Keeping Love Alive When Trying to Conceive
Planning a pregnancy can feel fun and exciting – until your fertile window rolls around and the pressure is on to have babymaking sex!
To help you maintain that special spark with your partner while trying to conceive (TTC), here’s an overview of how the TTC journey may affect your relationship and what you can do to protect it.
How TTC affects a relationship
From the moment a couple decides to start a family, their relationship is subsequently affected by each and every choice, event, and milestone along their TTC journey.
On one hand, this decision provides couples with the opportunity to take their relationship to a new level. It’s a chance to grow closer to each other and build a deeper connection. It’s also a chance to bond over shared experiences in this new chapter of life.
On the other hand, the process of trying to start a family can also be extremely stressful – which can understandably put a strain on any relationship. This is especially true in cases involving infertility.
For example, in a recent study published in Reproductive Biomedicine, researchers found that among individuals who have been diagnosed and treated for infertility, approximately 60% believe that infertility has impacted their mental health. Among these individuals, one in three also indicated that this caused strain on their relationship.
In another study of 47,500 Danish women, researchers found that individuals who do not end up having a child after treatment are three times more likely to divorce their partner compared to those who do have a child.
Although the stats can be intimidating, it’s important to stay positive and know that relationships can still survive and thrive throughout the TTC process – even in cases where infertility is a factor.
What are the risks for a couple trying to conceive?
One of the best ways couples can prevent relationship strain while TTC is to be aware of the many risks involved with planning a pregnancy.
In terms of the types of risks to be aware of, it’s important to remember that the TTC process can affect multiple sides of the relationship. This includes a couple’s sex life, emotional/romantic connection, and daily routines/habits.
Some of the most common risks or “fights” among couples TTC tend to revolve around:
- When to start trying to have a baby
- How many children to have
- The process of trying to conceive at the right time each month
- How much to invest in fertility products and courses
- If/when to see a fertility specialist
- What to do if conceiving naturally isn’t possible
Before starting a family, it’s important that couples talk through these risks together, evaluate potential scenarios, and create contingency plans ahead of time so that they are both on the same page.
Keeping love alive when trying to conceive
So how can couples keep the love alive throughout the stressful TTC process? Here are a few tips that can help!
Don’t ignore your emotions
Whether it’s fear about giving birth or anxiety about how to financially support a child, any and all emotions felt during the TTC process are valid. Instead of letting these emotions fester inside until they become unmanageable, it’s important to acknowledge them and give yourself time to process them in a way that works for you.
Talk talk talk
It should go without saying, but always keep the lines of communication with your partner open while TTC. If you know that you tend to sweep stressful topics under the rug, make an effort to check in with your partner’s emotional side more frequently. This can be done by asking more open-ended questions like “how do you feel about…” or “what do you think about…”.
Keep both engaged throughout the process
It takes two to tango, and both individuals should be engaged with the TTC process. For example, if one person has to undergo fertility treatments, try to visit the doctor’s office together. Or, if you are tracking your fertility hormones, let your partner monitor your hormone charts too. In the Mira app, there is even a special “Partner Mode” that allows your partner to engage with your results in their own app.
In a recent Mira survey, we found that although 8 out of 10 respondents reported anxiety while TTC, 75% still named their partner as the biggest support during their fertility journey. This sense of support and togetherness is very special and something to treasure while TTC.
That’s why it’s so important to think of the TTC process not as a “task” or problem to be solved, but rather a continuation of your journey as a couple. Any storyline along this journey is important and part of your unique story as a couple.
Educate yourself and your partner
Fertility and the process of getting pregnant can sometimes feel like a mystery. However, you can take back some control by educating yourself about the healthiest (and most efficient) ways to get pregnant. If you’re not quite sure where to start, Mira has a ton of free blogs, webinars, and ebooks to explore!
Re-construct your romantic connection
Nurturing your romantic connection with your partner is absolutely essential while TTC. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and burnt out with it all, take a moment to remind yourself why you were attracted to your partner in the first place. You can also rekindle your relationship by going for a romantic getaway, having regular date nights, and surprising each other with gifts and/or activities that have no connection to the TTC process.
Don’t let babymaking overshadow everything else
It’s easy to become so focused on your TTC activities that you let other aspects of your life fade away. To prevent this from happening, make a conscious effort to maintain your relationships with friends and family. You should also continue to engage in creative activities and exercise. This will not only help to reduce stress, but it will also prevent feelings of isolation while TTC.
Consider taking a break
If you have been feeling drained while TTC, there is nothing wrong with taking a break to relieve some of the pressure. This is a great time to build intimacy with your partner, get caught up at work, or reconnect with a hobby that you enjoy. You can always start again in a cycle or two when you feel refreshed.
Seek professional help if you feel it’s necessary
If you feel like the TTC process is starting to take its toll on your relationship, there is no shame in seeking professional help from a couple’s counselor or even a sex therapist. This can provide you with a safe space for you and your partner to come together, see each other’s perspectives, and deepen your connection.
Planning a pregnancy is not a death sentence for your relationship by any means. However, it’s still important to stay aware of the risks so that you can nurture and protect your relationship throughout the process. This will also help you to establish a strong foundation for parenthood.