It’s natural and good to want to have a baby. But if your yearning for a child is causing anxiety, stress or depression, you may want to consider these signs it’s time to stop trying to get pregnant. Continued efforts to conceive a baby can be physically stressful and emotionally painful for many couples, and even have a negative effect on your marriage and other relationships.
If it’s not the right time to get pregnant, then giving up your plans may be the right thing to do – in this season of your life. When you’re reading through these signs, remember that you’re not necessarily giving up on your dreams of having a family forever. It’s just that right now, in this stage of your life, it may be time to stop trying to get pregnant.
Giving up on your dream of pregnancy might be right for you and your husband. It may be time to take a break from trying to conceive, and perhaps even consider different strategies. If you’ve been trying to conceive for over a year, you may want to explore fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), or even donor eggs. It really depends on why you can’t get pregnant.
Share these signs it’s time to stop trying to get pregnant with your husband. Talk about them; do they fit your and his emotional state? Are you trying to conceive a baby for the “right” reasons (an unhealthy reason would be to save your marriage or ensure you’re taken care of in your old age). Are you being foolish about getting pregnant – or are you simply persevering and trying everything you can, as all couples coping with infertility must do? These signs it’s time to give up on getting pregnant may help you re-evaluate your hopes and baby dreams, or even set new life goals altogether.
Should You Stop Trying to Get Pregnant?
Persistence is admirable – especially when you think of women who got pregnant at age 45 or 50, or after 10 years of struggling with infertility! Some infertile couples beat all odds to achieve their goal of getting pregnant.
We often see people accomplish superhuman tasks – such as running a marathon after doctors say they’ll never walk again – and we think those achievements are possible for everyone.
Remarkable accomplishments do happen, but they’re not the norm, says Dana S. Dunn, Professor of Social Psychology at the Moravian College in Pennsylvania and author of Research Methods for Social Psychology. “We tend to overgeneralize from a handful of instances in which people do amazing things,” he says. “The danger of looking at people who succeeded against all odds is that we don’t know how they got there. We don’t necessarily know the steps they took, their background, or the support they had.”
But, research shows that dogged determination can lead to depression, helplessness, and a weakened immune system. Ironically, your determination to get pregnant may be compromising your health and preventing you from conceiving a baby.
9 Signs It’s Time to Stop Trying to Get Pregnant
There are many reasons couples coping with infertility – or a woman who can’t get pregnant no matter what fertility treatments she tries – might decide it’s time to stop trying.
These signs do not mean you should stop trying to conceive. They’re just things to think about…especially if you’re asking, “Should I stop trying to get pregnant?” The fact that you’re wondering about giving up on pregnancy means that perhaps it’s time to take a break. For now, anyway!
Couples may decide to stop trying to conceive when they:
- Have lost their joy and passion for having a baby. Instead, they feel depressed, anxious, and unhappy most of the time.
- Realize their marriage is suffering. Their attempts to overcome infertility issues might lead to divorce.
- Keep talking about how badly they want to have a baby, but don’t research fertility clinics, consult fertility specialists, or even get basic medical tests done through their family doctor.
- Spend more time searching the internet and reading pregnancy forums than creating a healthy, happy life apart from getting pregnant.
- Are pursuing goals or even falling into addictions that don’t match their stated desire of starting a family.
- Realize that their pregnancy goals – and the process of achieving those goals and creating a family-friend home environment – don’t resonate with who they are.
- Dread the thought of finally getting pregnant!
- Resent the time and energy it takes to try to conceive a baby, undergo fertility treatments, and consult with fertility doctors.
- Refuse to try different ways to get pregnant, such as learning how to ask God for help having a baby or consulting a naturopathic doctor about different problems that lead to infertility.
What do you think of these signs it’s time to stop trying to get pregnant? Are the obstacles and problems ruining the joy and hope you feel about conceiving a baby? If the negative parts or shadow side of getting pregnant overcomes your healthy enthusiasm, then maybe it’s time to give up for now. Take a rest. Set it aside and let your body, mind, soul and spirit recover.
3 healthy ways to let go of your pregnancy plans
1. If you do decide to stop trying to conceive, give yourself time to grieve and move forward. Even if you’re just planning to take a break for a short time, you’ll still feel sad and disappointed. This is normal, and even healthy. Grieve the fact that your life has changed, even if it’s only for a season.
2. Remember that your decision to take a break won’t settle on you overnight. For me, deciding to stop trying to get pregnant was a process of slowly accepting the idea of living without my own biological children. I learned how to embrace and enjoy the good parts of my life. I became truly, deeply grateful for the gifts God has given me, and trust that my life was not meant to unfold without children.
3. Allow your husband to feel different than you do. Maybe he’ll be relieved or happy to stop trying to get pregnant…or maybe he’ll be disappointed or even angry. Let your husband feel the way he feels. Let yourself feel the way you feel, too. Talk about the signs it’s time to stop trying to get pregnant; are you both on the exact same page? Of course not! In fact, you yourself may have a different answer tomorrow than you do today. That’s okay. Let it be.
If you decide it’s not time to give up on your dream of getting pregnant, read this book…
In It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF, Rebecca Fett provides a comprehensive program for improving egg quality in three months, with specific advice tailored to a variety of fertility challenges — including endometriosis, unexplained infertility, diminished ovarian reserve, PCOS, and recurrent miscarriage.
This book describes concrete fertility and pregnancy strategies, such as minimizing exposure to common environmental toxins, choosing the right vitamins and supplements to safeguard developing eggs, and harnessing nutritional advice shown to boost IVF success rates. It Starts With the Egg offers practical solutions that will help you get pregnant faster and deliver a healthy baby.
If you’re not ready to give up on your goal of pregnancy yet, read How to Stop Feeling Hopeless When You’re TTC.
Your thoughts — big and little — are welcome below! Read through the other readers’ comments. You’ll see you’re not alone, and perhaps even find ways to “give up” on your goal of getting pregnant with less grief and heartache than you expect.