9 Signs It’s Time to Stop Trying to Get Pregnant

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.

Should You Stop Trying to Get Pregnant?
Should You Stop Trying to Get Pregnant?

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:

  1. Have lost their joy and passion for having a baby. Instead, they feel depressed, anxious, and unhappy most of the time.
  2. Realize their marriage is suffering. Their attempts to overcome infertility issues might lead to divorce.
  3. 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.
  4. Spend more time searching the internet and reading pregnancy forums than creating a healthy, happy life apart from getting pregnant.
  5. Are pursuing goals or even falling into addictions that don’t match their stated desire of starting a family.
  6. 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.
  7. Dread the thought of finally getting pregnant!
  8. Resent the time and energy it takes to try to conceive a baby, undergo fertility treatments, and consult with fertility doctors.
  9. 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.

should I give up trying to get pregnant
Should You Stop Trying to Conceive?

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.

Signs It’s Time to Stop Trying to Get Pregnant

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.

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22 thoughts on “9 Signs It’s Time to Stop Trying to Get Pregnant”

  1. You may have to give up on your dream of getting pregnant but you don’t have to give up on the idea of having a family! I suggest that a couple going through fertility issues would need to be able to come to terms with the grief involved in accepting the fact of infertility.  My husband and I stopped trying to get pregnant after 10 years of trying. We have been foster parents for years and feel grateful and blessed!
    Yes, it was hard to stop trying to get pregnant. Yes, we grieved. it took a long time to recognize these “signs” it was time to stop trying to get pregnant. When we accepted the facts and faced reality, we embraced fostering children.
    Fostering is about the child, not the foster parent. You have to grieve the fact that you had to give up your goal of getting pregnant. Does that sound harsh?  I don’t mean to sound that way, but if you really want a family and you really want to share the love and home you have, you will consider fostering with an open heart and mind.
    We have infertile couples that have suffered the loss of 2 and 3 foster children before they were able to adopt.  Each time they seem near their breaking point, but then always seem to come back and do it again.  They are so strong!
    Consider being a foster parent if you feel it’s time to stop trying to conceive. I say this with sincere love and respect.
    Sincerely,
    Tamara B.

  2. Its is true about Acupuncture. I have seen it first hand that Acupuncture helps with infertility. It also helps to have a healthy pregnancy and ease the discomfort associated with delivery.

    My mother used acupressure durring her early stages and then continued to use “acupressure” techniques as well. Many women find both very beneficial. Acupressure (a form of acupunture meridian stimulation without the use of needles)is also great for those that have phobias or are uncomfortable with needles and still want the benefits of acupuncture.

    Great site and I enjoyed the article very much, will share with my visitors as well.

    Thanks,
    Alyssa

  3. While training as a Certified Medical Acupuncturist, I studied how acupuncture works for women with fertility issues. It would have been helpful if you described how acupuncture helps women conceive. That may help patients decide if they should give up on their goal of getting pregnant or try acupuncture in tandem with traditional fertility treatments.

    The insertion of acupuncture needles for women are specific to her reproductive organ sites.  The needle’s function is to increase blood flow by bathing the area in additional nutrients and hormones found in the blood stream. The result can be measured by the increase in follicle and egg production, which has been confirmed by a number of my patients. Some women have anatomical differences that can interfere with optimal blood flow when positioned near or touching other internal structures found in the pelvic region.

    Diet also plays a crucial role in fertility and getting pregnant. If your blood supply does not contain quality nutrients, the eggs produced may not be of good quality.  Acupuncture is only one part of the process to a successful conception. An acupuncturist often offers dietary recommendations in addition to the treatments.

    I hope this helps you decide if you should stop trying to conceive. I would encourage you to at least look into Traditional Chinese Medicine. But I’m biased because I have seen it work so successfully for so many couples.

    Sincerely,
    Dr Nancy

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!!

  7. “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.”)

  8. 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. 🙁

    1. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    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.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 🙂

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  19. 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

  20. Giving up is the first step to healing the pain of infertility. Move on and know that despite failing, you are not a failure .