What Women Who Are Trying to Conceive Wish You Knew
Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on January 15, 2021
Hoping for a Baby
You’re ready to get pregnant and grow your family. There’s a lot to look forward to and plan for. And although it might happen quickly, it could take longer than expected, even if you and your partner are healthy. Experts recommend that healthy couples who want to conceive try for a year if you’re younger than 35, and 6 months if you’re 35 or older. Talk with your doctor if it doesn’t happen by then.
One Month at a Time
Your cycle starts over and you wonder, will this be the one? If not, when will it happen? It’s not easy to predict. And if you’ve been trying for a while, those ups and downs can be really hard. You probably don’t want someone asking you, “Any news this month?” even if they mean well.
You can do a lot to take care of yourself. But with fertility, it’s not always in your control. While everyone is different, there are certain things that women who are trying to get pregnant say are especially hard to deal with. You may be able to relate personally, or you’ll want to be sensitive to these things if you know someone in that situation.
Time Is Top of Mind
Most women think they’re going to try for a few months, get pregnant, and start to pick baby names. But it might take longer. A lot of things can affect that, including your age and health. Some women say that it can feel like a failure if it doesn’t happen like you thought it would. But it’s no one’s fault. Your doctor can check to make sure you’re ready for a pregnancy.
It Can Take Work
Some couples get pregnant without even trying. For others, it can be a big project. A woman might measure and record their cycle, looking for patterns that help them know when they’re most fertile. They might get blood tests and have extra doctor appointments. And they might be weighing all of their options if a pregnancy doesn’t happen on its own.
When you want to have a baby, a lot of strong feelings can come up. Along with hope and excitement, you could be let down if months go by and it doesn’t happen. If you feel upset, fearful, ashamed, or guilty, counseling or a support group could be a comfort. Talking with or reading about other women who’ve gone through this and had success helps, too.
On the Same Page?
Couples hoping for a pregnancy look forward to things like the baby’s nursery, first steps, and making memories together. If conceiving proves hard, lots of other issues can come up. You and your partner might ask yourselves things like, “Are we both healthy? How long do we want to try? What other options do we want to explore?” You’ll want to work together, possibly with a counselor, to keep your relationship healthy.
Private or Public
You might be very open about your pregnancy hopes, plans, progress, and setbacks. You might want to talk about it and appreciate it if close friends or family ask. Or you might want to keep it private and avoid questions, especially if it’s not going well. Love and support from friends and family helps. It’s up to you to decide what you tell people and when.
When you want to be pregnant, you might suddenly be super-aware of all the pregnancies and babies around you in real life or on social media. If you wish that were you, you might feel lots of things: thrilled for your friends, sad that you’re not there now, and hopeful for your future. For instance, if you need to skip a baby shower because it’s too hard, do what you need to do for yourself.
Choices Can Be Tough
Some women who can't get pregnant find out that it’s due to a health problem they didn’t know about -- and that could make pregnancy and delivery very risky. Or you might be healthy but decide to explore other ways to expand your family, like fertility treatments, adoption, or surrogacy. These decisions, too, can be complicated and emotional.
When you plan for a baby, you’ll probably soon start to look at your budget differently. If a pregnancy happens quickly, you’ll have baby clothes, diapers, a crib, possibly day care, and many other things to save for. If it doesn’t happen and you decide to try fertility treatments, the tests, procedures, prescriptions, and even parking fees at medical buildings can add up quickly.
Got Advice? Ask First
If it’s taking longer than you thought it would to get pregnant, you might not want to hear suggestions or stories about other people who’ve gone through it. Even if it comes from someone with the best intentions, you might feel like they’re implying that you haven’t done or don’t know enough. Try to focus on what you, your partner, and your doctor think is best.
What You Don’t Want to Hear
“Just relax. When you stop stressing about it, it’ll happen.”