Trying to conceive (TTC) can/is stressful. Especially if you have been trying for a while. For some women, it’s like all they have to do it kiss their significant other and they are pregnant. For other’s it can take years of trying, many miscarriages, fertility treatments, invitro, and more to just become pregnant. I will say it again. Trying to conceive can/is stressful. The two-week wait (TWW) alone can seem like years. Counting down your day’s past ovulation (DPO) till you can test is part of the stress. I will freely admit I am one of those women who love to pee on pregnancy tests. There is a slight thrill of peeing on a stick and watching to see if the second line shows up. When you are TTC if the second line doesn’t show up it is devastating. Doctors tell women if they are under the age of 35 they should TTC for a year, over 35 its 6 months, before scheduling an appointment with their doctor to look for reasons why they are having issues. Do you know how many 2 week waits that is?! That is 12 TWW’s which is 24 weeks, slightly less than half a year, of stressful waiting for a woman to know if she has gotten pregnant. For some women, it can take years to conceive. If it takes a woman 3 years of actively trying to conceive then she will have waited 72 weeks, more than a year, waiting to see if she has gotten pregnant. While I cannot alleviate every woman’s TWW stress below are some tips that may help some.
Track your ovulation: Many women do not know when they ovulate or even if they do ovulate. A lot of women assume that since they are menstruating they are ovulating. This is not the case. When starting to TTC I would suggest tracking your cycle, basal body temperature, and cervical mucus to make sure you are ovulating. (You can also use ovulation test sticks, but they can get pricey and tracking your cervical mucus is free.) You may find out you do not ovulate every month, and in that case, you have evidence to take to your doctor early to try to get some answers. You could also find out you are ovulating at different times during your cycle. By tracking when you ovulate you can increase your chances of conception by having intercourse around when you ovulate. I highly recommend reading and researching the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. You can also find her website Here. Being knowledgeable in regards to your cycle, ovulation, and tracking intercourse, through an app like fertility friend, can relieve some TWW stress because you will know if you had intercourse around when you ovulated. You will be able to see if your chances of conception that month look good or if you missed the mark. (I personally have used the book Taking Charge of your fertility and the app Fertility friend, and have gotten pregnant. Knowledge is key!)
Spend time with friends/Get out of the house – You can relieve some TWW stress by spending time with friends and getting out of the house. Doing this will occupy your brain and take your mind off of the stress. Another thing you can do is talk with your friends about your worries, struggles, or concerns if that will help you as well. (I personally loved to get out and exercising to take my mind of the TWW.)
Read a good book or book series: Remember when you were younger and had the time to sit and read for hours? Reading is a great way to reduce stress and help take your mind off of your TWW. Find a book or book series and get swept away. If you don’t have a couple of hours a day to spare try listening to audio books.
Take a TTC breather: Stress can wreak havoc on your body and play games with your mind. Stress has been known to delay a woman’s period, and when you are TTC this can be even more stressful. If you have been TTC for a while with no luck then try to take a step back. Take a month or two to just enjoy your partner and the baby making experience.
When to see your doctor: If you go to your doctor when you first start TTC ask them what their policies are regarding how long you are supposed TTC, with no luck, before talking with them about further testing. Like I mentioned above most doctors want you to try for at least a year, if you are under the age of 35 and over 35 it’s at least 6 months, before seeking out further testing to find out why you aren’t conceiving. Your doctor will be able to go over your medical history though and let you know if there are any health issues you have that might hinder your ability to conceive.
Lastly, if it helps go ahead and pee on those sticks. I know for me personally sometimes just taking a pregnancy test relieved some stress during the TWW. Other times it made it worse. If peeing on a stick will help I say go for it. It can get a little pricey if you are going to do it multiple times so I suggest purchasing pregnancy tests in bulk. You can find usually find bulk packs online or Wal-Mart has 0.88 cent tests. I wish all the baby dust on you! How are some ways that you try to reduce your stress during the TWW?