Is trying to have a baby a healthy goal for your life and marriage, or is it causing anxiety, depression, and other problems? Giving up on your dream of getting pregnant is a painful but possibly healthy thing to do. The difficulty is knowing if it’s time to give up or if you should try different ways to conceive a baby. Continued efforts to get pregnant a baby can be physically stressful and emotionally painful for many couples, and even have a negative effect on your marriage and other relationships.
Should you stop trying to conceive? If you’re struggling to cope because it’s taking too long to get pregnant, perhaps taking a break is the healthiest thing to do in this season of your life. You may only need to take a breather from your goal of getting pregnant. It’s not necessarily a permanent decision. While you’re reading through these signs it’s time to stop trying, remember that every woman is different. And, you don’t have to decide right now to give up on your dreams of having a family and goals of getting pregnant. It’s just that right now, in this stage of your life, it may be time to step back from your attempts to get pregnant.
Giving up on your dream of pregnancy might be right for you and your husband. You don’t have to make a decision that affects your life permanently. Taking a break temporarily may be the healthiest thing you could do for your body, mind, and spirit. Not to mention your marriage and other relationships!
If you decide to take a break from trying to conceive, you might take a full, clean, total break from pregnant thoughts and information. Or, you might want to stop the physical attempts to get pregnant, and explore different fertility strategies and treatments. Have you been struggling to get pregnant for more than a year? Perhaps you want to research fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), or even surrogate egg donation. Your reason for not conceiving affects possible treatments and outcomes. The reason you can’t get pregnant also affects your decision about whether to give up or take a temporary break.
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, for example, would be to save your marriage or try to 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?
Should You Stop Trying to Get Pregnant?
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. 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. 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. “We tend to overgeneralize from a handful of instances in which people do amazing things. 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.
Are you a woman of faith? Read Prayers for Women Who Are Trying to Get Pregnant.
9 Signs It May Be Time to Take a Break
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 consulting a naturopathic doctor about different problems that lead to infertility.
How do you feel about 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 difficulties and problems associated with continuing to try to get pregnant overcome your mindset, mood and relationships, maybe it’s time to give up for now. Take a rest. Let your body, mind, soul and spirit recover.
Before you give up on your dream of getting pregnant…
Have you considered Traditional Chinese Medicine or other complementary health services, such as acupuncture? “I find acupuncture extremely helpful with patients dealing with infertility, whether they are going through assisted reproductive procedures or just trying on their own,” says naturopathic doctor Mubina Jiwa, B.Sc. “I had a 38 year old female patient who had been trying to get pregnant for three years prior to seeking assistance,” “These days, many people are diagnosed with ‘unexplained infertility.’ Chinese medicine and acupuncture is very helpful in supporting and re-balancing the body.”
Acupuncture might help increase the chances of successful fertility treatments
Dr Jiwa’s patient decided she would try intrauterine insemination to get pregnant. It didn’t work but she didn’t want to give up on her goal of getting pregnant so she consulted Dr Jiwa. They six sessions of acupuncture once a week, then four sessions of acupuncture twice a week. They also had a session before and after the patient’s intrauterine insemination procedure.
She didn’t get pregnant that time, but reported feeling less anxious and more prepared for the intrauterine insemination. This patient continued with the acupuncture treatments during her next cycle of fertility treatment.
“We did a similar set of sessions prior to her next cycle,” says this naturopathic doctor, “and she brought in a pregnancy test result to show me a few weeks later!”
Getting pregnant with acupuncture worked for this patient. Naturopathic or complementary medicine doesn’t work in all cases of infertility, but it might be something to consider before letting go of your dream of conceiving a baby.
3 healthy ways to let go of your pregnancy plans
Whether you decide to permanently or temporarily stop trying to conceive, try to stay as healthy as you can. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally! The easiest, perhaps most dramatic place to start is with your diet. You may have heard that “you are what you eat” but if you researched how immediately and directly food affects your overall health, you’d be amazed.
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.