When you’re actively trying to conceive, whether you’ve been diagnosed with infertility and are going through treatment, or you’re months into trying to conceive naturally, lack of success can take a serious toll. Each negative pregnancy test, each time your period begins, every time you open social media to see a pregnancy announcement, you dissolve into tears and a fall into a sadness so deep you wonder if it’s really worth the trouble. Trying to become pregnant, without success, is exhausting physically, emotionally, and, for many, financially.
Maybe it’s time you took a break from trying to conceive. That’s definitely not an easy call to make, especially if maternal age is a consideration. But, if each month finds you more frustrated, more depressed, and you can’t seem to remember who you were before your quest to have a baby began, you should consider a short break, even just a cycle or two.
Reasons to Think About Taking a Break
Obviously, before opting to hit the pause button on trying to conceive, you should speak with your physician. Especially if you’re currently going through treatment for infertility. Your doctor understands the emotional toll and physical drain you’re experiencing and will be able to guide your next steps. Here are some common reasons for taking a break from trying to conceive.
- You feel emotionally drained. This is a very common reason many couples pause in their attempts to conceive a baby. Month after month with no success can easily trigger feelings of anxiety and depression. Certainly if you and your partner decide to take a break for a bit due to the emotional toll trying to conceive is taking then you should absolutely consider counseling to help you cope and move forward. Put some distance between yourselves and the cause of your frustration in order to get some perspective.
- You’ve suffered a loss. If you’ve experienced a miscarriage you and your partner are bound to be devastated. Take some time to heal from the loss of your baby. Lean on one another for support and seek counseling or the support of a group before trying again. And before you do try again make certain your physician confirms that your body is ready.
- It’s time to make a big decision. This could be a commitment to begin fertility treatment, consider third-party donation such as embryo, sperm or egg donation, or surrogacy. Taking a step back to deal with all of the tangled emotions that go with making such a decision will help you approach your decision with more clarity.
- Your relationship is beginning to suffer. This is a big reason to call a halt to trying to conceive, even for just a cycle or two. Take a break and invest that time, energy, and emotion in each other. Go on a romantic getaway, turn off social media for a while, spend time rediscovering what it was that drew you to one another. You’ll come back even stronger.
- You, or your partner, are feeling conflicted. Sometimes you become so wrapped up in trying to have a baby that you forget there’s life beyond the goal. Maybe you, or your partner, have started to feel unsure about having a baby. This is common after months of trying without success. Sometimes all you need to gain perspective is a break for a cycle or two.
What to Consider Before You Take a Break
Discuss your feelings and your need for a break with your partner and your doctor. Make sure everyone is on the same page and all the facts are understood. How would a break impact your odds going forward? If a break negatively affects your chances is a brief, perhaps one cycle, recess possible? How does your age affect your decision?
What does “taking a break” mean to you and your partner? Will you temporarily stop fertility treatment? Will you continue to track ovulation and monitor your cycle? Would that be counterproductive to removing the pressure if you still wonder if you’re pregnant each month?
Set a date on the calendar to evaluate together that which you’ve learned from your break. Try not to discuss when you want to begin trying again until that date. This will alleviate any of the tension you and your partner may be feeling about the entire process.
When you decide to resume trying to conceive contact your physician immediately and discuss any insights you’ve uncovered during your break. Everyone needs a little breather now and again, so don’t worry if you feel the need to take a break. You’re only human.