than suppress your feelings for a long time.

Before you can cope with childlessness, you need to grieve your loss.

Don’t blame yourself

It’s not your fault – or your partner’s fault – that you’re not pregnant. It doesn’t matter if you had an abortion when you were 16, or gave a kid up for adoption, or waited until you were 40 years old to start trying to get pregnant. You’re not being punished for your past, you’re just part of a couple coping with infertility – and there are a lot of us out there! Don’t fall into the blame game, and don’t get angry at or blame yourself or your partner. To deal with disappointment in healthy ways, you need to stay emotionally centered.

There’s a difference between coping with infertility and dealing with the disappointment of getting your period when you’re trying to get pregnant. If you’re disappointed because it’s taking a long time to conceive, read 6 Problems That Prevent Pregnancy.

Pull out of your life

Want to Blossom in faith?

Get a free Blossom Tip every Wednesday

* indicates required

pregnancy disappontTake a break from the heartache! Distract yourself with funny movies, vacations, new restaurants, yoga classes (or even fertility yoga), new recipes, watercolor classes at the local school or college, new hobbies, road trips, belly dancing lessons, and so on. As important as it is to feel the heartache, it’s also healthy to take a breather every once in awhile. Take a vacation. Laugh.

Stay connected to family and friends

Don’t give up on your friends or family. You may not want to talk about the infertility roller coaster, but keep spending time with the people you love. You may be tempted to pull away, but isolation can make feelings of infertility worse. When you’re coping with infertility, focus on the simple things, such as holding one another when you cry or going for quiet walks. When you’re dealing with the disappointment of not being pregnant, it’s important to stay connected (real and honest) with your feelings and with your loved ones.

Stay healthy

Get enough sleep, eat nutritiously, go to yoga class, and find your own healthy ways to blow through the stress and disappointment of not being pregnant. The more physically fit your mind and body is, the better you’ll feel emotionally and mentally…and the quicker you’ll bounce back from the disappointment of not being pregnant.

Focus on your dreams and goals

For me, what works best is staying focused on my writing career. I love what I do, and it really helps me overcome the lows of the infertility roller coaster. To balance your life and not feel completely destroyed if you’re having trouble getting pregnant, find a way to follow your other dreams. If you don’t have other dreams, then create some. Don’t let your spirits wilt just because you’re coping with infertility.

If you can’t seem to let go of your dream of getting pregnant, read Dr Phil’s Tips for Women Obsessed With Having a Baby.

Do you have any questions or tips on dealing with the disappointment of not being pregnant? I welcome your comments below…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

29 thoughts on “How to Deal With the Disappointment of Not Being Pregnant

  • Kristin

    My husband and I have been trying to conceive for 2 years. I am 41 years old and he is 47. We have seen a fertility specialist and everything appears ‘normal’…so we have the label of ‘unexplained fertility’. My heart feels broken today, as it has become so difficult to talk to my husband about it without him becoming defensive and us ‘shutting each other out’. It has been helpful reading through how other people feel about the pain. Thanks for listening.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Crystal,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how you’re dealing with the disappointment of not being pregnant. It is so hard – and heartbreaking – to give up your dream of having your own child. The sad thing is I believe the pain and grief never really goes away.

    What helps me is to know that God, through Jesus, knows exactly how we feel. Jesus suffered mightily, and I’m willing to bet he wanted his own family. A normal life! It helps me to lean on God, my source of strength, and believe that He is working all things together for my good. I don’t know why or how, but I believe He knows what He’s doing with my life!

    I will keep you in my prayers, that your disappointment of not being pregnant lessens as time goes by.

    Blessings, in sympathy,

  • Crystal

    I am 38 years old and me and my husband were trying to get pregnant and found out that I had blocked ovarian tubes. I had surgery to correct this and was told that the only way we could conceive was Invitro. We went through the Invitro and I still cant seem to get pregnant. I feel majorly discouraged. I am adopted mom to 6 of my God children but I’ve always wanted my own child. I waited to try to conceive until I got married and now it seems that all of my friends are getting pregnant by mistake. My husband would like to continue trying but I don’t think that I can handle the depression that comes when we don’t conceive. I have only shared my true feelings about not being able to conceive with a few of my friends and family because people can be so insensitive. I am told to pray and not give up hope but I must admit that Im feeling pretty hopeless. I’m afraid to build up hope and be let down , again. I feel so guilty that I feel so hurt when people I know complain about getting pregnant or married couples complain that they are pregnant and didn’t want anymore kids. I know that God would not put more on me than I can bare but this is so very hard.

  • Laurie

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, as you deal with the disappointment of not being pregnant.

    I belong to a home group through my church – we meet every week. The couple who hosts and leads the group are the proud, happy parents of a four month old baby girl. She is such a good baby, so happy and sweet. Part of me feels very sad every week when I go to their place and watch them with their baby. I’m disappointed we couldn’t have kids, and it hurts to see a baby and a happy mom and dad every Wednesday night.

    I don’t think the pain of not being able to get pregnant ever goes away. I wish I could spread happy news and hope, but the truth is that being childless is something we just have to live with.

    The key is to find something that fills the void. For me, it’s God. I trust that He knows what He’s doing, and that if I knew what He knows, I would let my life unfold exactly the way it has. I have no choice but to rely on my faith, for my faith is the only thing that fills me with peace and even joy….even when I see happy parents and babies.

    What fills you with hope and joy? My prayer is that you find it, and that it helps you deal with the disappointment of not being pregnant.


  • Anne

    My heart hurts almost everyday now. Everywhere I look it’s pregnant women and babies. Everyone around me is getting pregnant or their babies are growing up. I can’t even tell my family, I just say we aren’t ready to have kids yet, despite the fact we have been trying since 2012. I don’t think my husband knows how to handle this topic anymore. I cry and get angry. I feel like my dreams have gone down the drain because they revolve around having babies. I never pictured my life without children……

  • pam

    hi there.

    im a 39 year old woman and found out 2 months ago after 3 years of trying and one miscarriage that i cant have children. im in early menopause apparantely. my hormone level was at .01. i think it was hsg homrmone. wasnt really listening due to the shock. anyway since i found out i am in pieces. i cry every day and i know im depressed. i feel so useless and i dont know how i can get through without kids. we only have one option which is egg donor but we just cant afford it. i have a beautiful 2 year old niece and also my brother and girlfriend had another baby girl 2 days ago. as happy as i am for them im also very jealous. i cant deal with it any more. to me life is about being a mother and being a happy family surrounded by children. now its all gone. we did think of adoption which i would love to do. but we have to be married and again the problem is we cant afford a wedding. im so unhappy right now i just want to give up.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dealing with the disappointment of not getting pregnant is different for every woman – and every man! Some of us are devastated that we can’t have kids, and others seem to be able to just shrug it off.

    If you’re devastated that you can’t have kids, it’s important for you to figure out why. Is it because you always wanted to be a mother, or because your family, spouse, or friends expect you to have kids? Is it because society expects women to get pregnant? Or, are you devastated that you can’t get pregnant because you really want to have the experience of pregnancy?

    Getting to the root of your disappointment may help. Then, you can start thinking about ways to take care of yourself — ways to give yourself what you need. For instance, if you need to be a mother, then maybe you could look into adoption or fostering. If you need to appease your family or spouse, then find ways to do that.

    I deal with the disappointment of not being pregnant by allowing myself to feel sad almost every day. It does suck that we never had kids, and my sadness will never go away. But, I spend more time focusing on what I love about my life: my husband, house, dog, future goals, travel, job, playing the flute, etc.

    How do you deal with the disappointment of not being pregnant?

  • rashi


    I got married for the last 9 years but not yet pregnant.last year 2011 december i do one ICSI treatmentin our country India…every test s are normal and nothing to worry but how its not success..thenthey do another procedure on march 2012 they also not i came to US on April …i dont knowwhat to do next is there any excercise for infertility can i do Zumba or any other excercise beacuse after this treatment igained some is it good

  • Tina


    I have been married two years. We found out my husband has azospermia last October. It has been very hard for me to deal with. I thought things would happen naturally after we were married. We were open to adoption and looked into adoption but the wait can be long 3-5 years for a healthy Asian infant (we are both Asian) and wanted a child that looked like us. We may still try adoption. However, since I am 37 y.o I wanted to give sperm donor a try. My husband was agreeable to this. I don’t have to take hormones. I just go in at time of ovulation for an intrauterine insemination once a month. The first time I had so much hope in this that when my period came I was so depressed. We are trying again. I am starting to feel down again and worried how I can deal with the disappointment if my period comes next week. It is berry hard dealing with this roller coaster. Thank you for the advice above. I really should try to be out more and exercise again. I really feel like giving up on my goals but you are right that we should refocus…

  • Tina

    Thank you for this website. It is helping a little. I have benn ttc for 20 years I am 36yrs old. Until this year I always thought I could not get pregnant in January 2012 I found out that I was pregnant but I was cramping andeding the doctor thought maybe it was in my tubes. I also have a backwards uterus. A week layer I miscarried. Noone knows why it happen but it did. Now I dont know how to feel. somedays are better than ot+ers. I want to keep trying but I dont know if I can or want to. I really want to have children but I dont want to go through another miscarriage. Its hard for me to.see my friends babies so I dont go around them as much. I feel confused. I try not to worry but its hard not to. I am waiting to see if agg will come but if it does I just dont know what to do.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Dear Wendy,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been dealing with disappointment of not being pregnant for five years! That’s such a long time. And sometimes it’s worse to get the “everything is normal” explanation, because then what? It’s frustrating, and makes you feel powerless and helpless. I’m sorry.

    Here’s an article I wrote for couples who have no reason for not getting pregnant:

    Unexplained Infertility – What to Do When You Can’t Conceive

    I hope it helps, and welcome your further comments here or there.

    Also, have you thought about adoption? But it’s a myth that if you adopt, you’ll get pregnant! It’s just a great way to start a family, for some couples.


  • Wendy


    we have been trying to conceive for 5 years now without any luck.
    does someone have any advice. we went to the doctors but they say all is normal……

    please help….

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Dear Joy ~ Thank you for sharing your experience here. I am sorry for your loss…that must be heartbreaking.

    I wrote this article for you:

    When You Lose a Baby – How to Overcome Sadness and Keep Trying

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts.

    Dear Farah ~ I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what you’re asking. Are you worried about being pregnant? If you could be more specific, I might be able to give you a few thoughts.


  • farah

    how i can pregnancy distance? i have 2 children..plz help me..i skip my period..i have 1st period on 18 may n last 23 may after my birth.

  • Joy

    I just found this website and thanks for all the great feedback. I have been TTC now for 10 months, and I did get pregnant in december after 4 months of trying, but that ended in a miscarriage at 6 weeks. I cannot tell you how devastated I was and still am today. Now, my periods are irregular and doctors will not do anything until 12 months and I am just tired of waiting. My cycles have now become 40 days longs so I don’t ovulate until day 26. My doctors said if this continues they are going to try clomid. I am just so frustrated and this pregnancy has become such a process that I never thought it would be. Its hard to enjoy sex with my husband when we are timing sex to every other day…takes all the romance out of it. Again, each day it seems someone I know is getting pregnant. I just want to be a mother so bad.

    Many of my friends and family say I am putting too much stress on myself and that is why I am not getting pregnant, but its hard not to stress about it. Each time I see a pregnant person I think about how far along I would have been if the first pregnancy would have lasted. Any ideas how to reduce the stress and sadness of losing a baby and trying for another baby?


  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Dear Jennifer,

    Thanks for sharing about your HSG test — and believe me, I know how you feel about IVF treatments! And I know how frustrating it is to see other women get pregnant at the drop of a hat, and many of them don’t even want kids yet. When writing an article for BC Women’s Hospital, I learned that over 50% of pregnancies are unplanned.

    I think the best way to go through fertility treatments is not to have any expectations at all. Pray for the strength to accept whatever comes your way.

    And, just take it one step at a time. Not even one day at a time — take it one minute at a time!

    I chose not to go through IVF treatments. I’m disappointed we never got pregnant, but I just didn’t want to do IVF. But, some women go through it many times — and are so happy when they have a baby. To each her own!

    Let me know how your journey unfolds.


  • Jennifer

    Hi again.
    Well I had an HSG test done, and it was not painful at all. Not something I would want to do again, but it wasn’t that bad. So I had read that it can be painful especially if you have blockage in a tube. I thought well this is good then maybe there are no blockages.
    So I saw my RE yesterday and the right tube is totally blocked and the left tube the liquid was going through very slow, so may be more narrow then normal. The RE was worried if we tryed IUI that it would cause a tubal pregancy as the tube is so narrow. So he said the safest option is his opinion is IVF. I was not expecting that at ALL. The RE believes that the blockage was due to the miscarriage I had in May 2010. Some of the tissue from the miscarriage went into the tube and got infected and caused scar tissue to block the tube. Not common he said but it does happen, and I would have not even been aware of it. I am sooooo sad, angery and scared. I really want a baby but the idea of IVF is very nerve racking. I don’t know if I am strong enough. It just is all so unfair. I waited to find the right guy and the right time. And I have always lived a healthy lifstyle with integrity and this is what happens!! So frustrating when you see people that shouldn’t have kids and you can’t. It seems so easy for everyone else….
    I feel alot of pressure to make up my mind and get started with the IVF as I am thirty five. My next fear is they say my eggs are no good!! I am starting to think it is more hurtful to get my hope up and think positive. Maybe it is better to always prepare for the worst!!!
    I think I need to find a support group in my area!
    Thanks again for the website and your kind words,it is nice to know I’m not alone..

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author


    Thanks for taking the time to comment! I’m glad you’re seeing a reproductive endocrinologist.

    Has your husband had his sperm tested? My husband has azoospermia (no sperm)…and male infertility issues account for about 30% of all reasons couples don’t get pregnant.

    I know what it’s like to get hopeful, and be disappointed every month that you’re not pregnant. Even though the doctors say it’s not possible for me to get pregnant naturally, I’m always disappointed when I get my period.

    Let me know how things go with the fertility doctor…and I’d love to here the good news that you’re pregnant one day!!!


  • Jennifer

    Thank you for this website!! I feel much better knowing I am not alone in my sad feelings about not getting pregnant.
    I am turning 35 in 2 weeks and my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for 14 months. I’ve used ovulation kits for the last 5 months, still nothing. Every month I get hopfull, and then I get my period and all the emotions all at once hit me like a ton of bricks! I wish I wouldn’t get hopfull, it would seem easier not to have hope! We are going to see a RE next month……
    thanks again for the website!

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen


    I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. I know how utterly disappointing it is not to be pregnant…it’s heartbreaking.

    What were your final results?


  • sherryberry

    i blame myself too, i always thought i couldnt get pregnant. I feel like a fool for letting myself get my hopes up.
    Monday we will see, if i was a fool or infact pregnant.

  • sherryberry

    my partener convinced me i was pregnant said have faith and for 5 months that is exactly what i did. went to the doctor friday and he just told me cold and straight that i was not pregnant.

    doing an u/s tomorrow “just to confirm his thinking”.
    I cant have false pregnancy because the symptoms were there every week whether i was convinced or not. He even said my fundal measurements were 10-12 week, BUT, i may just have a puffy womb due to fibrois or tumors “nothing to worry about” he says.

    i am so angry at my partener, i got my hopes up for months and now i feel like crap.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Hi Danielle,

    I think it’s standard practice to ask couples who are trying to conceive to keep trying for 12 months, because that’s usually how long it takes! You only have 2 more months to go — I suggest using that time to research as much as you can about obstacles to getting pregnant, fertility centers in your area, cost of fertility treatments, etc. Some clinics have a 2-3 month waiting period to see a specialist, so you might even want to call and book an appointment.

    I don’t know about your medical health insurance and waiting for 12 months to pass. Your plan may have stipulations about that — you’d have to talk to your insurance broker directly.

    In the next 2 months, you could also have your husband go for a semen or sperm test — or you could take an at-home fertility test. Those results can take a few weeks or months (if you go to a medical lab, and if you get more complicated tests done) — so you could get the ball rolling on that.

    Some medical procedures or tests may not be covered by insurance, and you might consider getting those things taken care of now. There are some basic fertility tests that can reveal alot about infertility and problems getting pregnant. I don’t know if your insurance covers them, but it’s worth looking into!

    Here’s a link to a test about the most basic, simple fertility tests:

    Basic Fertility Tests of an Infertility Work Up

    And finally, I don’t think you should take too many remedies for infertility without checking with your doctor. I can’t tell you if you should try pre-seed — it just depends on the reason you’re not getting pregnant. For instance, if your husband has azoospermia (no sperm at all), then you can take all the fertility treatments or remedies on earth and you still won’t get pregnant!

    Book your next appointment with your OB-GYN for 2 months from now, and use the time to do some of the things I mentioned….

    I wish you all the best, and hope you get pregnant tonight! 🙂


  • Danielle

    Dear Laurie,
    My husband and I have been TTC for 10 months. I suspect that I have a short luteal phase (10 days) and ovulate around CD19 (according to the OPK I do every month). I have a 28 day cycle. I’m 33 and husband is 40. I went to my OB-GYN last month with my concerns but she told me to come back after trying for 12 months. I do think it’s a waste of time and money spent on OPKs and pregnancy tests every month when I know something is wrong. Why do I have to wait? Will the insurance not pay for my referral to the RE unless 12 months have past? I thought she (my OB) could have at least tested my progesterone levels, post ovulation, when I was already there for my Rubella resistance blood test. My sister needed progesterone for the first 12 weeks with both of her pregnancies. I don’t know if this is important but I have Beta Thallaseamia(sp?) and just wondering if that could have anything to with infertility or if I should take baby asprin since I have a high risk of forming blood clots? I am currently trying B6 along with my reg. vitamins to try to balance out my cycle, so far it hasn’t worked. What do you think of pre-seed? I know I have a hundred questions here but I look forward to hearing from you 🙂 Thanks!!

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Hi Meghan,

    I’m sorry to hear it’s taking so long to get pregnant. I know how disappointing it is to get your period every month, and be so disappointed that you’re not pregnant!

    Most doctors and fertility specialists recommend trying for one full year, and then getting a “fertility work up” done. If I were you, I’d call my doctor and ask if I should keep trying for another four months, or if he or she is willing to run a few tests now.

    Here’s a link to my article about the first, most basic tests for men and women who are having trouble getting pregnant:

    Basic Fertility Tests of an Infertility Work Up

    At the end of that article is a link to an article about more complicated fertility tests, which are more invasive (and expensive!). But, you’ll start with the simple tests first, I would think.

    Call your doctor, and see if you can go for a few tests now….and remember, it takes many couples several months to get pregnant! So far, you’re not abnormal…but you should definitely mention the endometriosis to your doctor, and ask him or her to test for that.

    Good luck — let me know how it goes!


  • Meghan

    Hello There. . .
    I am 24 and my husband and 28
    My husband and I have been trying to conceive for 8 months now. . . and nothing!! We honestly have sex every other day from the last day of my period to the first day of my next period.
    I can’t understand for the life of me why we are not getting pregnant. I have really heavy periods and huge blood clots on a monthly bases.

    WHen my mother was pregnant with my sister they found that she had endometriosis is this genetic and can this be stopping me from getting pregnant otherwise we are both healthy! What do you think i should do next?

  • Kristen Burris, L.Ac., M.S.T.O.M.

    I understand it’s frustrating when you don’t get pregnant immediately, especially when it seems everyone around you does at the drop of a hat. The standard medical advice about trying for a baby is as follows: If you are under 35 years old, have unprotected intercourse (this includes no lubricant) for one year before contacting your doctor with concerns. If, however, you are over 35 years old the time shortens to 6 months.

    Since you are on the cusp of turning 35 and you have a pre-existing condition your doctor is concerned about I would advise you to try for six months using an ovulation monitor such as Clear Blue Easy Ovulation Predictor Kit. Be sure to stay in bed for a minimum of 1 hour post-intercourse. For optimal sperm quality and potency, have your husband abstain from ejaculating one week and prior to your fertile week. Then proceed to have intercourse every other day during your peak fertility days and during your ovulation. To enhance your fertility seek care from an experienced Acupuncturist and Herbalist for both you and your mate. This will substantially increase your fertility, virility, and reduce your stress.

    If after 6 months of trying in this fashion I would recommend that you see a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) as this is their area of expertise from a western perspective. Tests from an RE give more information to your acupuncturist and herbalist to further enhance its effectiveness. It will also give you information as to whether you are candidates for intra-uterine inseminations, in-vitro fertilization or even sperm or egg donor recipients.

    Good luck and remember to breathe, relax and enjoy!

  • Sandy

    I recently started to persue getting pregnant because after a year of fighting against a precancer NIC/CIN III, my doctor told me to get started!! He dilatated my cerix and told me to start finding my baby. Its been 2 months and nothing has happened. I am 34 years old, not that young!! So I feel frfustrated. My doctor says I am fine, that it takes luck but I feel bad. I have to wait till January to see the doctor on my next appointment. I want to get it right this time. What should I tell him to proceed to do next as to help me get pregnant?