Coping with infertility is often heartbreaking. You've done everything "right": Found a good partner, settled into your career, found your dream home. But now you find yourself struggling to conceive.
As each month goes by, you are getting more frustrated, more stressed out and you are unable to remember the normal pre-infertility you. So should you take a break from trying? Consider the following:
You feel burnt out. If you are feeling mentally exhausted, depressed, anxious or stressed out, this might be the time for you to take a break.
You don't remember yourself before trying to conceive. Do you find that you are never truly happy? You avoid situations where there might be babies or children around, or are having trouble sleeping? You may feel as if your life now centers around getting pregnant and perhaps need some time to decompress.
Your marriage is suffering. It is easy to become distant while you are in pain. You might not feel like your partner is hurting as much as you or doesn't want it as much as you do. Or, you are taking hormones that make you emotional. Try to remember that this is a difficult time for your spouse too and communication is vital! They may be your emotional rock, but they also need some support and might not want to upset you more with their feelings.
You have just had a loss. A miscarriage is hard on your body and your mind. It is hard on your emotions, especially if you became pregnant after many months of trying. But having a loss doesn’t always mean a miscarriage. There is a feeling of loss after many cycles of not conceiving. If you have endured a few failed cycles, and find yourself mentally drained, now might be the time to consider a break.
Positives and Negatives That Come with Taking a Break:
Pro: You will have some time to discuss the next step without as much pressure.
Con: You will lose time. This can be especially hard if you are older or the reason for your infertility can worsen with time.
Pro: You can let your body and mind rest and recover from the stress you've been under.
Con: Some women suffer from more anxiety with stopping or prolonging the process.
How to Decide If Taking a Break from TTC Is Right for You
Before you make any hasty decisions, it’s important to speak with your doctor. If you need help in working through this question, it may be beneficial to speak with a therapist or counselor who understands the fertility journey.
At ACRM, we work closely with and will often refer our patients to trained mental and emotional health professionals who can help them through the stress and depression that often accompany a diagnosis of infertility. We also offer a free weekly support group for all of our patients. To learn more about how we can help, please call your ACRM patient care coordinator.