Signs It’s Time to Stop Trying to Get Pregnant

Is trying to have a baby a healthy goal for your life, or should you stop trying to get pregnant because it’s causing anxiety and depression? Giving up on your dream of pregnancy might be right – the key is knowing when it’s time to give up or when it’s time to try different strategies (e.g., in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), or adoption).

give up on goal of getting pregnant

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 offers hope for couples who are trying to get pregnant. This book offers a concrete strategy that includes minimizing exposure to toxins such as BPA and phthalates, choosing the right vitamins and supplements to safeguard developing eggs, and harnessing nutritional advice shown to boost IVF success rates. If you’re not ready to give up on your goal of getting pregnant, the practical information in this book may give you new hope – and strength to keep trying!

Below are a few signs it might be time to let go of your pregnancy goals. But first, here’s one of my favorite quips: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” said W.C. Fields. “Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”

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 chuck those goals and set new ones altogether.

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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.

Signs It’s Time to Stop Trying to Get Pregnant

Couples coping with infertility – or women who can’t get pregnant no matter what infertility treatments they try – might decide it’s time to pursue different family goals when they:

  • Have lost their joy and passion for having a baby – and instead feel depressed, anxious, and unhappy
  • Realize their marriage is suffering, and their attempts to overcome infertility might lead to divorce
  • Are “talking the talk” but not “walking the walk” (eg, talking about how much they want to have a baby, but refusing to visit fertility clinics or adoption agencies)
  • Spend more time surfing the internet and reading pregnancy forums than creating a healthy, happy life apart from getting pregnant
  • Are pursuing goals that aren’t in line with their beliefs, values, personality, and future plans
  • Realize that their pregnancy goals – and the process of achieving those goals – don’t resonate with who they are
  • Dread the thought of achieving their goal of getting pregnant
  • Resent the time and energy getting pregnant (or infertility treatments) takes
  • Refuse to try different ways to get pregnant, such as creating a vision board for fertility or talking to a naturopathic doctor about different problems that prevent pregnancy
stop trying to get pregnant

“Signs It’s Time to Stop Trying to Get Pregnant” image by lestoilesdaz via DeviantArt

Setting and achieving your goal of getting pregnant is challenging (to say the least – especially if you’re a couple coping with infertility!!).

If you’re motivated and dedicated, the obstacles to getting pregnant will be balanced by the joy of continuing to do everything you can to conceive a baby. But if the negative parts of getting pregnant overshadow the positives, then maybe it is time to set new goals for starting a family.

Giving up on your wish or goal of getting pregnant doesn’t happen overnight. For me, it was a process of slowly accepting the idea of living without my own biological children, and embracing the good parts of my life. Being grateful for the awesome gifts God has given me – and trusting that for some reason, my life was meant to unfold without children.

Can you accept the idea that perhaps you weren’t meant to have children? This is a sign of emotional health and resilience, and it will help you move forward in your life.

If you’re not ready to give up on your goal of pregnancy yet, read How to Stop Feeling Hopeless When You’re TTC.

What do you think – do these signs it’s time to give up on getting pregnant resonate with you? I welcome your big and little comments below…


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19 thoughts on “Signs It’s Time to Stop Trying to Get Pregnant

  • Ang

    TTC for seven years, we’ve decided that after the spring of this year we will be done trying and accept our lives and blessings as they are. I’m not ready to give up until then, it oddly helps me to have a time set because it’ll be a relief even though it’ll be heartbreaking at first. Thank you for this article it really helped me

  • Kelly

    I struggled for 3 yr with ttc I’m beginning to realise that maybe I have a different path to follow, maybe this is in God’s plan for my hubby and I. I think like yourself I’m ready to live the way we are.

  • Val

    Ive been struggling with infertility for 10 years now. 2 rounds of unsuccessfull insimination, 4 miscarriages and many rounds of blood work, u/s and procedures to say the few. Im now 35 (Iknow its really young) my husbant is asking for a vasecromy ;( Deep down I think I also want it too since our sex life is soaring, I want to reconnect and find ourselves again. Adoption or serrogate is not an option for us, so I have to make the difficult decision to call it quits and move on. What a hard decision!!

  • Liz

    “Are ‘talking the talk’ but not ‘walking the walk’ (eg, talking about how much they want to have a baby, but refusing to visit fertility clinics or adoption agencies).” This one is a unfair. These are not realistic options for many, if for no other reason than the cost. It’s seems unnecessarily critical (i.e. “You don’t really want a baby if you aren’t willing to spend upwards of $10K a pop for fertility treatment.”)

  • Mand

    Recently , A few days before 48th birthday I had my first positive pregnancy test – twice. A week later I bled heavily for a day and a half….guess this was a chemical pregnancy. Had my first settled relationship in my 40’s . So at the moment thinking is it worth thinking there is still hope…. I don’t know anyone my age in this / or have been in this situation. 🙁

    • Leigh

      I have been trying for over two years now and as much as my partner says he wants one I don’t feel he is emotionally bothered at all he doesn’t understand how hard it is and if I try talk he says fine book me in the doctors IL go but he only says that when I say something Asif I’m pressuring him I think if he was bothered he would of gone him self so I have decided it’s time to give up and go back on the implant before I loose my mind

  • Pam

    After 27 Ivf cycles, 3 chemical pregnancies and one miscarriage I will be giving up on this dream of getting pregnant. It is unachievable for me. The signs are too much time, money, research, emotions invested without a glimmer of hope.

  • Tamsin

    4 years. 7 miscarriages. No answers. No hope. My husband and I can’t afford any further treatments and we’ve made the decision this week to stop trying to get pregnant. We don’t have the emotional strength to keep on like this anymore. For sanity’s sake, we need to let go and try to move on.

  • Laurie Post author

    Acceptance is one of the healthiest ways to cope with any goal – whether you’re trying to get pregnant or adopting a child. Acceptance doesn’t mean you give up or you passively wait, it just means you accept this present moment the way it is right now, and you keep moving forward in pursuit of what you want to achieve in your life.

    It’s also so healthy to accept other people’s opinions and thoughts on these signs it’s time to give up your goal of getting pregnant, and not call them names.

  • S.

    Are you kidding me? We are willing to pay thousands each month in medications, have my blood drawn and transvaginal ultrasounds every 3 days for 2 weeks out of each month for the past 1.5 years of seeing a fertility specialist, suffer 2 miscarriages and yet you think if I’m not creating a vision board then I’m not exercising all options and should give up? A vision board?!!!??!

    Give me a break. This is written by some fool who has no actual experience.

    • Kate B

      My thoughts exactly. Fertility is our birthright. We have every right to be angry. Anyone would lose their energy for these treatments. For heaven’s sake!

  • Tricia

    My husband and I so want a baby. Could you pray for us? We have gone through two unsuccessful IVFs and are out of money to try again. If God could provide a miracle and let me get pregnant with a healthy child, that would be so wonderful. I can’t imagine how happy we would be.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how it feels to think about giving up on your dream of getting pregnant and having your own biological baby. It is a heartbreaking dream to let go of, and nothing could ever replace it.

    My prayer for all women who have given up on their goal of getting pregnant is for peace and acceptance. Nothing could ever take the place of conceiving and bearing our own children, but I pray we find other ways to lead fulfilling, meaningful, joyful lives. May we find spiritual strength and emotional resilience. May we meet people who fill our lives with love, hope, joy, and meaning. I pray for a sense of purpose for our lives, and that our hearts and souls are filled to overflowing with a peace and love that surpasses all understanding. Amen.


  • michelle

    I see this is an old article but just finding it now. I think you have to figure out what you can live with in the end.
    This life is yours with or without children.
    I had to let go of my dream and figure out what would make me happy in life. Infertility sucks. The discussion never ends and I imagine it will continue when I am elderly and in my last days. But I hope to find a way to answer the questions and hope they get easier with time.

  • jen

    I should add that some points you make are right on with how I feel. This isn’t how I wanted to create a child but it was all I had available . I have tried . My heart is broken Nobody here to help heal it. How do I move on? Well, thanks again for your words.

  • jen

    I have wondered for a while if I should give up. I am single with donor inseminations and not having any success. I’m depressed and giving up on everything. I don’t know if I will be happy stopping as I am alone and this is all I have ever wanted in life. I’ve worked and saved for it. I am so sad. I’ve wondered if moving on was healthier but the idea of quitting leaves my soul so empty. Thanks for your article.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Steffi,

    I’m glad these signs it’s time to give up on your goal of getting pregnant resonated with you! Thank you for taking the time to comment – and may God bless you with resources and people who can help you find other ways to bring kidlets into your life 🙂


  • Steffi

    Hi Laurie, thank you so much for writing this article. I have in the last week let go of my dream to get pregnant myself, and I’m happier than I have been throughout my TTC process. I’m now looking into other ways of bringing the pitter patter of tiny feet into our family and this is definitely the right path for me. Thank you for bringing this issue up, it’s something that’s so hard to discuss but knowing other people have been in the same position as me has made things a lot easier